Forum Index > Trip Reports > Saint Helens Summit Sunrise - June 6, 2016
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Gimpilator
infinity/21M



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 1577 | TRs | Pics
Location: Edmonds, WA
Gimpilator
infinity/21M
PostMon Jun 06, 2016 7:44 pm 
Our friend Jennifer Pharr Davis is visiting from the east coast.  We had trouble deciding where to take her for the biggest possible reward day hike, but finally we agreed on Mount Saint Helens.  Heather and I had been up there before, but we were both eager to return for that view overlooking the crater and lava dome and Spirit Lake.

Adams before dawn
Adams before dawn
the ladies coming up
the ladies coming up
first light
first light
alpenglow on peakbaggers and long-distance hikers
alpenglow on peakbaggers and long-distance hikers

We drove down last night and started this morning around 2am.  The sun was just starting to rise when we reached the crater rim.  What a sight!  Both Heather and Jennifer wore trail runners on the firm snow.  Crampons and axes were not necessary, but microspikes helped on one icy section below the summit.

summit visible
summit visible
inside the crater
inside the crater
mountain shadow
mountain shadow
lava dome
lava dome
summit!
summit!

On the way down I found the snow was perfect for some long standing glissades.  I did get carried away with it however and crashed on a steeper section at high speed.  My camera fell out and I didn't notice until later, so I had to climb back up to retrieve it.

two people on the rim
two people on the rim
Heather on the summit
Heather on the summit
glissade chutes
glissade chutes

We got back to the car just before 9am and decided to check out the upper Ape Cave lava tube which is 1.8 miles long.  We had fun scrambling over boulders and up one 8 foot lava "waterfall".  I only wish we had more time for some of the other lava tubes in my old guidebook, but the Thai Food was calling us.

ceiling formations
ceiling formations
sky light
sky light
exit
exit

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Summitpost |
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Anish
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Joined: 07 Sep 2014
Posts: 79 | TRs | Pics
Anish
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PostMon Jun 06, 2016 7:48 pm 
Alpenglow on the summit
Alpenglow on the summit
Gimpilator approaching the summit
Gimpilator approaching the summit
Rainier with the Lava Dome
Rainier with the Lava Dome
Success!
Success!
:wub:
wub.gif
Adam with Adams
Adam with Adams

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"Our way is not soft grass. It's a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun." -Ruth Westheimer
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mailboxed
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Joined: 06 Jun 2016
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Location: kirkland, wa
mailboxed
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PostMon Jun 06, 2016 8:42 pm 
Great report and what cool pics!  I had my three rugrats up on Memorial Day.  Prime conditions are now but fading fast.  Can stay in snow just about the whole way up from the treeline, climbers bivvy is open, and mid-morning snow is perfectly glissadeable.  Next up is Adams on the 18th with the kiddos, a Granite-Bandera-Defiance-P3 traverse the 23rd, and a Rainier gutshot one of these coming Thursdays or Fridays.

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Redwic
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Joined: 23 Feb 2009
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Location: Going to the Prom(inence)
Redwic
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PostMon Jun 06, 2016 8:48 pm 
Looks like a great day and trip! It's amazing how many people get to the crater rim but not to the true summit. Good job!  clown.gif

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Year 2022: 50 pounds lighter but not 50 points brighter.
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostMon Jun 06, 2016 9:02 pm 
Redwic wrote:
It's amazing how many people get to the crater rim but not to the true summit.

agree.gif  wink.gif

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Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors



Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 2038 | TRs | Pics
Location: Grand Junction
Matt Lemke
High on the Outdoors
PostWed Jun 08, 2016 8:37 am 
Thai food? Ha-ha after a climb that's what you go for?

To each their own I guess lol  clown.gif

Nice photos...I didn't see anything when I was up there

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The Pacific coast to the Great Plains = my playground!!!
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See my website at:
http://www.lemkeclimbs.com
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awilsondc
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Joined: 03 Apr 2016
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awilsondc
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PostWed Jun 08, 2016 8:03 pm 
Looks like an awesome trip!  I got a permit for September, but wish I would have got one for earlier in the season when there would still be snow.

Gimpilator wrote:
the snow was perfect for some long standing glissades.  I did get carried away with it however and crashed on a steeper section at high speed.

lol, been there.  I crashed into a tree and lost an MP3 player on Mount Ellinor 7 or 8 years by getting a little out of control with a standing glissade.  I've been much more in control since.  wink.gif  I hope Jennifer had a good time!

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Brushbuffalo
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Joined: 17 Sep 2015
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
Brushbuffalo
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PostWed Jun 08, 2016 10:07 pm 
Anish wrote:
Success!
Success!

Nice work! Summit sunrises are the best!
There is a ton of speed/endurance represented in this photo.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Anish
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Joined: 07 Sep 2014
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Anish
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PostThu Jun 09, 2016 9:30 am 
Brushbuffalo wrote:
Nice work! Summit sunrises are the best!
There is a ton of speed/endurance represented in this photo.

Indeed. And wonderful camaraderie. I'm looking forward to climbing something out in NC with her soon!

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"Our way is not soft grass. It's a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun." -Ruth Westheimer
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wildernessed
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Joined: 31 Oct 2004
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wildernessed
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PostFri Jun 10, 2016 5:32 am 
up.gif Nice. Good choice.

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Living in the Anthropocene
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AR
724



Joined: 22 Aug 2007
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Location: Saratoga Passage
AR
724
PostSat Jun 11, 2016 5:24 pm 
up.gif

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...wait...are we just going to hang here or go hiking?
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