Friday, October 06, 2006

Mt St Helens (10/06/2006)

Today, with climbing permits in hand, Dave and I ventured into the barren, magma strewn wasteland, otherwise known as Mt St Helens National Park, to climb Monitor Ridge to Mount St Helens' summit. Our goals were to reach the summit and peer down into the crater below. Well, we reached, and we peered, but there wasn't much to see this time around.

Check the pictures out below.

Note on picture size: Click on picture for a LARGER view.

Due to low visibility and the harsh weather conditions, not many pictures were taken on this trip. Early in the hike, luckily, I snapped two pictures off just as we punched through the first layer of clouds; one picture is of Monitor ridge and one is of the valley below. Visibility was about to change drastically after these shots were taken.

Monitor Ridge on Mt St Helens Posted by Picasa

Above the Clouds View From Mt St Helens Posted by Picasa

At 7000 ft elevation all hell broke loose, winds gusted at 45-50 mph, rain, mist and bone-chilling cold forced Dave and I to don all of our contigency foul weather clothing. Smirking at Mother Nature's attempt to turn us back, we continued on, gaining another 1500 feet to reach the summit and view the spetacular crater lip (literally just the lip).

In the following summit pics, Dave and I were standing about 15 feet apart, taking turns with the camera.

Paul Looking Into Crater On Mt St Helens' Summit Posted by Picasa

Dave Standing on Crater Lip at Summit Posted by Picasa

The day before this climb, we hiked through Lava Canyon and ventured into the lava tube known as "Ape Cave". Here are some clear pictures of Lava Canyon.

Lava Canyon Near Mt St Helens Posted by Picasa

Lava Canyon Near Mt St Helens Posted by Picasa