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Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)



Joined: 02 Mar 2002
Posts: 1968 | TRs
Location: ex Kennewick, Wa & Lehi Utah
Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)
PostSun Apr 22, 2007 7:09 pm 
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For those of you who are wondering about this outing, this will be just the first report and the rest of the story will unfold when others report in.

Two of us, Dennis (from Medford) and myself arrived at the Marble Mtn Sno park with blue skies and high hopes.  We were hoping that the weather forecast was going to be wrong and we bet 22 bucks on it plus the time and effort.


In the parking lot, we met several who had successfully reached the summit and had glowing reports about their good luck with the weather.  We could only hope for the same since earlier in the week, Friday was given a poor forecast.

Dennis and I hit snow almost immediately out of the parking lot and for the first 2/3rd of our hike towards a camping area, we didn't need to don our snow shoes.  A couple skiers stopped and chatted and mentioned that there was one guy ahead of us that was part of our group and so we kept our eyes open for whoever it would be.  A couple more skiers skidded to a halt to give us the same message,  there was a lone climber looking for his group.  We continued on and about the 3800 foot level, we met a guy coming towards us.  We stopped to talk and found out it was Winowing Walker, a new NWHkr member from Monroe and he was hoping to run into someone from the group and we decided that together we would try and find someplace in the 4100 area to camp.  We had put our snow shoes on at about the 3700 foot level and I could already feel the effects of the extra weight on my feet as it was the first time this year I had to do the snow shoe routine.

Check out that blue sky as Winowing Walker (on the left) and Dennis continue to plod up hill


The summit area of Mt. St. Helens (not really seen from this angle) seems so nice and close and so tantalizing as we begin to close in on 4100 feet.

We actually ended up finding a reasonable area at about the 4200 foot mark and W.W. went up a bit higher and found a spot to put his tent and Dennis found one where he began to dig out a platform for his tent.  I kept looking for Action Betty as I knew from a phone call we had shared that she would be about an hour or so behind us and eventually I was rewarded by noticing three more climbers heading our way.  I don't remember the time since my feet were freezing and when my feet are cold, time ceases to be important.  They had actually gotten wet and the gore tex failed me for the first time as normally my feet stay dry.  Well, enough of talking about my feet,  just seeing Action Betty was good news and also with her were a duo from Squim,  the Schmidt Altitude who turned out to be Jeremy and Tisha (sp?).  They  admitted that they were really lakebaggers but were willing to try this snow covered sno cone.  Then another group member appeared,  Scott from Pasco whose NWHkr
nickname is JVesquire. Three of us from the Tri-cities, how neat is that?

All of them continued a bit uphill to start putting up their tents.    Action Betty dug out a platform with her shovel and put up her pipsqueak of a shelter, in which she would spend the night.  Not to worry says she,  she has a -5 degree sleeping bag and would fend off the evil cold elements of a cold mountain night.  I hoped she was right.

Dennis and our campsite.  That's a Mtn Hardware EV 2.  Dennis is heading for Denali in late May and so this was a trial run for the tent.

Later that evening, after we went to bed,  another NWHkr member came up and set up camp but I never saw him nor even heard him.  AB knew his name but I can't remember who she said it was.   The night itself was fine,  the lights of Vancouver were visible off in the distance and I even had cell service from our tent area.  At 5 a.m., Dennis and I were starting to begin getting ready for our summit attempt as the sky looked good and it looked like we might luck out on the weather as we had hoped.  As we eating our breakfast bars and other so called breakfast foods (in the tent) , we  suddenly heard the sound of rain.  This was not good.  It really started to come down and soon changed to sleet.  We pushed back our summit attempt time an hour to see if this would blow on through.  An hour later it was snowing heavily and I found out that three of the group had already departed the mountain.  Finally at 7,  I climbed up the hill to see how AB was doing and she had just dug herself out of her snowbound tent.  She  was talking with the duo from Squim who were also considering going down but after talking with AB, they decided to stay the course. When I asked her how the bag and tent worked together, she said her -5 degree bag didn't work inside an ice cube and had spent a couple miserable hours before she finally crawled out and knocked off the snow.


