Well it was 2 1/2 years in the making, 80+ Cascades and 3 successful volcano summits later, but finally I got an Olympic Mountain. Granted it was an easy one but I have finally crossed that line.
Mount Ellinor was a beautiful start to hopefully much more exploring in this region. The short story here is that the trail is in good shape, the mountain goats are out, the views are excellent, and that the peak is crowded.
Here is the long story. On this trip I decide to go with Marek (who is going with me to Rainier) and his friend Michele up to Mount Ellinor. We got a later start and didn't hit the trailhead until 1:30 PM. Yes it was very hot but being that it was Ellinor, wish is considered not an extremely difficult mountain and that we were loaded with our ten essentials we knew we were going to be fine.
Because Michele was relatively knew to hiking we decided to let her lead and set a comfortable pace for herself. We went at a steady pace for a but through the woods, but once the trail started to get steep Michele was getting tired and wasn't feeling up for this one. So at the first lookout she did the smart thing and listened to her body and decided to call it there and take it easy. We made sure she was loaded for supplies and made her aware that it was going to be an hour and a half before we were going to see her. Her day on this summit will be coming in September.
As for Marek and I we pressed on to the summit of Ellinor. We passed by a number of hikers on the way. We also ran into a mountain goat family at about 4800 feet. I was in shock how tame mountain goat are around Ellinor. They seem wilder at a zoo. They also pretty much come right up to you. At the top we ran into the a fairly typically weekend crowd on the mountain. The was at steeper pitch but we did well on this mountain and made it to the summit just before 3:00. As anyone will tell you, the views here are more than worth the minimal effort you need to get to this summit. Washington was looking mighty tempting, but we had to head on back.
I tried to fool Marek into thinking that Mount Washington was Mount Ellinor but he didn't buy it. Maybe it was the crowd on the summit who kind of gave it away. After about a half hour of ego poses, hero poses and just enjoying the views, it was time to head down.
It was a typical steeper trail pitch down. You couldn't go super fast or you would have any knees left. Still we made it down in a reasonable time to run into Michele where she was taking pictures of a mountain goat family.
It was a blessing for one that she was there, because she ran into one woman who was going up trying to catch up to her party above. Her party above had taken all her gear in order to help her out. Unfortunately for her they also took her water bottles. By the time the woman reached Michele she became dehydrated. With the heat bearing down on her and fatigue starting to set in, she was becoming weak. Michele saw her and immediately took of the woman by giving her water and Gatorade and some nutrients. Michele then advise the woman to head back down when she was feeling better. The woman who had keys to the car turned around and then headed down.
Once we all reached the bottom the woman came over to thank Michele. it was clear that the woman was much better now and was very happy for Michele looking out her and very lucky that she wasn't' in more trouble. She than took our picture in the parking area and then we all travelled on back.
Well another monkey has been taken off my back. Watch for a possible Olympic Mountain explosion nest year. Next up, Big Tahoma. I was going to help my friends up Big Tahoma this weekend but my schedule was changed at work due to a call out. :mad: :mad: :mad: It probably was for the better but I really wanted to see Camp Sherman and help my friends. :bawl: Next year to that, next week for my first attempt up Bug Tahoma.