About ten years ago, a friend of mine — who is really into hiking — said “Let’s hike Mt. St. Helens.” Being naïve I said “Sure.” First up, I am not a “hiker” — I enjoy walking along trails to see nature — waterfalls, vistas, etc, but I don’t hike for the sake of hiking. If it isn’t too strenuous, technical, or long, count me in on your “hike”.
The guy on the right, we’ll call him “Scott” — because that’s actually his name — is a “hiker”. He’s climbed pretty much every mountain around here in the PacNW, run (not hiked, run) around Mt. Hood (and others), taken rescue training something-something-something on Mt. Rainier. Anyway, as you probably can tell from his gear vs my jeans and running shirt, he’s a hiking dude, I am not.
The first year was fun(ish)— probably my first “real” hike since 1987 when I hiked Half Dome as a Boy Scout. (Side note: My dad had a shoulder-mount Panasonic VHS Recorder that we hauled on the backpacking trip. I stumbled across a copy of the video a few years back and edited down and posted to the internet, as was the thing to do at the time…)
I’m not sure how it happened, but every September, every year since, I have been back to hike Mt. St. Helens. Here are a number of pictures I have taken along the way. We didn’t make it up every year (weather got in the way a couple times), didn’t always get the greatest pictures (and some years I have no pictures at all), but it has been fun.
After a couple years, we started getting more friends interested in going.
We were turned back due to weather for the first time in 2013— I don’t recall how far up the boulders we made it, but I remember a Forest Ranger coming down the mountain turning people away due to the weather at the top.
Scott — always one for fun ideas — decided in 2015 that we should carry a rock to the top and then throw the rock into the crater. Something about putting all our worries and troubles into the rock and ridding ourselves of them. Very hippie of us.
In 2016 we were turned around again, this time I remembered to get a picture. This is maybe a quarter mile into the boulders.
We didn’t get far, which was too bad. One of the guys had brought his 360 VR rig and we were going to have really cool VR images. But it was very wet.