Almost as soon as we locked the truck and shouldered our packs, a coyote hopped out of the woods, curious to check us out. The wild dog ran off into the trees, but our (thankfully leashed) dogs let us know we were being shadowed for the better part of a half hour. The south-facing slopes were snow-free and tree-free, making for very easy going. However, once we reached the treed summit plateau, we encountered deep, unconsolidated snow and cussed and postholed the rest of the way to the summit. Hiking partner: Husband. Dogs: Lady, Bing & Lela.