Top of the world...well actually only up to 8364 feet (and whatever depth in snow on top of that).
The day started way too early at 4 am. We got up, tried to eat a little and headed to Scott's to rally with Rick, Scott and Martha to Mt St Helens. Short stop at Jack's Restaurant to pick up our climbing permits and we were climbing out of the cars at Marble Mountain Snow Park. The Worm Flows Climbing Route is the winter route for Mt St Helens and it is 12 miles of hiking with 5600 ft of climb. This route differs from the summer route in that there is more hiking in the forest, much less bouldering and a lot more snow. We started in the fog but soon there were glimpses of the wonders to come!
After going through the forest and then up some minimal rock fields it was out onto the snow. Then some more snow and then some really steep snow and then some really deep snow. But man, God's handiwork is beautiful!
No matter where you looked you would see another volcano in the distance...here it is Mt Adams.
After about 5 hours of hiking we summited.
100 people a day are allowed up on the permits. During the time we were at the top there was between 20-25 people hanging out on the snow cornice on the crater lip.
I did a little side hike to go to the edge of the crater to peer down. Unfortunately Spirit Lake was obscured by clouds but Ranier looked amazing.
Now the really fun part...going down! With all the snow a major part of going down was glisading. The snow was soft and forgiving and with the right slippery pants you could really cruise down the hill. What took us 3 hours going up took less than 1 hour going down...and most of that time was to let your backside warm back up!
An amazing day with 9 hours of hiking, laughing, sliding, glisading and eating. Man do Burgerville's hamburgers, fries and smoothies taste great when you really have earned them. Now if I could only learn to put on more sunscreen!
- western states
- catalyst challenge
- tourist run