AB's still partly snow covered tent

Dennis and I had decided to wait until 9 a.m. to see if the weather would change as we really did want to make the summit but several early birds who had gone up to climb the mountain were coming back down describing the white out conditions at 6000 feet and blowing wind of at least 50 mph.  They had turned around.  We met others later in the day at the parking lot who said they had the same luck.  6000 feet seemed to be the limit that you could go and see where you were.

As the weather was actually getting worse,  Dennis and I went ahead and took down the tent as we were hopeful of at least getting a local peak called Lakeview so the weekend wouldn't be a complete wash for our peakbagging desires.   AB and the Schmidt altitude duo would wait for the Tazz led group that was due to hit the parking lot at 11 a.m.  We headed down at 9:30 or so and left AB sustaining herself on snow for some liquid refreshment.


We must have passed about 25 people heading up but as far as we know, none summitted.  All victims of northwest weather that had milked many of us for a $22 dollar permit.  Had we had a flexible permit,  Dennis and I would have hung around and tried to summit on the 22nd but since that wasn't in the cards,  we had other fish to fry (plus I was visualizing a big burger at Jack's)   When we hit the parking area at 11,  it was raining.  Shortly after we arrived,  four cars pulled in and I figured it was the "group" that would be heading up to make the social a success.
In the group picture below, so you can put faces with names, left to right:
P.I.B., Don B, Tazz, Dicey (sneaking a bite) Randy,
Mesahchie Mark & Yet



I'd be curious to know if anyone else made it up there to join these intrepid campers but that weather really sucked and I wouldn't blame
anyone for skipping it.  I must admit to a hidden agenda of wanting to bag the peak but whiteout conditions have no appeal to me, none at all.  Been there done that a few too many times.

Those hamburgers at Jack's were truly delicious and Dennis and I continued on and drove to within a couple miles of the snow laden summit of Lakeview Peak, one of Washingtons' 144 promimence peaks.  We had to don our snowshoes once again and in both snowstorm and blowing rain, we made our way to a summit that a road normally takes you to within shouting distance of.  By the time we got back to our vehicles, both Dennis and I had had enough,  our second change of clothes was soaked so we headed for our respective homes.  It took us three hours to do 4 miles and about a thousand feet on Lakeview whereas in the summer time it probably takes you fifteen minutes or less.  It is reported to have a great view of Mt. St. Helens but for us, all we could see was gray, lots and lots of gray.  No views but we at least bagged one peak and could head home happy.

I hope the others had a good time (Jack Daniels time for sure).  I look forward to the others reports and pics.   biggrin.gif

--------------
Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160
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wildernessed
viewbagger



Joined: 31 Oct 2004
Posts: 9146 | TRs
Location: Wenatchee
wildernessed
viewbagger
PostSun Apr 22, 2007 7:33 pm 
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To bad about the weather, with the logistics involved rant.gif  confused.gif . You'll have to keep me filled in on that tent, I have been looking at it and would like to get your reviews. What kind of tent was AB packing ?, I haven't seen that one before. It doesn't look like her Knollwood.
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Tazz
Member
Member


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 7911 | TRs

Tazz
Member
PostSun Apr 22, 2007 8:26 pm 
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Dean it was sooo good to see you again. It was also a huge pleasure to meet Dennis finally.  Thanks for the report!  We will all enjoy adding to it! biggrin.gif
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Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)



Joined: 02 Mar 2002
Posts: 1968 | TRs
Location: ex Kennewick, Wa & Lehi Utah
Dean
(aka CascadeHiker)
PostSun Apr 22, 2007 8:56 pm 
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I'll be anxious to hear your report Tazz.  It was good to see you again and meet those other people whose names I knew but whose faces I didn't.  It was really neat to meet Randy after all these years.   Dennis enjoyed meeting you as well and knew that the weather was a crapshoot.

