We hiked Mt. Ellinor for our BOEALPS BCC Overnight Outing. Our objective for the overnight was to summit Ellinor and nearby (more technical) A peak on the first day, then make the traverse and summit Mt. Washington on the second day.
At 6:30am, we met at Hoodsport ranger station. At 7am, we drove together up NF-2419, hoping to make it to either the Lower or Upper Mt. Ellinor trailheads. Unfortunately, the road was snowed out at 2200', just before the North Branch creek crossing. We pulled over and parked on the side of the road, and began hiking up the road at about 7:30am. We considered cutting off a switchback in the road by bushwhacking, but decided we would make better progress following the road.
At 8am, we reached the Lower Mt. Ellinor trailhead just past 2600' (47.506714,-123.231802). We followed the trail (which was only partially snow-covered) until it departed from the ridge at about 3600'. At this point it was too snow-covered to distinguish. From then on, we headed just east of due north, continuing to work our way uphill. At about 4600' we hit a steep gully, which we followed up to a flat saddle just below 5600'.
At about 1pm, we set up camp in the middle of the saddle. It was snowing and fairly windy, so we decided to forgo the technical summit attempt on nearby A peak and decided to just try to tag Mt. Ellinor. At 3pm, we left camp to make our summit attempt on Ellinor. Normally the climb to the summit is just a "walk up," not requiring any technical gear. However, when we reached a second saddle just below the summit, we encountered very icy snow and a dangerous runout. We decided to return to camp to rope up. On our second summit push, we reached the same saddle and were met with 50mph winds. We turned back and turned in for the night.
We woke up at 5:30am the next day to much calmer weather. At about 6:30am, we hiked east for a summit attempt on A peak. Two climbers led the low class 5 climb up A peak and set up a belay anchor. Over four hours, we took turns climbing (while belayed from above), tagging the summit (too foggy for a view), and being lowered on belay.
Our camp just after dawn
We returned to camp and roped up for a third (successful) summit attempt on Ellinor. It cleared up enough for us to briefly get a view of nearby Mt. Washington.
A view of our camp in the saddle coming down from Ellinor, with A peak just barely visible in the background.
We packed up camp and began our descent around 2pm. We glissaded 1000' down the gully, then followed our route back to the trail and back to our cars. We reached our cars at about 5pm.
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