Pilot Ridge, WA

It's backpacking season! Warm days in the mountains have melted out most of the snow, flowers are in bloom, and berries are just starting to ripen at lower elevations. For the long weekend, Cary and I picked out an epic backpacking loop that would take all 3 days. We did the White Pass - Pilot Ridge loop in the opposite direction than most people take, climbing the 5,000 ft from the river up to the ridge right away, rather than spend time in the trees for a slower climb up the valley. The views were epic, but unfortunately there was more snow than anticipated at the notch above Blue Lake, and we were sans micro-spike or crampons and ice axes, so we shortened our trip into a 20-mile out and back instead. We'll definitely have to come back and try the rest of the loop sometime on a regular weekend.