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wind_river51

Mt. Ellinor to Mt. Washington Traverse??

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man- i was up on ellinor today and decided to try for wsahington i had heard of people traversing it, but i hiked down a ways towards the shoot through the big boulderfield and up again across the scree to that big huge square rock and there were like 200 foot cliffs in each direction except the way i came. How do you traverse this and do you need ropes? im guessing you have to downclimb quite a long ways.

 

are there any routes up washington from jefferson pass or something that dont require protection and dont have any sketchy exposure. ?

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by the way- i ws wondering if anyone who has done washington before with me would partner up to do it in the next week or so. im 20 and i dont have a lot of experience but i am really fit and have a lot of common sense. im not too comfortable with exposure. anyhow if anyone wants a partner to go up mt washington. or other routes ( south brother) post it here

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From your post I are you saying you have not climbed Washington before and have Q's. Me stupid and had 4brs. But if not-go for it it is a great mountain. If you don't like exposure and sketch you will be fine on route 1. It is really pretty simple just be sure and find the climbers trail and you should have no problem. BRING A CAMERA! There is a better rout via the Jefferson Pass Trail that is also pretty easy, but has some exposure. It is not really listed in the climbers guide. Take the trail to it's end. Scramble up dirt to ridge. Climb ridge until it ends and then climb left into basin and climb up scree crap slope to a 3rd class scramble thing to the summit.

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Poncho,

You may be talking about the doiagonal ramp up the face from that large bowl on the southeast flank of Mt. Washington. It is indeed a great route, one that involves some exposure but is otherwise suitable for beginners. You pass through two bolws full of rubble and the ramp itself is somewhat "dirty" at this time of year, but is still an exellent route with a very scenic approach to an exciting finish. To get to that SE bowl, I've been both ways and I think it is preferable to take a slightly more direct start near the waterfall 200 or 300 yards short of the trailhead.

 

here's a description

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Wind,

I think that big huge square rock you describe may be "A Peak" or whatever it is, a satellite peak on the NE side of Mount Ellinor. If you hike down toward "Peak A," east from Ellinor, there is a steep chute that drops to the back side into Jefferson Creek. I believe it heads down and left before you drop into that bowl with the boulders that is a few hundred feet down from the summit. Anyway, once down in that basins at the headwaters of Jefferson Creek, you can traverse accross the bowl and climb over an intervening ridge to reach a gully going back up to the ridgecrest just short of the summit of Washington.

 

At the Mount Washington summit block, you should skirt around right and then you can either climb up a steep gully toward the summit, or continue on a ledge system that has some exposure to it and then scramble back south along the final ridge to the summit.

 

You should not have too much problem following the normal route down from the summit of Washington. Just follow the summit ridge south, back down below where you joined it, and the point where the route departs down and left on some scree-covered ramps is obvious. Follow this ramp system down and right, looking for a way to get to a heathery bench area below (there are a couple possible ways to get down to it). From this flat bench area due south of the Summit of Mount Washington, look for a southeasterly ridge with some towers on it, and find the trail heading down just to the right of the top of that ridge. You're on your way.

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I dunno, but it seems a little late season for the Elin-Wa traverse where I believe the snow on the ridge is helpful. Probably not much left now. I'd go with the climb of Washington and learn the descent so when you do the traverse you know how to get down, especially if weather moves in. Go here to see a photo from this spring from top of Elinor with the ridge going to Wash in background (including weather clouds).

 

http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/threadz/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=UBB6&Number=188270&page=2&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1

Edited by David_Parker

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I'd agree that they're more enjoyable when the rubble is covered by snow, Dave, but lack of snow is no reason not to go. It's beautiful in that bowl behind Washington and Ellinor and at this time of the year you could even find a nice picnic site on some heathery benches with a little lake and lots of wildflowers. It might be nice to wear gators to keep the scree out of your boots, or maybe to wrap your cuffs with tape to accomplish the same, though.

