Today we braved the elements for the Cook-Aug-Dog Traverse. Weather was predicted to be all over, and we encountered quite a bit of variety along the way. We started our adventure at Cook Hill TH around 7:50 AM, leaving my car at the Dog Mountain TH lot (you need a permit to park here at this time of year, or to take a shuttle).
Lots of climbing at the beginning with about 3,000 ft to in less than 4 miles to the Cook summit before traversing to Augspurger. Tons of wildflowers everywhere were amazing. We encountered the need to do a pretty decent amount of bushwhacking starting around the radio tower until we pretty much hit Dog. This time of year has a lot of overgrowth and greenery, and shorts were a bad idea. It's probably much better in earlier spring or later fall when stuff isn't as grown in to get a great time on this route. There were times we really couldn't see the trail, but we didn't get off track all that much. We started hitting the rain as we were getting closer to Dog Mountain. High winds, moderate to heavy rain, and even hail fell briefly. This made the trail pretty slick and muddy. When we hit the summit of Dog, it was the windiest part of the day and the wettest. We made our way up as quickly as we could to the summit, slipping here and there. Snapped a quick picture, then turned around to make our way down to the parking lot. Not too many people out in that weather, which was nice to not have to dodge folks.
Overall a fun day! Climbing, crazy weather, beautiful wildflowers, good company... what more do you need?