Thanks to my good friend Peter Lin, I was offered the chance to climb Mount Saint Helen's
on Mother's Day 2003. This is a chronicle of the great times that were had.
The night before, we arrived at the Climber's Bivouac. This is the view of
Mount Saint Helen's from the ground. Elevation: about 3800 feet.
View from the base of Climber's Bivouac looking into the St. Helen's valley south.
My truck, Gloria. I slept for the first time in Gloria this trip and discovered that a
"6 foot" cargo space isn't quite 6 feet. But I still slept okay.
Another gorgeous view of the mountain Saturday May 10, 2003.
Mother's Day every year is the last chance most hikers and climbers have to summit
Mount Saint Helen's (elevation 8353 feet) before the park imposes a 100 person max per day.
This means that about 600 people climb the mountain on Mother's Day every year, and for
some reason I haven't figured out yet, most of them wear a woman's dress (typically ugly
and shapeless - see above). This is Darren and Stewart (on the right) prior to starting
the morning. The funny part is that Stewart's dress was definitely not the loudest one present.
This is Charles posing in his dress. Since the snow is still really great on the mountain,
a lot of skiers and snowboarders hike their gear up 5000 feet to get a few last turns.
View from one of the higher base camps.
Darren in a dress in the foreground showing off the great cloud bank we hiked through.
Yours truly showing off a cool view of cloud banks with some peaks sticking out. This is
about 7 AM.
This is Mount Adams in the distance. This was one of the most spectacular morning
hikes I've ever experienced.
A few peaks sticking up. You can see a hiker on the next ridge.
Small peak reflecting the sun nicely.
This is Ben from D1C at Intel, who I hiked with for part of the summit. These Intel guys are
insane. The one guy, Darren, had his pager go off 5 times in the time it took to
get to the top. He says that's why he took an extra half hour more than Ben and I.
Yeah, I don't buy it either.
Mount Rainier as seen from the summit of Mount Saint Helen's. It was just an
absolutely phenomenal day to be hiking and we were rewarded with an appropriate view after
4 hours and almost 5000 vertical feet ascended in about 4.5 miles.
Looking down into the volcanic (still active) dome of Mount Saint Helen's. You can
just make out the steam at the bottom of the dome and to the bottom left. No one is
allowed down there except geologists and scientists. I guess that means they're
View to Mt. Rainier with part of the volcanic crater visible at right.
View to Mt. Rainier with part of the volcanic dome in the crater visible in the foreground.
These are some of the "women" who summitted St. Helen's on Mother's Day. Great dresses
Anyone who's climbed or hiked with me knows that there's one thing I typically do
when I summit a mountain of decent elevation.
There's the full Perrault! You can also see the mediocre job I had done the night before
on cutting my own hair. Yes, beer was involved.
Darren calling into the office at the summit in his dress. I don't think I need to say
much more about Intel people than that.
This shows the steady lineup of people ascending the trail.
Happy Mother's Day Mom.
When the snow begins to soften under the heat of the morning sun, it becomes perfect for
what is called glissading. This is essentially going back down the mountain on your
posterior at high speeds and hoping you don't fly off a ridge or hit someone with your
ice axe. It's my new favorite sport.
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