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Mt St Helens <b>from Space</b>

Mt St Helens from Space: Thanks to NASA's Earth Observatory for posting this great shot. Earth Observatory has many scientifically interesting satellite photos on its website and periodically sends out a newsletter announcement of their latest posts.

Our Route on Mt St Helens <b>from Space</b>

Our Route on Mt St Helens from Space: This is approximately the route we took on Mt. St. Helens as seen from space. A few other interesting points are noted on the picture. If you want to see the unmarked copy of this shot, checkout the next image in the album.

Clearing the Treeline

Clearing the Treeline: We hiked up through a wooded area from the parking lot. Once we got to the treeline this lava flow called Monitor Ridge became visible.

Another Shot of Monitor Ridge

Another Shot of Monitor Ridge: More in the center of the draw.

Hiking up the Ridge

Hiking up the Ridge: We hiked up the shady side of the ridge when it was convenient. The shade was very cool and refreshing while the clear day allowed the sun to heat us up to the point of sweating.

Fall Colors

Fall Colors: Some of the fall colors were beginning to show on the hillsides at lower elevations. Digital photography just doesn't do the color justice here -- even after my amateur attempts at digitally filtering the image.

A Tiny Pond

A Tiny Pond: One of the great things about hiking up a mountain is the sense you get of the local geography. This little pond looked like a nice cool place to be instead of on the mountain. The steep mound of (volcanic?) behind it appears to form one edge of the basin, and reminds me of the rock formations at home.

Panorama Shot Part 1

Panorama Shot Part 1: Trying to get a sense of the width of the view.

Panorama Shot Part 2

Panorama Shot Part 2: Trying to get a sense of the width of the view.

Panorama Shot Part 3

Panorama Shot Part 3: Trying to get a sense of the width of the view.

Panorama Shot Part 4

Panorama Shot Part 4: Trying to get a sense of the width of the view.

Trail Trials and Tribulations

Trail Trials and Tribulations: I opted out on the ski poles. Sometimes I felt it was a poor choice on my part, but other times I wasn't so sure. This was the "nice" part of the lava flow we hiked up. Notice how there's lots of small, hard rock with plenty of fine material in between. The extremes aren't as pleasant.

Mt. Adams

Mt. Adams: Mt. Adams sat off in the distance. It still has quite a lot of snow on it compared to Mt. St. Helens. I didn't take any pictures of the snow packs on St. Helens, but there were a few tiny ones (this was in late September before any real weather could add to it). As we passed some of the larger snow packs off in the distance you could listen carefully and, over the winds, hear the water trickle and flow down the mountainside. At one point I could see a mud-like stream of rock and pumice continuously flowing down the mountain.

The Summit

The Summit: The number of pictures between the treeline and the summit fail to convey the effort required (at least on my part) to reach the summit. I went from near sea level to approximately 8,500ft that day -- 4,700 ft on my feet. As I look at these pictures, I'm kicking myself for not having trained a little more for the hike so I could have enjoyed the day more.

Gasp

Gasp: Quite a view. Looking at these pictures and remembering that day, I am absolutely amazed at what a great day it was. Conditions could not have been better!

Again

Again: Another shot on this amazing day. I'm actually more amazed in hindsight... If you look to the left of the dome formation you might be able to pick out the remnants of a snow pack in the crater. There was some talk of this being a proto-glacier or something. I learned that, apparently, by definition glaciers exist year-round and have to "move" at a minimal rate otherwise they are just glorified snow packs.

Spirit Lake and Mt. Adams

Spirit Lake and Mt. Adams: Spirit Lake is in the foreground. I believe I've seen older pictures of this same view and the lake looks drained. Mt. Adams looks smaller in this shot without the zoom.

Rocks%21

Rocks!: The rock inside the crater wall is fascinating. I can almost imagine the landslide that formed St. Helens as it is today (having seen a video of it from 1980 helps too!). The interior of the rim is so jagged, even in comparison to the flow we had just hiked up (Monitor Ridge). In actually fact, it appears to be made of finer material -- pumice/ash.

p1010020

p1010020:

That%27s Not The Trail

That's Not The Trail: That's not the trail leading to the summit. That trail is too shallow. On the surface it's kind of like running on the beach in the surf. Except without the surf, with a heavy backpack, and without all that air pressing against your body, flowing into your lungs... Did I mention it wasn't an easy hike?

Notice the Pattern%3f

Notice the Pattern?: Starting back at p1010015.jpg, this is yet another shot in my attempt at a 360 degree panorama from the rim.

Where%27s the Trail%3f

Where's the Trail?: "So, where is this trail?" you may be asking. It's not in this shot...

No Trail Here

No Trail Here: nor in this one...

There it is%21

There it is!: In the foreground (bottom right) is around 5 feet of trail. It drops of so steeply that a level panoramic shot from the summit can't catch more of the trail than that. Hiking back down the trail is like truding down newly laid snow in ski boots.

The Party

The Party: Here's the party of folks I traveled to the top with. Well, not so much with as behind. Er.. not so much behind as from a distance... you get the idea. Our guide, Joe W. is in the foreground. Having already taken their pictures and marvelled at the view, the other hungry folks are too busy to bother noticing I'm taking pictures.

Mt. Adams Again

Mt. Adams Again: Note the sharp volcanic rock in the foreground. Climbing up this stuff was a pain. Climbing down it with sore muscles before you start to cramp up was a nightmare. Lose your balance and you're in for a VERY bad fall on a steep slope of sharp rocks. It seems like life-size shards of obsidian dulled slightly by the elements.

The Nice Trail Again

The Nice Trail Again: We're back on the nice part of the trail. Much more level, fine gravel between larger rocks. And hey look, some vegetation!

Veg Out

Veg Out: More vegetation.

Boots

Boots: At the end of the day I was suprisingly not very dusty.My trusty hiking boots were not so fortunate however. Their deep brown leather and dark black tongue were thoroughly coated with fine powder from the 11mi hike. The gaiters you see around my ankles were absolutely the most useful new peice of equipment I have used in a long time. With the exception of my feet, the gaiters kept *everything* out of my boots.

Boots Again

Boots Again: I was so amazed with the dust and gaiters I just had to take a second picture. Guess which one has the flash turned on.

Friends

Friends: These are my friends, Pat and Mike, who invited me to join them on this adventure. They're relaxing at the end of the hike with an ice cold beer and a cola. I went for the rasberry flavored water since I already have enough aches and pains to deal with (adding alcohol elimination on top of lactic acid elimination did not strike me as a good idea). My thanks to Pat and Mike!


Photo album generated by album from Dave's MarginalHacks on Fri May 21 19:05:19 2004