I left the parking lot at 5:50 a.m. and started up the endless switchbacks. Temperature in the mid to upper 40s under a heavy grey mist. One other car was in the lot when I arrived – when I signed the trail register, I realized they had camped out last night. There was no wind in the heavily wooded lower slopes – only the sound of creeks tumbling downhill, and the occasional bird song as the world woke up.
About 8:30 a.m., I broke through the mist and was blown away by the amazing views of nearby peaks.
9:35 a.m. At the top. The couple who had slept in a tent on the summit ridge said the sun only broke through about an hour ago.
Heading down, the snow wasn’t firm enough to glissade, but one could still shuffle the feet and dance lightly down broad meadows of slushy snow, easing the impact on the knees.
Back at the car at 12:05 p.m. 6 hours and 15 minutes carrying a 20 pound pack (training for a multi-day trip this summer).