Stay tuned. Details and video at 11:00 David's turn to report. Suffice it to say, the weather folks got it really, really wrong today!!! Absolutely gorgeous! I'll take these "sun breaks" any day. Easy drive to Hoodsport; stopped by snow before lower trailhead in the morning - it was passable to trailhead parking lot when we came back. A "bunch" of people on this one today (only 5 of us)! Weather was fine; snow was fine; glissade was Some pics to tantalize you before the full meal deal!
How tacky, mis-matched poles.
Abandoned, mismatched poles - tacky
Snow stops us here
Only car in the lower trailhead parking lot - snow too deep to go any farther towards upper trailhead
Heading up the trail off of the road at the lower trailhead parking lot
This way to the summit - through the trees
Bob not sharing with this starving animal
Junction in the forest
Junction for final ascent
Wide shoot of chute
Zoom of folks heading up the chute
"Partly Cloudy" day
Knee may not be 100% - but pointing thing still works!
The "train" heading up the chute
Opus and Jim slogging up the slope
Gus following K up the chute
Mt. Rainier in the distance
Hood Canal and Lake Cushman
Old goat with winter coat watching the parade
Bob at first landing
Heading up to second landing
Bob with Mt. Washington behind
Pointless dudes - Jim needs to instruct
Kolleen and Gusto waiting on summit for us
Jim coming up final stretch
Cool clouds above Lake Cushman
Cool dude on summit
Cool Dudette with dogette on summit
Mt. Olympus in the distance
A few of our closest "friends" on the summit!
David towering on summit rock
Even when he doesn't try, Jim can't help pointing - here he's pointing at a cloud above.
What the heck was up with the forecast? I'm not complaining though! A great trip! Since it's already started, and I'm sure a few more of the many people we encountered are NWHikers or lurkers, let's keep this a free form trip report. Just some basic condition info:
We were able to drive a little less than a mile from the lower trailhead before getting stopped by some snow on a curve. A jacked up truck pushed through but got very close to sliding down the gully getting out. Beyond that it was dirt to the trailhead and solid snow beyond on the road. Surprisingly we found a Volvo wagon here! Nice driving whoever you are. The trail was snow free for a few miles, until near the sign for the upper trailhead, and then about 2-3 ft deep snow in the forest with another break before the ridge climb to the base of the chute. At no time during the day did we need snowshoes! The chute was a little soft but great for step kicking. Of course with the hordes ahead of us they did all the work. Based on my GPS the chute is about 1100 ft. We pushed on, passing several groups, and arrived at the summit with about six others up there.
After lounging a bit we beat a retreat before the rest arrived or started their glissades. I played around with some video of the three main glissades. At first I attached the camera to my shoulder strap using my Gorillapod, with not so great results. Oh, and some glissader error. Wrapping the Gorillapod around the head of my ax worked much better and I was able to shoot the whole way down the glissade! What a ride, snow was a little soft but fantastic sliding all the way down!
Sliding down Mt. Ellinor!
Back on the road the snow had receded some and several 4x4s were in the lower trailhead lot. Enough people had blasted through that patch of snow that I'd say any vehicle with decent clearance should make it to the lower lot. Beyond that it's still solid snow though. I dont know my Olympics peaks too well, so somebody go ahead and label these.
Click here for full trip photos.
Excellent trip & photos!
Love to see the lake and Puget Sound as well as the surrounding peaks.
I think the weather forecast screwed up a lot of folks today (myself included).
What's the elevation from lower TH to summit?
We figure 3600' from the car (about a mile below the lower TH) to the summit of Ellinor. The chute was great - 1100' straight up - but very direct!
Why the name first and second landing? The chute looks great to descend. Great shot of Lake Cushman. What is the rock type at the summit?
First and second landing only as an indication that you're not there until you get to the "third" landing - they weren't really false summits - more like a ledge/landing (plus, you get to glissade THREE times coming down from the summit - so there are three landings!) . As far as the rock on the summit - hmmm I'm no geologist, I would venture basalt - but that's a guess. The views are fabulous from the summit - and far better than we expected to get yesterday, that's for sure.
Our two-night backpacking trip got nixed due to weather - but that's ok, we had a blast! s.d.
That video was hilarious. My husband, son and I just sat here tapping our toes and laughing hysterically for the past 5 minutes - great music! I especially like the 'Hi!" as you passed someone on your way down. Looks like a GREAT time!!!
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