Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mount Ellinore-Olympic Nat'l Forest (5/13/06)

Today was a spectacularly beautiful day. To enjoy the undeniably awsesome views achievable ONLY from Mount Ellinore, I teamed up with hikers from the Peninsula Wilderness Club to climb Mt Ellinore (5944 ft) in the Olympic National Forest.

Most of us had summitted Mount Ellinore many times. Today I, as well as others, were climbing as conditioning for future, more rigorous mountaineering events. Even so, Mount Ellinore never dissappoints those lucky enough to summit on a clear, cool day.

As we huddled on the mountain's summit, one of the crew held a short birthday ceremony, complete with chocolate covered, candle laden cupcakes. After lunch, it was a long, fast glissade from the summit down the chute. An hour's worth of climbing took little more than three minutes to descend.

The pictures below start with a view of the summit route. This is followed by views of the chute leading to the summit, views of and from the summit, and a picture of possibly the world's most scenic birthday celebration.

Note: Click picture for LARGER view.

Mt Ellinore (Center Left) Posted by Picasa

Climbing "The Chute"  Posted by Picasa

Hood Canal (Left) & Lake Cushman (Right) Posted by Picasa

Climbing To The Summit Posted by Picasa

Summit View of Olympic Mtns Posted by Picasa

Olympic Mtns Posted by Picasa

Mount Washington Posted by Picasa

Hood Canal Posted by Picasa

Paul on Summit Posted by Picasa

Birthday Party Celebration Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Reflection Lakes 5/6/2006

Attempting to squeeze some adventure out of a not-too-promising weekend weather forecast, today I joined four Peninsula Wilderness Club skiers for a short trek through the snow field above Louise Lake and Reflection Lakes.

I did experience a fine, albeit brief glissade down the snowy bowl.

Afterwards we all enjoyed soaking in a hottub at the Wellspring Spa near Ashford, in the shadow of Mount Rainier . This was followed by a tasty Mexican dinner at a local restaurant, putting a nice touch on a rather pleasant day (and beating the rain by minutes).

The pictures below show the waterfalls near the trailhead and a view of Louise Lake from the snowfield up above.

Note on picture size: Click on picture for LARGER view.

Falls Posted by Picasa

Falls Posted by Picasa

Louise Lake Posted by Picasa

Cross Country Lunch Break Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mount Angeles - 5/4/2006

The weatherman was right! Today was a beautiful day for climbing rock and snow in the Olympics. RJ and I saw this as our God given duty to climb to the Mount Angeles summit (6454 feet) under such spectacular conditions.

With no one else in sight for most of the day, we climbed up a steep snow field to gain the ridge. Scrambling over large rocks and boulders littering the ridge, we arrived at the foot of a vertical rocky arete and commenced climbing until we reached the summit.

I have few words to add, the pictures below tell the story. This was very possibly the finest day for a scramble in the Olympics ever conceived.

The pictures below show the ridge, the arete, and several scenic views from the summit.

Note on picture size: Click on picture for LARGER view.

Ridge Leading To Mount Angeles Posted by Picasa

Rocky Arete - The Climbing Route Posted by Picasa

RJ Scrambling Up Rock Arete Posted by Picasa

Ridge Window To Olympic View Posted by Picasa

View From Summit - Olympic Mountains Posted by Picasa

View From Summit - Olympic Mountains2 Posted by Picasa

Mount Angeles Summit (Paul Shown) Posted by Picasa