Beautiful day, fun climb, great workout! The route info was really helpful, thanks!
This route is perfect if you A) love spider webs in your face, B) hate switchbacks, and C) enjoy class 3-5 scrambling and an amazing summit panorama! This was a really great scramble and the "trail" doesn't mess around. This is certainly not a mountain or route that is suitable for your garden variety hiker. I had done Washington about 5 years back, but via the Ellinor - Washington ridge system. I must say I prefer this route. 2 1/2 hours up 1/2 hour on the summit, and 1 1/2 hours down. Great day. Couldn't have had better weather!
Originally got out of Tacoma VERY late and figured would just drive out and tag Ellinor. Got to the FR24/2914 and saw the sign saying Ellinor was closed due to aggressive mountain goats as of 3 July. That made the decision to do Washington for me. Had read enough beta about Washington to know the general route. Departed the trailhead at 1300 and headed up. Routefinding was ok...but got turned around in a few places. Ended up backtracking to cross the creek and move left around the deep cut and rock. Got to the upper snowfield at the top of that left bypass. Followed existing boot pack up the snowfield as best I could (another slight route finding issue). Moved across the shelf to the ridgeline and then to the right around the summit block. Got to the summit at 1600. Three hours to the top...under the four hours in Olympic Climbing Guide. Lots of sun and views across the Olympics and out to the Sound but the Cascades were socked in. Signed the log, departed the summit at 1630. Moved off the summit and descended a lot quicker than expected. Got back to the trailhead at 1800. An hour and a half down...did not expect that with all the scrambling on the ascent. Great afternoon out though, glad I picked the Olympics over the Cascades.
Patchy snow begins at the first basin around 4500'. The gully has a stream running underneath a weak snow pack, caution is needed not to fall through. path is easy to follow all the way to the second basin at around 5000' where continuous snow begins, the moats around all the rocks are enormous and complicate the routes a bit. We took the left chute up to the headwall, then skirted underneath it to the right and did a short 4th/5th class freeclimb up to the upper ledges on the main route. the ledges that lead up to the ridge are still partially snowcovered, which make them quite dangerous, we stayed on the rock wall on the left as much as possible and then dropped down to the snow pack and climbed directly up to the ridge and climbed directly up the southwest face of the summit block. on the descent we took a more direct down and downclimbed some rotton rock and jumped a giant moat to a snowpack into a glissade and rode it back down to the gully :P Good climb.
Fellow SPer "Gimpilator" and I first summited Mount Ellinor in the morning, taking in the views and seeing at least 15 mountain goats, but then wondered about also summiting neighboring peak Mount Washington via the ridgeline traverse between them. The traverse looked a little too dicey without snowpack covering the entire ridgeline, so we went all the way down to the trailhead and ascended Mount Washington from its Standard South Route trailhead. 5700' elevation gain in one day was great. The Standard South Route was gnarly in many places, and really tested all types of our scrambling abilities. This is definitely NOT a mountain (let alone a route) for amateurs. It only took us 3h15m from trailhead to summit and then only 2h50m from summit to trailhead, less than what we anticipated or were told it would take (but of course we were each in decent physical condition). This is one of my all-time favorite hikes, and a day I will not soon forget.