Ascent of Mount Ellen on 2018-03-10

Climber: Ryan Aschbrenner

Date:Saturday, March 10, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Ellen
    Elevation:4083 ft / 1244 m

Ascent Trip Report

I hiked Abraham and Ellen out-and-back from the south, starting and ending on the Battell Trail. The total distance was 12 miles, with a lot of trail-breaking in the first half of the hike.

I started out on the Battell Trail, making new tracks through the fresh snow from the midweek storm. After a mile of trail-breaking, I met up with ski tracks, which at that point diverged onto some other path. I followed that single set of tracks, saving me some trail-breaking effort on the upper part of the Battell Trail. The ski tracks again branched off the Battell Trail a short distance before the Long Trail junction.

The Long Trail up Abraham hadn’t been broken out yet either. I stopped for a short snack and tea break at the Battell shelter, and continued up Abe. The Battell shelter is shown on the wrong spot on the topo map - it’s at the 90° bend in the trail just east of the Battell junction. It was a steep push through deep snow just before the summit, and I emerged at the top in heavy, dense cloud.

After Abe, I continued north on the LT, again breaking trail, and the route-finding was fairly difficult in a few areas, with fresh, untracked snow everywhere. Managed to stay on the trail, emerging at the Lincoln Peak view platform (again, no views in the clouds).

I continued on the LT, and soon got a break from the trail-breaking for about a mile. Turns out that the mile section of the LT above Sugarbush ski resort is heavily used by skiers. They ski the downhill portions (really have to pay attention if hiking), and they remove their skis and hike the uphills, forming long, slow-moving conga lines … there were many dozens, if not hundreds, of skiers on the trail.

Once I made it past the ski lift at the top of Castle Rock, the skiers left the Long Trail, and went down the slopes from there. I continued northbound on the LT, and this part hadn’t been tracked out yet. Just as I started on this section of LT, I passed a couple of skiers who were getting set up to do this part of the trail. I went ahead and broke out the trail up to the summit of Mt. Ellen, where I stopped for snacks and tea, and a short while later those two skiers emerged at the top of Ellen, and we had a nice talk.

From there, I retraced my steps back to the Battell trailhead, making better time now that all trails were broken out, and also of course since there was a lot more downhill hiking. There were some breaks in the low clouds once I reached Abraham, allowing me to get a partial view that time. By this time, a number of groups had hiked up Abe, both from the Battell Trail, and also via the LT from Lincoln Gap. Both trails were well broken out by this point. No one else had hiked between Abe and Lincoln Peak today.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:383 ft / 116 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cold, Windy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:383 ft / 116 m
    Route:Battell Tr, LT
    Start Trailhead:Battell TH  3700 ft / 1127 m
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Abe-Ellen winter 2018

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Abraham2018-03-10 a2506 ft / 764 m
2Lincoln Peak2018-03-10 b155 ft / 47 m
3Nancy Hanks Peak2018-03-10 c92 ft / 28 m
4Castle Rock-Sugarbush2018-03-10 d120 ft / 37 m
5Cutts Peak2018-03-10 e 
6Mount Ellen2018-03-10 f383 ft / 117 m
Total Trip Gain: 3256 ft / 993 m

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