The snowpack is unseasonably low this year in Oregon, so springtime mountaineering is coming early. In the past few weeks I've heard a few friends report successful summits of Mt. Thielsen and Three Fingered Jack. Encouraged by this, I joined Dalen and Mike M. on an early-season ascent of Mt. Washington.
We had beautiful conditions on the approach. The PCT was mostly clear of snow, and we enjoyed t-shirt weather on the ridge after the sun came up. That all changed once we got onto the summit pinnacle, though. The standard route is north-facing, and it went into the shade fairly quickly after we got there.
Dalen led two heroic pitches up ice and choss, with Mike and I following. I've never rock climbed in crampons before, and this was a hell of a setting to give that a spin. Ultimately we didn't make the summit, but it was still a fun and educational day out.