Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday, 9/21/08 Mt. Helen

Mt. Helen (13,164)
5 miles
2,800 vertical
1:45 up/3:15 RT

Allison, Sierra and I spent the weekend at the cabin where we were married 4 years ago near Hoosier Pass to celebrate our anniversary. We spent the day Saturday hiking to Wheeler Lake, but not getting up anything due to a late start, fickle weather and other fun activities. Sunday morning, the weather was still less than inspiring with intermittent rain/snow showers, so we slept in and relaxed at the cabin with no agenda other than to delay as long as we could stand and see if the weather improved.

We ultimately got cabin fever and decided to give Mt. Helen a shot on the way home, as the weather seemed to be improving, albeit marginally. We parked at the Spruce Creek TH and began walking up the road to the Wheeler trail and then took a right. We soon came to a locked gate, walked around and then immediately headed West up the steep hillside following the path of least resistance. After a few hundred vertical feet, the terrain became a bit more manageable, although still steep. We found a nice shallow, grassy gulley that led us directly up the fall line to the open and grassy East facing slopes. High up, there were occasional patches of snow, nothing to slow us down, but just enough for Sierra to have a blast in. I can say with confidence that she is eagerly awaiting winter.

It was lightly raining at the start, but the sun came out and warmed things nicely. For the entire hike, there were dark clouds threatening all around, but none were electrical and we enjoyed a perfect little weather window. On the descent, we deliberately went out of our way to trek through a few small aspen groves that were at their peak and went picture crazy. This was an awesome consolation hike after pining away for a summit all weekend. We took our time and really enjoyed the day.


1 comment:

  1. JV - congrats to you and Ali for an anniversary. Sounds like it was a great weekend!