On the morning of August 5th, 2013, my husband and I were the last climbers to pick up their permits. We camped at the Paradise Point State Park the night before and unlike the majority of the climbers that day, we did not have an early start. In fact, at 9am we were the absolute last to start the rough ascent to the summit of Mount Saint Helens.
It was a warm and partly cloudy day, and we were looking forward to ascend Washington’s 92nd peak on the Bulger’s list.
It wasn’t hard to find the trailhead.
The first two miles are wooded, which are quite nice compared to the grueling scramble that awaits up the ridge. The picture was taken when the trees started to fade.
Starting the ridge scramble. This is where the route gets a little bit confusing.
If it weren’t for these fine posts, it would have taken us much longer. We would get semi-lost at times, but it’s all about following the posts.
Just when the summit looks so close, other climbers tell you that it is still 1.5 hours away, all because of the two steps forward, one step back curse that the ash forces you to endure.
One last push… and you’re on the summit line.
The crater as seen from the south summit line, with direct line of sight into the state’s youngest glacier. Since we were the last to reach it, we enjoyed it all to ourselves for half an hour.