Chris- a well written trip report, thanks for sharing. I also had similar experience meaning hiking a shorter 4k, Tom, for other folks that were joining me. The difference was my crew showed up and they complained a little bit about the steepness- I said- it’s for a good cause, suck it up! They chuckled and enjoyed the day as well. I was also psyched that your crew saw our flag because I had a 20 foot pole and a 4×6 flag hoping that it would be seen. I am going to mention in my post that next year folks might want to consider putting up at the viewpoint instead, because we could see Jackson, Pierce, Monroe, Jefferson, S Twin. Unfortunately, Hale was blocked by trees for us.
Let freedom ring!