After a long dry spell in the dead of winter, you can get close to Bull Peak, then you'll have to walk up the road. The easiest way is to road-walk all the way to the Pass, then ridge-walk north; but it's a long walk. Going through Sawmill Basin will likely have lots of deep powder snow, but it's a shorter climb...Going up on a south-facing slope will give you less snow and harder snow. Most of the time you can get close enough to Mt. Ellen to do it on a one-day climb. You'll probably never need an ice ax or crampons.
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