Saturday, October 5, 2013

First Snow and First Summit of the Winter Season

Last week I climbed Mount Ellinor in Olympic National Forest.  It was forecast to be partly cloudy, and  for the hike up the sun was shining between the low clouds.  

The snow level was at about 4500 feet, and a couple hundred feet below the summit, I popped up above the clouds.  

Mount Rainier was peeking up across the Puget Sound.  You could see Mount Baker and Mount St Helens in the distance as well.  

Rounding the pass, Ellinor's sister summit, Mount Washington came into view.  The view was stunning, and fortunately, I was the first and only one up that morning.  I may have looked like The Most Interesting Man in the World, decked out in crampons, gaiters, and ice axe, but when I involuntarily said out loud, "HOLY. . ." filtered out a number of expletives, and ended up with ". . . WOWZERS!" I  probably sounded like the Most Nerdy Man in the World.  Certainly the nerdiest above a mile high.

Sadly, though I had time to snap some pictures on the final few feet to the top, by the time I set up my camera on a tripod for some "selfies" and panoramic shots of the Olympic Range, a massive cloud bank rolled in and left me with just a few feet of visibility for the rest of the afternoon.  

It was a fairly close and quick hike, so I'm sure I'll have another opportunity to to try again for some better pictures and maybe an attempt on neighboring Mount Washington.

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