Wildernessed,  the tent is snug but well designed.  It really is nice and taut and we had no condensation in it at all which impressed me for a single wall tent.  I think the tent is really ideal for one person and I believe that is how Dennis will use it on Denali.   No, it wasn't a knollwood that AB was using, it was a Zoid tent, not really made for the snow as it is basically a summer tent.  AB made it work for her until it started snowing hard.  frown.gif

--------------
Dean - working in Utah for awhile and feeling like it is a 'paid' vacation.
http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=1160
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ActionBetty
Im a dirty hippie!



Joined: 06 Jul 2003
Posts: 4808 | TRs
Location: kennewick, wa
ActionBetty
Im a dirty hippie!
PostMon Apr 23, 2007 12:03 am 
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just rolled in and damn it was a long drive.  Will be back in the morning with pics , more adventures and tale telling..or was that tale chasing  moon.gif

--------------
"If you're not living good, you gotta travel wide"...Bob Marley
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Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger



Joined: 29 Sep 2005
Posts: 5080 | TRs
Location: Headed west soon
Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger
PostMon Apr 23, 2007 12:24 am 
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I wish I could have joined you guys!! Man, sometimes I think I should quit my job and get one with a better job so I can hike with more of you guys. Working weekends sucks!!!!!!!!!

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www.youtube.com/bkraai | www.flickr.com/photos/bkraai/sets/
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GeoHiker
Rocky Walker



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 6042 | TRs
Location: Off the Deep End
GeoHiker
Rocky Walker
PostMon Apr 23, 2007 12:38 am 
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Sorry to hear about the sucky weather.    It was a beautiful sunny day for most of the day near Monroe yesterday, so was hoping the weather held out.  Sunny warm day today too, so hope a few were able to catch a break and summit on Sunday.  Thanks for the great pics.  I'll look for the next gtg.

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You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye......Eagles
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Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 4134 | TRs
Location: Shoreline
Matt
Tea, Earl Grey, Hot
PostMon Apr 23, 2007 12:42 am 
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Satur-rainy-day
Satur-rainy-day
Sunny-day
Sunny-day

More tomorrow

--------------
“As beacons mountains burned at evening.” J.R.R. Tolkien
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Schmidt Altitude
Whippet Entourage



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 802 | TRs
Location: The Quah
Schmidt Altitude
Whippet Entourage
PostMon Apr 23, 2007 1:08 am 
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After a very long 4+ hour car ride from Sequim, we arrived at Marble Mtn Snopark around 5:30pm.  We were really looking forward to meeting everyone as this was our first social so we wondered who would we find up the mountain.  We gathered our gear together, noticing a few parties leaving as well as one heading up.  We tentatively asked them, "are you from NW hikers?"  expecting odd looks, but to our delight, they were!  We were soon joining JVesquire and Action Betty up the Swift Creek trail on our way to meet with the rest of our group.

The snow was patchy in places at first, but was soon piled thick with a well beaten boot and ski track.  Our group of four traded places taking the lead while making introductions and getting to know about each other.

Jeremy Heads Up the Trail
Jeremy Heads Up the Trail

We passed a couple of groups coming down from the mountain, who informed us it had been a perfect day for summitting and that no crampons had been needed at all.  We took our time getting up the trail, talking to each group that we passed.  The weather was crisp and beautiful, and we were soon rewarded with our first glimpse of the mountain.  We were obliged to stop and take pictures, which led to taking some shots of each other as well.

Jeremy and Tisha
Jeremy and Tisha
Late Afternoon Sun on the Snow
Late Afternoon Sun on the Snow
Jeremy and Action Betty Head Up the Trail
Jeremy and Action Betty Head Up the Trail
Jeremy Takes in the View of St Helens
Jeremy Takes in the View of St Helens

We broke out of the trees to continue the climb by a barren rocky crevice that was stark and unique in its beauty.  The trail crossed by what we assumed was "Chocolate Falls" in the spring, and continued upward, looking for signs of tents or other nwhikers.  AB said, "Just look for a bright orange tent!  That'll be Dean!"

Jeremy at Chocolate Falls
Jeremy at Chocolate Falls
JVesquire and AB Head Up by the Ravine
JVesquire and AB Head Up by the Ravine
Mt Adams in the Distance
Mt Adams in the Distance

Still on the lookout for tents, our view of St Helens kept getting more and more impressive.  We found it amazing how a mountain that looks so far away can suddenly seem so close and attainable.

