A horrible trudge up scree and ash to the crater rim above Monitor Ridge. Only the volcanoes were visible above a sea of clouds. I'll come back another time for the true summit.
Overnighter with my friend Nathan and Brian Jenkins as a warm up for Adams later this year. Knew the weather was marginal but thought we'd take a shot at it. As Brian said, set up camp at about 5600 ft. Weather just got worse but we had a lot of laughs just the same. Made a run for the summit in the morning. Made it to about 6700 ft. and couldn't make out a thing much more than a couple feet ahead of us. Brian and I just looked at each other and made the tough (but smart) decision to head back down.
Nevertheless, it was good experience in difficult conditions and I enjoyed the company.
I climbed this by solo at night, so i could see the sunrise from the summit. I left climber's bivouac around 11 PM, and summited at 3:55 AM just as it was beginning to get light and Rainier was barely visible. I was the first one to summit, and had the summit to myself for about an hour before two other climbers joined me. Watching the sun rise between Rainier and Adams was truly a memorable occasion. On the way down I passed what was probably close to all 97 of the other people who got permits.
Spent a warm, but rather sleepless night at Campers Bivy and started out on the MR trail at about 6:30am. This was my first alpine ascent and I was a bit nervous setting out, since I was doing so alone. Emerging from tree line, found tracks all over the snow heading variously upward; decided to follow the most direct (steep!) path up the first pitch: two pairs of tracks in crampons. This was to be the steepest part the climb, at perhaps 40 degrees. Continued following these tracks until I met their makers another hour and a half later. Continued the rest of the climb (and the glissade and bushwack back) with Mac Cook and Jerry Strahle. (Thanks, guys!) We made the summit in time for about ten minutes of clear skies before the clouds obscured everything around us. Great views of Adams, Rainier, and Hood. Round trip took roughly 8 hours. Not nearly as hard, technically or physically, as I'd thought it would be. Am planning on climbing again in another 3 or 4 weeks, possibly from Worm Flows approach...
A great spot for alpine beginners...
Great weather. Wish I had taken my skis with me.
Met up with Craig Irwin from SP and his friend Nathan at Jack's Saturday morning. Started out from Marble Mountain Snow Park about 1 pm and hiked through gloom and some snow onto the ridge. Got to about 5600 feet, just below the seismic monitor and shoveled out a flat area and set up camp. Snow started in earnest then and came in sideways from the west the entire rest of the weekend. At midnight, had to shovel the tent out a bit. Not sure how much snow we got as the drifts made it hard to judge, maybe a few inches, maybe a foot or so.
Made breakfast in the vestibule and climbed Sunday in decreasing visibility to about 6700 feet. Visibility was....um...........our feet and wind about 25-30 mph so we decided to turn around. Got some good winter camping and travel experience and had a great time with some new friends. At one point I swore I heard sirens from our camp and then on the hike out, some other hikers told us SAR had pulled a group of disoriented climbers off earlier. Either way, it just wasn't meant to be a summit trip but had a good time nonetheless. A nice steep section just above our camp got to use the axe on. Broke a trekking pole in half though postholing on the ridge on the hike out.
This one is little crowded, especially in summer on sunny day like this. Had a great time anyway.
Fell 600 feet in avalanche - April 1994. Real wake-up call to the mountains.
1st Cascade volcano.
Broke trail from the tree line Sat. Set up our tent just above Chocolate Falls in blowing wind and snow. Clear, beautiful night though. Got an early start Sunday. Made it up to 700ft below the summit. Summit was socked-in, snow was blowing sideways. Tried to wait it out for a while, then headed down.
Usually this route isn't open until June. Similar to Swift Creek, perhaps a bit steeper. Left the trailhead at 6:45 a.m., summited at 11:45 a.m. Snow in surprisingly good shape even after 12 straight days of sun. Used crampons and trekking poles from the end of Butte Camp trail on. Breezy on top, otherwise wind and weather not a factor. Back at the trailhead at 3:45 p.m.
Got up at 3:30am to get to trailhead by 8am from Seattle, uhg! Awsome trip, little icey on top which made for a sketchy ascent because we didn't bring crampons or snowshoes (ya i know, stupid). Made the summit at 1:30pm after 4hrs of climbing under clear blue skies. Total trip time was a shade over 7hrs. Had a great time on the glissade down!!
