Six intrepid hikers, together again after our Park Butte junket, joined me for the hike up Heliotrope Climbers Route on a beautiful sunny day. The wildflowers were abundant and in full bloom. After the turnoff to the hogsback, we scattered like a flock of crows, two eating lunch early, three climbing up to the first snowbank across the trail, two venturing up as far as the climbers camp. A few pesky flies were held at bay by the breeze above treeline, but returned to sample me on the way back, giving me a chance to try out my new bug jacket and hood. Although we started back at different times, we reunited along the return trip, thus proving that my strategy of leading from behind (or really, not needing to lead experienced hikers at all) can be a successful one. One driver had the misfortune to suffer a flat tire from all the potholes, but managed to get back home. It was a gorgeous day to be out in the North Cascades. Some pictures soon on Flickr.