Mt St Helens
Mt St Helens

We crested a rise and reached a sign warning us of the dangers of climbing on an active volcano (thanks for warning us now  lol.gif )!  This was when we noticed an orange dot in the trees above us.  Just to be sure we weren't imagining it, we made sure AB and JV saw it, too.   (Hey, we had mistaken some trees for people earlier  embarassedlaugh.gif)  Sure enough, we found HkrDean and Dennis' orange tent at about 4300 feet, and Winowing Walker came down from his high perch camp to say hi as well.  Time to get the packs off, finally!  After getting acquainted, there was a flurry of activity while our group picked out spots and set up tents, all while shivering in the now brisk mountain temperature.  It was a gorgeous night with the sliver of a moon, the bright stars, and the lights of Portland/Vancouver below lending atmosphere to our Mountain House dinner.  Sometime after 9:30ish (?) while we enjoyed backcountry lemon drops, our camp was greeted with a new visitor - Crwdog.  He was determinely headlamping in to set up camp while the rest of the group settled in for the night.  JV came over and enjoyed a night cap as well as we reminisced about the past hikes we've done.  He mentioned that he had to work on Sunday and would be leaving first thing in the morning if the weather was bad.

Let me just preface these next sentences with, we have only snow camped once before.  BRRRR!  BRRRR!  BRRRR!  And we had two people in the tent!!  How did the singles do it???  We ended up with all our our layers on and were still chilled.   Well, we did just have 30 degree down bags, so live and learn.  Now we know what to do for the next snow trip.

It was a terrible night sleep, if you could call it sleep, but the frozen rain pattering on our tent at 6am definitely got our attention.  It soon turned into snow and when we emerged from our tents at about 8am, we found the ground layered with a fresh 2 inches.

Fresh Layer of Snow
Fresh Layer of Snow

We were also a bit surprised to find Crwdog, JV and WW all gone and any signs of their tents obliterated by the snow.  Our first thought, was "did we get abandoned?!"  Then, we thought, "what is this, the anti-social?" bawl.gif We looked downhill, though, and saw a small mound where AB was (hopefully) under and the bright orange of Dean and Dennis' tent.  We spent some time talking with them about the events of the morning, the possibility of summitting, and alternatives.  We also enjoyed talking about the "prominence peaks" of Washington - we're very glad you bagged another one!  We also talked with a couple of skiers who had just come up the mountain and they mentioned seeing our group leaving with one person stating that bacons and eggs was better than this...!  Looking back, we couldn't agree more!  Back at the AB mound, we tentatively inquired to the owner if she was in there.  Sure enough, AB emerged from her little snow cave.

AB Emerges
AB Emerges

After a report from three hikers coming down the mountain that is was a whiteout after 6000 feet, we decided to break down camp and head back down.  Dean and Dennis were already getting ready to leave, but we stuck around to see if conditions improved while AB dug her gear out of the snow.  After much waiting and seeing group upon group of people coming up that were not our nwhikers, we finally gave in to defeat and started down the trail.

Jeremy and AB Heading Down
Jeremy and AB Heading Down

We had a fun descent taking some lessons on proper ice axe use and glissading.

Glissading (?)
Glissading (?)

While images of a warm car and hot food were going through our minds, we turned a corner and ran smack into Randy, Dicey, Putz in Boots, DonB, Tazz, soon joined by Mesahchie Mark and Yet just 15 minutes from the trailhead.  They continued on ahead with AB while we debated about making the return slog up the mountain.  We came to be social, so back up the mountain it was.  (Grumble, grumble.)  The snow may have been softer, but it seemed three times as hard to go up the mountain a second time with all that wet gear on our backs!  Eventually we made it up to camp, passing along the way all of the groups we had seen earlier in the day going up.  They all said the same thing:  6000 feet whiteout; had to turn around.  They also wondered why we were going to the effort of going back up.  We were crazy, they asked?  The group had chosen a different location, 200 feet lower to our delight, and on a more even area.  We quickly reset up our drenched tent and gear in the now pouring rain while they strung up a tarp over the designated gathering area.  After everyone had their tents set up and their holes dug  biggrin.gif, we huddled together under the smelly tarp like emperor penguins on the arctic.  We swapped stories, passed around some good ol' jack and watched the rain turn to slush, turn to snow, then back to rain, and on and on...