Decided to climb during the week to avoid the weekend masses. We spent an unseasonably cold night at Climber's bivy.
Got an alpine start and had a pleasent hike on firm snow to tree line. Slowed down once we got above tree-line, snow was still firm, but we didn't bring crampons or ice axes. I wish we would have. Spent minimal amout of time on the summit due to wind.
Glissaded down with trekking pole as a brake. Once we reach the tree-line the snow was pretty sloppy. I had pretty wet feet when we arrived back at the car.
We kicked off the 2003 climbing season! Beautiful day. Actually warm down low. Left Marble Mountain trailhead at 7 a.m. Icy in spots but not bad overall. Used everything - snowshoes and trekking poles then ice axe and crampons, then snowshoes again. Summited at 1 p.m.. Very little wind. Could see everything from Baker to The Sisters. No smog!
Very sunny and warm on the way down, consequently the postholing was THE WORST I'd ever seen.
Got back to the trailhead at 4:45 p.m.
Perfect day! Put the skins on the Tele Skis and went to the top. We headed down a little late and the snow was rather mashed potato like, but decent. We saw a lot of people punching through the snow with their boots. I would recommend skis or snow shoes when it's warm and the sun is out.
My wife, our friend, and I climbed the Monitor Ridge route in PERFECT conditions - sunny, windless, unlimited vis. Amazing day in early December!!! Spent over an hour at the summit enjoying the sun and the views (NO wind!!!???). This was a bonus weekend for the residents of the PNW.
Met my party at the Salmon Creek Park and Ride at 3 AM. Hit the trail by 5:30 AM with our headlamps illuminating the forest. The ridge was marked with poles and was easy to follow. We stopped at around 6500' to put on crampons. Got to the rim by 10:15 and then traversed to the true summit at around 10:45. The weather was incredible! Sun was shining and the wind not too bad. Stayed up on the summit for about an hour - I actually took a short nap! Coming down was a dog - the snow was getting soft and we were sliding around, our footsteps unsure. The postholing didn't help and there wasn't enough snow to do a whole lot of decent glissading. About 9.5 hours round trip, including nap time :-). This was my first summit of St. Helens and it certainly won't be the last!
This mountain was my favorite mountain to climb and although I only summitted once, several trips were made to the dog head's area for the outstanding glissading that was available at times. This part of the mountain is sadly no more as it was blasted into the air on May 18, 1980. Mt. St. Helen's (pre eruption) was to me the most beautiful mountain in the northwest, as well as the Spirit Lake area, a mountain that was often referred to as America's Mt. Fuji. I still miss it.
Camped overnight at Climber's Bivouac. The sheriff came by and took my picture and commented about how odd it was to see me cooking hotdogs out of the back of my car in my t-shirt this late in the season.
Started up at 6am, reached the summit at 9:30am. The route was mostly snow free, and the day was beautifull with blue skies and about 50 degrees F at the summit. I was the first one up there, and spent an hour wandering around before heading down. As I came back down the mountain i passed dozens of others heading up.
It was amazing the variety of the gear on those heading up -- there was a group of folks marking the route with wands, who had full the full mountaineering outfit on, and then there was the couple in jeans and sweatshirts hoofing it up there with their dog.
We got lucky to get a permit for the day as we rolled in kind of late and didn't even hit the trail until 11:30am. Lots of folks were on their way down as we set out with our dogs in tow. Kind of rough on the mutts feet, I would recommend booties and lots of water. We had a hot, dry day for hiking; the scree at the top was screaming for gaitors! Summit greeted us with great views all around, we spent about an hour up there and headed back to make it before dark. Each step we took downhill in the scree we were able to ride about 4 feet, lots of fun. Begging to be done again, in the winter!
Dec. 8-So much better in the winter, although conditions were so mild I think another "true" winter summit is in store. Started from climbers bivouac at 6:30am in the dark, above treeline by sunrise. Much less crowded this time of year, easier on my dogs paws and the snow kept the dust and scree hidden. Near perfect conditions, views of Adams, Hood, Rainier, Jefferson, and maybe Broken-Top! 6 1/2 hours roundtrip, back in time to start the day!
Apr. 27- After barely getting to climber biv. we camped in the snow, up before dawn. Bushwacked to find the trail, crampons handy for the last hour, summited at 11, perfectly clear day, great view from the frigid crater rim. Back to the car by 3 pm. Best climb up there yet.