I am in worse shape than I thought I was. I am cold, I am tired, and I am sore as fuck. Excuse the foul language but I have to wonder what the hell I was thinking. I feel as if I had a temporary lapse in my sanity! I met Gary, Rafi, and Lori at the trail head at 0400. I was the only one in this group that had climbed Saint Helen before she blew her top. The others had all climbed her last summer. The others were ages 28, 32, and 40. I manged to hold my own but my thighs and rear end were burning all the way up and on the way down it was a crazy crazy ride as we voted to do some Glissading on the way down. More on that later.
We stared the 2-3 mile uphill climb in the dark. It was chilly but no wind or snow was falling. After the 2-3 mile climb there was a break in the woods and we were out of the treeline. Now it was windy! From there, it’s rough and rugged steep 2000- 2,500 vertical foot climb over several miles of snow , rocks, boulders. It was impossible to avoid being on all fours in some spots . It was slick and icy. The final stretch was a steep 1,000-foot climb on icy snow. My thighs and ass were burning in pain.
Once at the top we had some lunch, I twirled in the sunlight and the boys danced and Lori laughed at us all while snapping photos. With the tiny amount of power I had left on my phone I got a few photos. I think the cold drained my battery much faster than normal? As I stood and took in the beauty of the Cornices (over hanging snow) at the crater rim I blew a kiss and asked the universe to deliver it to someone special. That would have been around 0930.
As I mentioned earlier we voted to slide back down the mountain, I would love to see drone footage of this part of the trip. The technical word for sliding down a mountain is Glissading. When I was a younger and much more adventurous girl I did a lot of Glissading . Imagine for a moment that you are seated on the top of a mountain covered in deep and heavy snow. You sit down directly on the icy snow and give yourself a push off. Using your pick ax and your feet to maintain control as you slide down a mountain at some crazy speeds. Did I mention my ass is sore! We managed to make it 2-3 miles down without having to stand up! Did I mention I think I lost my mind temporarily? This was better on my knees and it brought back some fun memories but I am cold tired and sore .
The round trip climb was just between about 12 miles.
The elevation gain was 5699 ft. The highest point was 8364 feet. It only took us 5.5 hours to get to the top and we got down much faster I was back to my car by 1330 . sat there for 20 minutes warming up and then I dictated this post using google and I am going to try to get home in time to solve a mystery at an escape room this evening. Wish me luck!