Mt. Ellinor - April 1, 2021
Always talking about skiing in the Olympics but never actually doing it, my partner, Abbey, and I noticed some nice sunny weather in the forecast and thought we'd give Ellinor a try. The Hood Canal area was reporting sunshine and temps in the low 60s, so we drove over Wednesday afternoon and spent the night on the road leading up to the trailhead.
Snow still covers the road maybe a mile before the lower TH, so we parked/started skinning from there around 8:30am. It was a very pleasant day with mild temps and low winds. The tour through the old growth is quite enjoyable, and eventually puts you at the base of the Ellinor chute where you start having some beautiful views of Lake Cushman and the surrounding area.
Booting up the chute was straightforward--there was a good amount of mostly hardened loose wet debris (likely from the day before) throughout it, although you would posthole every once in a while. We did not observe any active loose wet activity throughout the day, we judged everything to be from the day or two prior. Once at the top of the chute we walked over to the summit and shared the views with one other party who we chatted with for a bit. They seemed to know the mountain well, and kindly offered knowledge on a variety of descent options. We opted to ski down the upper bowl, which I believe trends more where the summer trail follows, and enjoyed smooth corn skiing up high. We were glad we chose this rather than skiing back down the chute over all the semi-hardened debris.
Once back in the forest the snow was turning to mush, so we picked our way through the trees and eventually made it to the road where we slid all the way back to the car.
Times for reference:
-10:30 base of chute
-11:30 top of chute
-1:45 back at car
Hope this report helps!
-Reid (Long time reader, first time poster)