Under the Tarp
Under the Tarp

A few brave souls tried skiing, but came back looking like drowned rats.  Kudos to them for trying!

Wet Randy
Wet Randy

Just when we had given up hope of new arrivals, Matt and Tom appeared over the hill.  We gave them a hearty cheer and went back to huddling, eating brownies, deadly vibrating, and XL probing (you had to be there  wink.gif )

More Huddling
More Huddling

As the temperature dropped, we went back to our tent to see if we could warm up before dinner in the enclosed space.  Despite having all of our layers on, it was still not enough to warm up in our soggy gear and wet tent.  We decided it was not the smartest idea to stay another night as the temperature would only drop further.  With much reluctance, we tore down our camp as quickly as possible and said goodbye to our new friends.  We raced down the mountain, and if it was possible, the wet gear seemed even heavier than going up!  We made it to our car just at dark, feeling slightly sad that we were missing out on the rest of the trip, but glad that we were going to be spending the night in our own warm bed!! naughty.gif

Trailhead at Dusk
Trailhead at Dusk

We really enjoyed meeting everyone and hope you guys made it up the mountain or at least had an enjoyable Sunday!  Kudos to AB, the only one of us who spent two nights on the mountain!!  cheers.gif

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"Forest 101: These big wood stick things are called trees.  The big rocks are called mountains, and the little rocks are their babies."  Elliott from Open Season
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Schmidt Altitude
Whippet Entourage



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 802 | TRs
Location: The Quah
Schmidt Altitude
Whippet Entourage
PostMon Apr 23, 2007 1:13 am 
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After we submitted our post, we saw Matt's and all we have to say is AARRRGGGGHHH!!!! At least we could have gone to bed thinking we didn't miss out on Sunday  doof.gif!  Nice picture by the way!

--------------
"Forest 101: These big wood stick things are called trees.  The big rocks are called mountains, and the little rocks are their babies."  Elliott from Open Season
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EastKing
Summit Addict



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 2054 | TRs
Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
EastKing
Summit Addict
PostMon Apr 23, 2007 1:48 am 
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It sounded like a fun trip despite the weather. If any of you plan on heading back there in the future PM me.

--------------
I am addicted to summits! I can't eat, drink or breath without them. Life without mountains would really suck.

http://www.myspace.com/climbandsurfmackg | http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=894
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Tazz
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Member


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 7911 | TRs

Tazz
Member
PostMon Apr 23, 2007 8:16 am 
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my stuff is so wet and skanky smelling. My whole apartment smells like a nasty, wet, sweaty, stinky  tent! hurl.gif
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Yet
Member
Member


Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 2635 | TRs
Location: Happily Ever After
Yet
Member
PostMon Apr 23, 2007 8:23 am 
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Back to reality, girlfriend!

My place is messy, but I slept in my warm bed last night. Still, I wish I could see white stuff when I looked out the window, and maybe have some condensation dripping on my head like last night. It took a while preparing for this trip, and it might take longer to organize my photos. I took well over 100! Here's a couple for now:

Perfect ending to a wonderful weekend.
Perfect ending to a wonderful weekend.

Lots more coming.  smile.gif

ps: Glad you made it home safe and sound, AB. You didn't need to use the compass, did you?  wink.gif
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Tazz
Member
Member


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 7911 | TRs

Tazz
Member
PostMon Apr 23, 2007 8:28 am 
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Yet I was thinking it could not end any better myself!!!  my shot sucks though...hard to do 80mph and take a pic  biggrin.gif


Awesome shot yet!
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crwdog
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Joined: 03 Jul 2003
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Location: Battle Ground, WA
crwdog
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PostMon Apr 23, 2007 10:14 am 
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Admin Note:  The contents of this post were lost in a database crash.
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Spring Blast off social at Mt. St. Helens
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