All week we’ve had stunning views of Mt. Adams looming over us wherever we go, the bright glacier white gleaming through the trees. We’ve just been waiting for the weekend to go and climb it…
It wasn’t long before we gained some elevation and could see Mt. Hood rise into view. Then Mt. St. Helens! A swarm of butterflies kept following me and flying in circles around my head.
The views from camp were incredible! I found a rock seat that was perfectly scooped out and allowed for a comfortable recline. It was just right to sit and eat some spicy noodles while surveying the sweeping landscape. Mt. Hood was ever present on the horizon.
As the sun lowered the landscape changed dramatically, suddenly painted in hues of orange, yellow and pink. You can see the shadow that the mountain cast across the neighboring valley. It looks like a blue pyramid hovering in the air.
Then sunset followed, which was even more dramatic. Skies just don’t look like this from the mere mortal view down below.
Some other climbers came and set up camp right next to ours. Even on a 12,000 foot mountain it seems impossible to find solitude! But the wind had picked up dramatically, and after 30 minutes or so they repacked everything and headed back down the mountain in the dark.
We might have done the same if we hadn’t already settled in, plus we were completely spent from the climb up. The winds were fierce through the night, and it was difficult to sleep from all of the noise! The tent rattled and flapped in the wind all night long.
Descending was a bit easier with crampons on, but we took them off before long so that we could glissade! Sliding down the snow takes only a fraction of the time it takes to walk. It took 7 hours on the way up, but only 2.5 on the way back down. It was my first time glissading for “real” and it took a little bit of practice, but I got the hang of it. Ok, it was bumpy and my butt is sore now, but it sure was fun!
And then we made it. One burger and huckleberry milkshake later, it’s shower and nap time. My body aches in ways I didn’t know was possible! But it was worth every bit of effort. Totally type II kind of fun.
Tomorrow we move north to Lake Wenatchee. There are so many mountains to explore there. I wonder what adventure will come next?