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Mt Ellinor '07,  Olympic National Park,  May 7, 2007     page 1 / 15

It's springtime. The weather is warming. The flowers are blooming. The skies are clearing. And I've been itching to get into the hills again. I wanted to do something new, so I studied the books and maps. I planned to climb Mt. Washington. I had viewed it many times before from atop Mt. Ellinor, immediately the south. But my book warned of avalanche problems during winter and early spring.

I packed my gear, being sure to grab my binoculars to check out the route up Mt. Washington from a few points along my drive to the trailhead. As I neared the hill, I was able to pick out a couple of small snow slides up high, just above the route I would take. Though the slides appeared small, I decided to wait a month for the climb, when conditions were more stable. Instead, I headed up my old standby, Mt. Ellinor.

I began from the lower trailhead, as I had during my 2005 ascent. The day was cool, with some widely scattered clouds in the deep blue sky. I hit snow around 3500 feet. By 4000 feet I was on solid snow. Or perhaps I should say sloppy snow. The day was warming up and the snow was quite soft.

Snow was present everywhere above 4000 feet