Mt. St. Helens

Camp view

Margaret, Logan and I took advantage of our first days off together in quite some time and headed to Mt. St. Helens to shred!  On our way out of the house, a neighbor commented “it’s not very good weather for skiing today!”

With 75-85 degrees forcasted, skiing from the 8000 foot summit was as good as could be expected.  In fact, I couldn’t have asked for anything better!  We started by driving 4 hours south, picking up our permit and heading to Marble Mountain Snopark.  We enjoyed a PBR in the heat as we prepared to head to our camp,  2 hours in and at treeline.  We arrived at camp with time to spare so we kicked off our ski boots and walked around on the sandy ridge in our socks!  Should’ve brought slippers I guess.  From camp we could see Mt. Adams to the east and Mt. Hood to the south.  The sunset was beautiful as the sky lit up with soft orange and yellows, then changed to pink and blue within minutes.

The morning brought an army of climbers and skiers beginning at 4am.  Some were camped nearby, others started out from the parking area.  Margaret woke up to someone skinning on snow 2 feet from the back of the tent, huffing and puffing, and swearing:)  Pretty funny.  After some coffee and oatmeal, we began the slow climb up and up.

Logan was pumped as the snow was perfect for her to walk in, not too deep and not too sticky.  I think she was pretty warm though, judging from the intensity of the sun and that she still had her winter coat.  Up, up and away….

4500 vertical feet later we arrived at the summit.  Logan was very tired, Margaret was tired, and I was feeling surprisingly good.  I felt better than the past two years I’ve done it.  We went at a slow and steady pace the entire way up, with consistent breaks for water and food.  Just slow and steady, up and up.  The view from the top is great with Mt. Hood floating in the distance, Mt. Adams taking an enormous chunk out of the eastern skyline and Rainier dominating to the north.  The crater drops straight down below your eyes and the entire time you can hear rock and ice falling into the ever growing crater.  Very cool, and to think it was almost 29 years to the day that that sucker blew!

The way down was excellent for the top, then mush below.  The deep corn took a toll on Logan’s shins, rubbing them raw so it hurt her to run.  So, being the good dog parent I am, picked her up and skied with her in my arms for 2000 more vert!  Some other climbers saw and asked to take photos so I’ll be posting some soon.

We arrived back to camp, packed up quickly to escape the blazing sun and headed down the trail.  Logan was ok on the consolidated snow so she was able to run the last 3 miles to the car.  We finished off with a few PBR’s and put on the flip flops before heading home.  It was a great trip with many memories to be had.  I can’t wait for next time!!!!!!

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