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David_Parker

[TR] Mt. Ellinor - "Scottish" Gulley 12/16/2013

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Trip: Mt. Ellinor - "Scottish" Gulley

 

Date: 12/16/2013

 

Trip Report:

My son Jordan came home from college In Utah. He said he wanted to do a climb with me. Monday was the best forecast so we headed to Mt. Ellinor even though I've climbed it 5 or 6 times. It was foggy, but I felt confident we could get above the cloud deck. It was fairly warm too. We arrived at the parking lot and no other cars. Headed up the trail and soon came to the choice of summer route or gulley. Jordan said gulley so we went right. I expected more snow. We weaved around rocks to keep our feet in the snow. The rocks were coated in verglass.

 

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The gulley narrowed and became ice so we put on our crampons and pulled out our ice axes. This was Jordan's first time ever wearing spikes. We continued up and broke above the cloud deck into brilliant sunshine!

 

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Soon we came to a fun little ice patch flowing in from the side. This was a good opportunity to show Jordan some front pointing with 2 tools. I climbed it first then came down to coach him up.

 

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Further up we decided to make the climb more sporty so we traversed left across to some other less traveled gulleys. We chose the one on the left because it looked steeper.

 

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Here's a photo of Jordan looking down about 1/3 up.

 

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We gained the ridge and got a nice view of Rainier, St. Helens and Adams poking above the cloud deck.

 

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Another broad section looked like it might have another gulley at the top...

 

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...which it did and ended with a few moves on rock.

 

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Then it was the final slopes to the summit.

 

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The views of the interior of the Olympics were fabulous! We then headed down, chasing the cloud deck as it broke up and it was sunny in the parking lot.

 

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By far the most fun I've had on Mt. Ellinor, climbing with my son and making a routine hike fairly sporty and "alpine"!

 

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Ice axe, crampons, x-mas tree

 

Approach Notes:

summer trail was slick on the way down. Not enough snow to glissade.

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