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.
Bull Creek Pass was socked in. It was surreal driving there on slick snow packed roads in the fog with a steep drop off. At the pass, rime ice was everywhere. It was so windy I wasn't sure if I should get out of the car, but the temperature gauge said 38F so I went for it. I put on 3 pairs of pants, 3 layers on top, covered my face and and it really wasn't so bad. There might have been a trail of sorts under the snow at the start, it was hard to tell. I started out on the north side, but circled around to the west where it was open and most of the snow had blown away.
A little steep at first with no clear trail, but once above the trees, it was extremely pleasant (besides the winds). The views were incredible with clear skies in all directions. The false summit wasn't too bad. It's unfortunate that there's so much mining to the south. Sort of infuriating, really.