 

 

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A Peak. yeah, Mattp, if we are talking about the same thing it was the only possible way down that i could see, i hiked all along the little ridge that heads east off of ellinor, and towards the very end there was a little maybe 8 foot wide staircase going down trhrough the rocks, im not sure if it goes all the way and i doubt it but it may, id have to look up from the bottom. its right against the western wall of that big rock. i think its probably a goat path but something had been using it, i wasnt sure about it at all so i went back, but i would have to think you have to downclimb a long ways to get around that big rock and the cliffs around it to get into the huge scree field and travers over and up to mt wa. anyone know where i can get a route map for route 1a or anything?

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That gully you describe, Wind, may well be the one I am thinking of. And, yes, you do climb down several hundred feet. There are possible traverse routes that stay closer to the crest, but you said you didn't like exposure all that much and these involve rock scrabling or even outright rock climbing and rappels and sketchy anchors and such.

 

I have been accross the basin between Washington and Ellinor in late season like this, and that gully (like the one at the other end) was a dirty mess if I recall correctly, but otherwise just fine. I think the gully at the Washington end is a little steeper, or maybe it is the place where you cross an intervening ridge, and I remember some dirt over rock that kind of sucked for perhaps 30 feet. You said you have plenty of common sense, so I figure you'd be cautious enough to turn around and go back where you came from if you ran into something you didn't like.

 

The old guidebook may be out of print, but you can look at it in the Mountaineer's library if you live in Seattle. I think I have a copy of it, so maybe I can send you a xerox.

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Wind, here's my suggestion: the traverse is better earlier in season when snow makes for better travel. There are some dirty, sloping ledges that demand descretion. The traverse has seen one fatality this year and you might want to do a little recon before striking off alone. From what you write, a some experience and a partner might help.

 

As for Washington, 1a is very obvious this time of year and a trail exists all the way to the summit. Jeff ridge has some exposure, either via the ramp mattp describes or the better class 3-4 rock up the NE ridge. Not sure of the route poncho describes, but there are options once you exit jeff ridge and drop into the basin (bowl).

 

If I were you, I'd hit the main trailhead and take it to the top. You'll get the lay of the land and the more direct gullies you can take when snow allows. Once you hit the upper ridge, where you get your first western view (his throat), scramble down and toward Ellinor to scout the backside traverse. The summit block is only a short ridge walk from here; take the obvious legde around the east side and scramble to the top.

 

I've done this traverse a few times and agree with David Parker that it's more enjoyable earlier in season. If you really want to see the area west of Ellinor-Washington, go climb Pershing. That's a beauty.

 

Good luck.

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Wind, don't listen to David and Ned. Sure, they're right that the prudent thing to do would be to scope out the descent from Washington before you try a traverse, and all of us agree that travel in the Olmpics is more pleasant when the scree is covered with snow, but if you want to try the traverse, go for it! Its beautiful up there, and by next Spring you'll be interested in something else.

 

I don't think there is anything death-defying about descending into Jefferson Creek and climbing back out and, as Ned points out, there is a trail all the way down the standard route that will get you back to the road.

 

In case you want to be more prudent, here's the guidebook for "route 1-A" on Washington (note, however, that it is incorrect in so far as the "route" actually starts out going up and left around a subsidiary ridge that appears prominent in the drawing as pyramidal feature above the notation "1A"):

 

Washingotns.jpg

 

This file should print better, though you may need to download it and then reopen it in something like photoshop or paint to get it to size properly. The file is 700k and will download slowly: temporary file

 

 

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hell yeah thanks man thats so cool of you to do. im going to hit it up in the next couple days before work, im going to be superrrrrrrr careful cause i have a feeling. i let you guys know- thanks again.

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Wind, Mattp's pics are right out of the Climbers Guide to the Olympics. You can get it at any decent mountain shop. Go buy it.

 

I'll be doing Pershing on Saturday from the Lake Ellinor cirque. Wear something bright so I can spot you across the valley. smirk.gif

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Hey wind man don't worry about your "feeling" as long as you have good judgement you will have an easy trip.

By the way where is the summit register that used to be up there? Did some long hair hippie-crite steel it and pretend it was a deed to the enviroment of the summit rocks of MT. Washington to take it. Well it wasn't -GIVE IT BACK!!!!!!!

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