When I first looked at my map I almost went West over the pass to RG. I thought I could use the easy climb on the East side of the pass to build the confidence to drop down the other side to RG. As it was though, I was huffing and puffing anyway. I had spent about 14 days in Gunnison, but I'm coming form DC at a little over 200'. I had some catching up to do, and I never feel like I really got there. So I opted to stay on trails first incase I got in over my head and needed to bail. The contours on the West side of the pass concerned me more than the East and I've always been better at climbing, so I chose to climb the side that I was more cautious of. Not sure that's exactly what I want to say. I'll try again. I knew the West side would present more of a challenge to me. Either by my understanding or lack there of. A perceived level of comfort and fear. That place where we (however small the challenge i.e. this case) get to rub shoulders with our limits and we make our choices and hopefully become better outdoors people. I think I made the right choice for me.
Technically, there wasn't much more to do than look for the most positive places for footing and kicking when I couldn't find something good enough to stand on. Go do it. For me it was a good choice to do a little off trail walking in a low risk location.