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Author Topic: June 22 Mt. Ellinor ONP  (Read 1993 times)
Snow Bell
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June 22 Mt. Ellinor ONP
« on: 06/23/08, 02:03 PM »

Preface:

I have been having a hard time getting my long time ski buddy and extreme ski extraordinaire, Jeff up the hill this season.  A recovering ski junkie of many years, Jeff has had his mind focused on the great capitalist persuit this year.  I usually solicit a ski trip once or twice a week to him and have managed get him on a mountain all of three time this season.  I was pleased when he responded to my most recent inquiry and that he was available to ski Sunday if not a little worried that his birthday party was Saturday night.  Jeff called back later to tell me that he was hosting friends from out of town and that it would be rude of him to disappear Sunday.  Despite not wanting to see another one of my friends fall to the binds of capitalism, I simply suggested that we leave the party once things began to die down and ski something nearby.  I explained that we would be back for brunch and no-one would feel left out.  He replied O.K. which is probably why we have been friends for 25 years and ski buddies for most of that time.

The party was an all day event at Jeff's place on Mason Lake with lots of friends and neighbors.  The band set up a bit late (10?) but the D.J. kept the people happy.  Jeff and I paced ourselves well enough switching to coffee nudges just after 2.  The band dispursed, people grew weary and began to leave.  By 3 we bid farewell to the core bunch around the campfire and headed to the hills.


The part that you may care about:

The road up to Ellinor has melted out tremendously in the couple of weeks since I was last up there.  The washout just beyond the "middle trailhead" is pretty sketch.  The lane is about halved (with a fall worthy of notice) as it crosses Big Creek and requires attentive maneuvering.  We made it past in Jeff's Taurus but any less clearance wold have prohibited our progress. FS has it marked with a cone.  One more road hazard and we were stopped by snow within 2-300vf of the upper TH.

We left the car in sneakers at 4:20 reaching the bottom of the chute (4,500') at 5 .  We deposited shoes and skins and began the climb in frozen snow.  We topped the chute in 45 minutes and made our way to the summit at 6:30.  The skies hid the sunrise and offered only occasional views but the temps were comfortable and the winds mild.  We had the mountain to ourselves and made espresso and ate chocolate while we waited for the snow to soften some.  Once we were sufficiently impatient we set our sites on the North Col.  Surprisingly, the top 200' have melted out completely requiring a downclimb.  Below the climb (5,700) deep continuous snow beckons all the way down to Lake Ellinor (4,000').  We skied down to where the slope mellows and booted back up in firm snow.  Upon reaching the top of the N. Col we saw the first climbers of the day (apparently a Mazama's group).  We explained that skiing is better than glissading and dropped a tight south chute which is my favorite line on the hill.  The snow was still a bit too firm but Jeff is a great skier and he sports the heaviest BC gear I've ever seen (Seth Pro's/Naxos/race boots: he describes it as the "HUMVEE" of ski set-ups) so he ripped it right on down.  We had dropped below my intended route so we poked among the cliffs and through the trees to just below our shoe drop.  We recovered our gear and skied to the end of the snow (4,200').  Shoes on.  Walk to car.  Back to the lake at 11 for brunch.

Post script:

I crossed the lake to my folks place to catch up on some parenting with the plan to do some waterskiing in an hour or so.  I was gonna feed the seeds and put them down for a nap and then head out in the boat.  Feeding them went fine but while I was laying down with my daughter for her nap, well... a few hours later I awoke realizing that I am not as young as I was just recently.  Funny how quickly that happens.
« Last Edit: 06/23/08, 04:28 PM by Snow Bell » Logged

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skierlyles
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Re: June 22 Mt. Ellinor ONP
« Reply #1 on: 06/23/08, 06:56 PM »

very nice old man! Good that you managed to get him out on his b-day of all days... I wonder if promises of a cuddle sealed the deal?

Sounds like an awesome day, and glad Ellinor is still in good shape. I would not mind hitting her up one of these days.

Chris
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Stugie
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Re: June 22 Mt. Ellinor ONP
« Reply #2 on: 06/23/08, 07:07 PM »

Nice work!  Good report on conditions, thanks for the road warning.  I'm not as familiar with ONP, and my memory is bad, but I take it one would be able to access Wagon Wheel trail easily then, or am I thinking of coming through in the completely wrong area? Huh?
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Joedabaker
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Re: June 22 Mt. Ellinor ONP
« Reply #3 on: 06/23/08, 07:21 PM »

Good job Joe,
That sounded like a lot of fun.
It is interesting that you, "Left the car in sneakers"
They must have been some big sneakers  Cheesy
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Scotsman
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Re: June 22 Mt. Ellinor ONP
« Reply #4 on: 06/23/08, 09:07 PM »

Preface:
 and made espresso and ate chocolate while we waited for the snow to soften some. 
Grin Grin Grin

HAAAA HAAAAA, did you read the paper as well? Funny stuff man. Glad you got some and I know how much you love that area.
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telemack
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Re: June 22 Mt. Ellinor ONP
« Reply #5 on: 06/23/08, 10:53 PM »

Sorry Snow, I slept in.   Smiley
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alpentalcorey
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Re: June 22 Mt. Ellinor ONP
« Reply #6 on: 06/24/08, 04:29 AM »

Ah, finally put 2 & 2 together.

Tell Jeff that Corey from Alpental says hi & Happy Birthday!

Did he toss any 50 footers on the trip?  Just kidding of course and in fact the last time (or one of the last times) I saw Jeff he was talking about focusing on enjoying the more moderate aspects of skiing like good pow turns, nice days with friends etc...

Anyways nice TR.  It seems like there has been an explosion of reports from the Olympics this year.  It's great.
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Snow Bell
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Re: June 22 Mt. Ellinor ONP
« Reply #7 on: 06/24/08, 11:54 AM »

I'm not as familiar with ONP, and my memory is bad, but I take it one would be able to access Wagon Wheel trail easily then, or am I thinking of coming through in the completely wrong area? Huh?

You got it Stugie.  Wagon Wheel trail is out of Staircase which is close by.  There may be snow up at Wagonwheel Lake but the trail should be mostly bare by now.  This area has been unreachable for some time but is slated to open soon.

They must have been some big sneakers Cheesy

Thanks Joe.
I believe that the Taurus is considered midsize.  Wink


Tell Jeff that Corey from Alpental says hi & Happy Birthday!

Did he toss any 50 footers on the trip? Just kidding of course and in fact the last time (or one of the last times) I saw Jeff he was talking about focusing on enjoying the more moderate aspects of skiing like good pow turns, nice days with friends etc...

I will Corey.  I know that he enjoys your company and has missed skiing with you and Brad (congrats on the sponsorship) and other alpentolics this season.  I think that this is the first season in 10 that he didn't hold a pass.

No big drops lately.  The tone has changed some for both of us this season.  It seems that the risk-reward equation has produced a more conservative "sweet spot" in recent years.  This, however does not excuse his absence.  I would like to see him post here as I am sure that it would provide additional inspiration for him to ski but I am afraid that you are more likely to find him on Earns-All-Year for the time being.
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