Wonderful day in the Henry Mountains. My first time here. Parked at Bull Creek Pass and did the 1.8 miles to the summit in 37 minutes. Then headed over to Mt. Ellen Peak and spotted a herd of 30 buffalo in the meadow down the ridge to the East, so I scrambled down to see how close I could get to them. Turns out they're not like Buffalo in Yellowstone. They stampeded away when I got no closer than 500 yards. They dashed off into the trees to hide, and hid well! I headed back up across the west side of Mt. Ellen Peak back to the summit of Mt. Ellen, and then back to the car to get Niko some water, and then went up the ridge to South Ridge Summit.
Perception of distance is skewed in the mountains. It wasn't a crazy long trek, but longer than expected from the summit of Mount Ellen. The winds were intense but just east of the ridgeline was tolerable. The horde of make-shift rock shelters near the summit were unsettling. Leave no trace!
It was hairy driving to Bull Creek Pass from the east with slick packed down snow in the shady spots and the road gently sloping to a huge dropoff. Getting to Mount Ellen was easy as was Ellen Peak. Then I went NW to Dear Heaven encountering some snow, but no deer. On the way back, did a sloping traverse to the saddle between Mount Ellen and Ellen Peak.