Most backcountry flights in the Northwest are quick descents.
It's usually best to avoid soaring conditions to minimize the
risk of winds in the heavily forested valleys. But every so
often, the site and the conditions make soaring reasonable. In
this aerial photo, Mark Dale soars over the summit of Mount
Ellinor. This three-hour flight included several out-and-return
legs to Mount Washington, on the right, before we landed at Lake
Cushman, a mile below.