Sunday, April 27, 2008

Schooled on Ellinor

Brandon accepts defeat high above Lake Cushman and the Hood Canal

It was somewhere between the three-mile trudge on the snow-covered logging road and the waist-deep powder on the 35 degree slopes that the thought entered my head. What am I doing here? I'm sure that's what Bri and the people I've told this story were wondering as well. The answer is simple: I was snowbound in sub-freezing temperatures 5,000 feet up on Mount Ellinor on a Thursday afternoon because any day on a mountain beats any day at the lab. It was also a chance to climb with my brother's father-in-law Dave and his climbing buddy Matt, who are taking us up Mount Hood this summer.

A peak at Mount Washington from the logging road

Anyway, we didn't make it to the top. The afore mentioned waist-deep powder on the 35 degree slope slowed our pace to body-lengths per minute as we attempted to wade/swim uphill. We had been hoping for conditions like Mount Persis two weeks ago. No such luck. It was still beautiful and a good time. (In case you're wonering this was #15 on my mountains-to-climb list)

Brandon leads the way up the chute. Mid-shin deep snow, no problem.

My turn in the lead, this is about mid-thigh-deep powder. The faint trees directly above me is our goal.

Dave test snow conditions. Waist-deep? Yep.

Matt makes his way up the chute. Note the snow falling in the background.

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