Route: I skied up Elephant Mountain Road, then bushwhacked to the summit. My ascent route was definitely not the best - I went up too far to the west, and encountered a lot of thick stuff loaded with piles of snow. On reaching the summit ridge, I tried several times to force my way up through the mess, but gave up each time (call it wimping out - I knew there must be a better way up!). Eventually I made my way around the summit cone to ascend from the east side, which was much better. Then I descended more to the east, through much more open woods, ending up on a skid road that went down onto the main road. Much easier!

Conditions: Snow on the roads was dense; skis and snowshoes only sank about 3-4 inches. It was quite sticky and slow skiing up; however, on the way down the cloud cover had enabled the snow to cool, making for a great descent (only 45 minutes down to the car). Snow in the woods was - a lot! All the trees were loaded, dumping down my back pretty much constantly, and the snow on the ground in those areas was looser and deeper. However, in the more open woods, snowshoeing was not too bad - the snow was dense enough that I didn't sink more than a few inches. When I returned to the car, a man was preparing to go snowmobiling, so I'm guessing the roads now have a packed snowmobile trail.

Comments: Today I wondered about a potential hazard in solo winter bushwhacking - could I get pummeled with such a huge lump of falling snow that I get knocked out? Or can repeated pummeling by smaller lumps, which are nevertheless big enough to knock my head to the side, result in a concussion? Other than getting beaten up by flying lumps of snow, it was a good day.