Yup. My Pops thought it was great that Mount Saint Helen’s erupted on one of my birthdays and last year before he died, he wanted to take Tom and I there to go see it, but we never made it. So, for our 24th anniversary this year, Michael and I decided to climb to the summit. Let’s just say a “path” in PA is not the same as a path at the monument. Most of the hike was a hand over hand rock climb using all four limbs to scramble over boulders until you reach the cinder cone, or what they call the vertical sand beach, up to the summit. On the beach, you take one step up, and slide back two – it was very frustrating! But, we finally summited around 3 pm. Michael figured we could descend more quickly then we ascended. No dice. So to save time, we glissaded – great fun! Basically, you put on your waterproof clothes & gaiters and with an ice axe (for higher elevations) or poles you sit down and toboggan on your butt down the side of the mountain. But, you MUST BE ABLE TO STOP BEFORE YOU HIT THE BOULDERS. We were able stop with minimal difficultly since we waited until we were lower down and we managed to save some time but, we still ended up being stuck, alone, overnight on the volcano, huddled together for warmth on the side of the mountain when it became impossible to scramble down boulders in the darkness at 3 am. We resumed our hike at 4:30 am when we could see our “path” again!
These photos below show the path hiked and underneath them is my flickr album of our adventure. It was an experience for sure, considering I DON’T LIKE HEIGHTS!