Here are some more picture from my trip to summit Mt. St. Helens.
My tent, with Mt. St. Helens in sight.
I ate some soup and beans, and then hit the sack before 8 PM.
I broke camp shortly after 5 AM and hit the trail before sunrise.
The first 2 mi were a fast hike through forest, until I reached Monitor Ridge.
Once the forest cleared, I could see Mt. Hood in the South.
Monitor Ridge looked intimidating.
Once I was up and over that ridge, I was in the shade. Another advantage of leaving early.
This is looking down Monitor Ridge to the South.
There wasn’t a whole lot of snow left anymore, but some glaciers never melt.
Once I was a bit higher up, I could see Mt. Adams in the East.
The snow looked inviting, and at first I considered glissading down, but then I saw this giant crevasse.
It was getting pretty windy, and I had to put my windbreaker on.
After trudging through an eternity of pumice, I reached the peak and the crater rim.
The view from the peak was glorious.
I could see Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson farther south in Oregon, and even Mt. Baker 170 miles to the north.
When I got to the top, only three other hikers were there. A father and son took my picture.
The force it took to blow away half of the mountain is difficult to contemplate.
The magma dome in the crater is growing. The steam is evidence of active volcanism.
Over 30 years after the explosion, there are still thousands of trees in Spirit Lake.
It was a great trip.
I may have summit fever. Is Mt. Adams next?
On the way down, I saw a chipmunk that wasn’t afraid of me at all.
Like I already mentioned, it took me about 4 hours up and 3 hours down. I had taken 4 liters of water with me, and I ran out about 20 minutes before I got back to the trailhead. I wish I had had a bit more. I took a few salt tablets with me, and I think that helped me a lot. I didn’t have any issues with cramps.
I had my trekking poles with me, a windbreaker, a fleece, sunglasses, and a hat. I definitely needed all that. What I was almost the most glad about, though, was having taken gloves with me. On the climb down, I often needed to use my hands instead of my trekking poles.
I’m not sure how much more I could do. 7 hours, 10 miles, and 4500 ft climb was quite a bit. But some say you can day-hike Mt. Adams. Or camp at 9000 ft. The roundtrip is 16.0 mi, with 6700 ft elevation gain. Next year…?