This time, we took the winter route, which is a few miles longer and follows the Wormflows to the east of the Monitor Ridge route, only to join the summer route a few hundred feet from the summit. The summer route had been opened just two days before, but we still wanted to use the winter route, and that was a great decision: While there were a bunch of hikers on the summer route, we saw only two skiers all day on the winter route
The visibility wasn’t as good as 2.5 years ago — Mount Hood was a constant companion, Mount Rainier was visible from the summit, though Mount Adams only peeked through the clouds occasionally — but the snow was beautiful. On the way down, we were able to glissade for about 3000 vertical feet. Epic.
On the way to our camp site on Saturday, we also visited the Johnson Ridge Observatory and the Ape Cave, a 2-mile lava tube. Both are well worth the visit.