We hiked Elk yesterday. The ice and snow started about two thirds of the way up. Microspikes were very helpful. The snow started turning slushy, which was slippy. Snow at the top was super bright in the sun (forgot the sun glasses)
On the way up, the typical birds were heard/seen. GC Kinglets, Brown Creeper, Robins and Varied Thrush. Before the lookout there was Sooty Grouse hooting, and one was sitting in a tree allowing some views. Past the lookout 5 finches flew past, with long tails, wingbars, and musical calls -- Pine Grosbeak! A first for me in the valley. I just wish they'd have been sitting at the top of a tree, to allow good views
At the top, were over 45 Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches which was a treat to see. Other birds included Canada Jay, Townsend's Solitaire, DE Junco, YR Warbler, and a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Just before heading down, an Osprey flew past. It was interesting to see it from the side / top.
On the way down some heard-only Red Crossbills joined the 3 finch species seen earlier on the hike (Pine Sisken heard earlier)