Heather - Maple Pass
Got my first full year of TAY up at Heather - Maple pass! This seemed to be one of the few corners of WA that's already looking completely like winter, and the views and weather didn't disappoint.
We took the summer trail clockwise, to avoid having to walk down the steeper trail in ski boots and for potentially more skiiable downhill. Able to put on skins once we gained the ridge separating Rainy lake and Ann lake, save for one rock scramble. Lots of snow once above treeline - it has been re-frozen and wind+rain affected, but the aspects that were in the sun became actually soft and fun to ski! The punch-crust aspects, not so much. Watch out for sharks!
Since we decided to ski down towards Heather pass, we ended up just doing the whole summer trail loop. If there was better coverage and good stability and you just wanted to get in laps, perhaps just skiing the top SE aspects of the basin above Rainy Lake would offer more sustained vert. We passed by lots of hikers on the trail, not surprising for a weekend, and most of them doing the loop in the opposite direction as us. Had to pass quite a few groups on narrow-ish bootpath on the way down.
All in all great day trip, but definitely ready for less hiking in ski boots and more skiing once we get more snow!