Super great day summiting Mount St. Helens on a bluebird day with friends Joe Erickson, Benson, and Miles Miller. A special day as it was both Benson and Mile’s (father & son) first Bulger and volcano summit together! We or I woke at 4 am to get an early start – hit the trailhead at 6 am!?! This was much better than my St. Patrick’s Day 2021 attempt where I had about 2 hours of sleep, no proper food for energy, and was solo and generally miserable. Today the 6 hours of sleep, lots of coffee, and 4 Cherry Pop-Tarts made for a good, and energetic start.
It was very windy which made the going a bit slow, but otherwise a perfect day for climbing. The temperate was hot and made the snow soft in the afternoon, which was perfect for glissading – we descended 3500 feet sliding down the mountain which was amazingly fun and made me feel like a kid again.
It was amazing to reach the crater rim and see Rainier and Adams explode into view. The crater itself is amazing, and the 270-degree view of the rim is both unique and impressive. We traversed West to the true summit which is seldom visited, avoid the cornice, yet I still managed to punch through up to my arms in what appeared to be deep snow-covered rock formations. Fortunately, this was not at the cornice edge, otherwise, I could have become a permanent fixture of the mountain. Benson made Vietnamese coffee with sweet cream on the summit and Joe and I used our souvenir BigFoot Country mugs we packed up for just such an occasion.
As usual, it’s always fun to get out with Benson, and special his son Miles joined, and was great to reconnect with Joe aka “Unkle” and finally get a volcano together. We missed out on summiting Baker and Rainier together (although we have both climbed/summited them multiple times) on different, and multiple trips for a variety of reasons. We laughed almost the entire trip recalling our 20+ years of misadventures.
We stayed at the Lone Fir Resort in Cougar, WA which is a great basecamp for MSH, and wrapped our successful summit with a Cougar Burger at the Cougar Bar and Grill in Cougar WA. But of course!