6:20am start at Climbers' Bivouac - 3,700ft.
The first 2 miles are through the beautiful forest and only climbing gradually 1,000 feet (which you know the entire time you're going straight up as soon as you come out of the trees into the boulders). We started with our headlamps on but only needed them for 15 minutes as the sun was gradually shining over the trees. The temperatures were incredible for this time of year and we were quickly down to shorts and tank tops by 6:35am.
|the end of the trees and the start of the boulder climbing|
The next 2 miles climb 2,500ft. through boulder fields, boulders, boulders and more boulders.
The last mile and the final 1,000+ft. to the top is through ash and small rocks (meaning - a few steps forward and 1/2 a step/slide back).
|it's a little dusty in the ash|
|Tom's heading to the top in the deepest part of the ash section|
|a false summit|
|the final stretch over to the top - approx. 15 more minutes|
11:00am - summit Mount Saint Helens - 8,365ft. - 45 minutes lounging in the 60 degree sunny day on the top enjoying the views of the crater and Mount Rainier in the distance.
|We made it!|
|looking down into the crater with Spirit Lake int he background and Mount Rainier in the distance|
|a great place for a siesta!|
4 hours 45 minutes up...45 minutes on the summit...3 hours down.
Although not the highest peak in the state (Mount Rainier is and we've accomplished that one), it's another summit to add to our list. What a fantastic climb!
Til next time...Happy Trails!