What a beautiful course! Started in a little bit of fog in the trees but quickly got out of that into the early morning light with amazing views of Mt Adams, Mt Rainer, Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson along the way and of course stunning views of Mt St Helens.
Snow was almost gone, just a couple short fields to cross. Pretty dry course until approximately mile 15 at Snow Lake so be sure to pack enough water. I could also see some of the creeks along the last stretch drying up as well. Was happy to find a meager trickle off a snowfield immediately prior to the start of the Whittier Ridge trail but that won't last long. Another note on dry conditions, gators were extremely helpful as there is sand/small gravel. I took my time on Whittier Ridge as it is a bit sketchy; a toe stub or slip could be disastrous if moving too quickly. Route finding on that section is challenging as well at times. Speaking of route finding, had a couple wrong/missed turns which I quickly corrected but disappointing to waste that time. That's a lesson to always load the GPX to the watch instead of just relying on GAIA on the phone.
Amazing area and route, thanks to Mike Nanaszko and Bob Pool for establishing this route.