Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mt St Helens

"Gusts above 30mph, 30F with accumulating snow above 2200 meters, wind chills in the teens."  

This is the alpine forecast I saw the night before I had a permit to climb Mount St. Helens.  I had applied for the $22 permit nearly two months before.  They only allow 100 climbers per day up the peak and after seeing this forecast I knew I'd thrown my twenty-two bucks down the toilet.  I hadn't brought crampons  and had intended on "running" up with just trail shoes.  From what I'd read, it'd been a light snowfall year and many folks had already made it to the summit.  I planned for a gingerly, mild 4.5 mile up hill hike with some snow crossing,  which I assumed would be firm and no problem for my extra grippy Brooks Cascadia running shoes.  After watching the forecast for several weeks it looked like the mountain had seen periods of low pressure blue skies with temps in the 50's and 60's, but I was once again foiled by the Pacific Northwest's gods of the Cascades.

Not wanting to leave Washington without an up close and personal viewing of this ragged volcano, I drove out to the park the next day, after the weather cleared, after the sky once again turned blue, and after my permit window to climb had closed.

All photos and video taken with my iPhone.

And a nearly panoramic video view