Mount Ellinor
Olympic Mountains

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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.

The Alpenglow Gallery