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| |-+  May 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  May 7, Mt. Ellinor Dusk Patrol
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Author Topic: May 7, Mt. Ellinor Dusk Patrol  (Read 5290 times)

Posts: 60

May 7, Mt. Ellinor Dusk Patrol
« on: 05/08/14, 02:14 PM »

The TRs from the midweek high pressure last week really caught the attention of us 9-5ers. Throw 2+ inches of weekend rain on top of that, and we were itching to get out.

Weak high pressure on Weds was all the reason we needed. Off of work at 3, and arrived at the upper TH by 5:30. Glassing the upper SE facing bowl (lookers left of the winter route) showed that most of the slope had slid in a combination of point releases and wet/storm slab. Most bed layers were about 1ft deep but it appeared to step down a few feet deeper in places. There must have been a lot of wet heavy snow falling Saturday.

The road is snow free, and same goes for the trail to 4200 feet. 15 minutes of skinning brought us to the base of the winter climbing chute. A good portion of the chute was filled with wet slide debris. Lots of snow had run through and tested any deeper instabilities.  The chute had been in the shade for some time and things were startling to firm up, so we felt safe proceeding.

Booting up the chute was a bit slow- the refreezing mank was a little unsupportive at times but overall not bad. Hit the summit around 7:30, in time to watch the sun fade into the incoming clouds as they engulfed Mt. Olympus. Really wanted to ski the NW chute, but will have to save it for another day when more daylight and better ski conditions prevail.

Speaking of ski conditions, well, mostly breakable crust sums it up well. Funny how you never see pro skiers shredding refreezing mank in the movies. Semi-supportive crust on the steep pitches helped, although if you weren't careful the snow snakes would grab your tails. Rad Glen Plake-style jump turns helped mitigate such things.

In summary, Ellinor is a sweet little peak to bag. There is still a lot of unconsolidated snow available to slide, so I would avoid climbing and skiing during peak solar intensity. Also, skiing breakable crust is still better than booting downhill.

Posts: 20

Re: May 7, Mt. Ellinor Dusk Patrol
« Reply #1 on: 05/08/14, 09:38 PM »

Some pics from the evening. Also fun to finish off the night with some trailhead barbecuing!

* Debris.JPG (143.05 KB, 600x800 - viewed 492 times.)

* MtWA.jpg (158.86 KB, 800x600 - viewed 513 times.)
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