Mount Ellinor

Sunday, May 2, 2004.  We left the house very early (~4:45 AM), and sped over to the Edmunds ferry terminal on time for the 5:50 AM ferry.  Unfortunately, there is no 5:50 AM ferry on Sundays.  The first ferry does not leave until after 7AM.  Doh!  This is information that was not mentioned on the ferry system's website.

So, we drove south to Seattle.  Unfortunately, there were no ferries leaving from Seattle either until ~8AM.  We actually got stuck in a traffic jam in downtown Seattle at 6:30 AM on a Sunday morning!  Finally at about 7AM, we were headed South on our way around the Puget Sound.

Around 9AM we made it to the Ellinor trailhead at about 3000 FASL.

Yes, we had already climbed Ellinor once before on November, 2002.  It was a great trip.  I decided to do it again because it is conveniently close to Tacoma (and I wanted to be at a Piano recital in Tacoma at 3PM).  Also, in 2002 we climbed up the summer route.  This time, we climbed the winter route (also known as "The Chute").

It took us about 2.5 hours to climb to the 6000 FASL summit of Ellinor.  The trail was snow free to 4000 FASL.  Above that, in the chute, everything was covered with plenty of snow.  It was a steep climb in places and the snow was soft.

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PICT0180: Harley on top of Ellinor!  Mount Washington behind Harley.

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PICT0181: Buddy on top!

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PICT0183: Harley resting on top.  Glimpse of a few Olympic mountains behind Harley.

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PICT0184: From the top, that's the way we climbed up and the way down.  Near the top, it's not bad.  The route goes down a chute to the right which is steep in places (~50 degrees).

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PICT0185: Mount Washington

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PICT0187: Shortly after we arrived, this large group of people arrived on top.  Harley was happy to have more people to annoy.

So, it took about 2 hours to climb from 4000 FASL to 6000 FASL.  Going down?  That was a 10 minute glissade.  Sliding down that long distance so fast was the most exhilarating thing I've done in a long time.  Twice, in the steep parts, it seemed like I was about to loose control (despite desperately trying to slow myself down with my ice axe and boots).  There was a massive river of ice and snow sliding down in front of me (from all the ice and snow I kicked up with my axe and boots).  Fun!  Mental note: bring gloves next time.

Buddy slid down behind me (and had almost as much trouble slowing down as I did...fortunately for Buddy, he slowed down after running into me).  Harley ran along side us without any problems (except for keeping up with us...).

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PICT0188: I think Buddy's very happy to finished with the Chute and that long glissade. =)  Back down at 4000 FASL at the junction of the winter/summer trails.  We had just come down the Chute (the winter trail).

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PICT0189: Half an hour later, at the upper Ellinor trailhead.

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PICT0190: Looking down from the trailhead.

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PICT0191: Ditto.  Lake Cushman