this is from the first clearing. we started at river level, and by the time we reached the summit, had climbed about twice as high as we were at this vantage point.
the forest was really moist from precipitation, snow melt, and fog. there were a lot of neat mosses and lichens on the trail from start to finish.
these plants all pointed towards the sun and could have been mistaken for dead if it were not for the dense buds that tipped each.
this is just as we climbed out of the trees. the fog immediately enveloped us, and got thicker as we climbed higher.
this is the "view" from the summit. Despite the top mile of the trail being exposed, the summit is protected by a small grouping of trees. It was a nice reward to get out the high winds and hail for a few minutes. If the fog hadn't been so thick, this would have been a great view of the Columbia river gorge, with Oregon and Mt. Hood towering over it in the background. Still, the fog was neat to climb in. Every step was a surprise because you could never see far enough to know what laid ahead.
here is a photo of me at the summit. The trail appears to continue climbing from this vantage point, but the end of the trail was a few yards further from this grouping of trees.