Joined: 05 May 2023
Posts: 22 | TRs | Pics
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Had to take advantage of a great weather window this past week, so I took Tuesday off work, and set out to summit my first of the Cascades volcanoes.
I left Seattle around 8:00pm on Monday night and pulled into the Marble Mountain Sno-Park right around 11:30pm. I set my alarm for 5:30am and passed out in the back of truck.
I hit the Worm Flows climbing route right around 6:00am the next morning (Tuesday). Made it to Chocolate Falls after 45 minutes of hiking in the dark, and was able to take the headlamp off about 7:15am. I was surprised by how good cell coverage (T-Mobile) was on the mountain - I took a break at around 4,700ft and was able to call my wife on her way to work.
The next 3 hours were quite a slog. With the summit in sight, you think things are going to take way less time than they end up taking. Averaging under a mile per hour doesn't help.
first signs of sunrise
last vestiges of the tree line on the way up
I took a break and put on crampons at the seismic station at 5,600ft. I also swapped out my trekking poles for my ice axe - but in retrospect, I should have just continued using the poles as a climbing aid. There was no real fall risk - despite the icy conditions early in the morning.
Made it to the rim a bit before 10:00am, and over to the true summit at 10:15am for an ascent time of 4:15.
The views from the top didn't disappoint at all. While Hood and Adams hung out with me most of the morning, it was great adding Rainier, Goat Rocks, and the entire St. Helens crater into the picture.
looking west, mills working along the columbia river
At the summit, I was again shocked by the presence of a quality cell signal - I was able to make a couple calls and register my location via Find My.
On the way down, I was so heads down that I missed the turn off for the Worm Flows climbing route. I briefly thought about directly cutting over from Monitor Ridge, but without a bootpack, the steep slopes between the two trails dissuaded me. Rather than doubling back, I resolved to just continue on the Monitor Ridge route, then cut back over to the Worm Flows route via the Loowit Trail. I imagine this added about a mile to my day, but it ended up being nice to do a bit of a loop.
rainier and spirit lake
cornices aren't too crazy yet
Got back to the car at 1:45pm where I proceed to chug one of the liters of water that I should have just brought with me up the mountain. Got relatively lucky with traffic - with a stop for gas and lunch at Costco in Olympia, I was home in Seattle right around 6pm.
monitor ridge decent
GPS track: https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/track/b88a82e301228937a80f6ea4f7064b5a
until next time
williswall, runup, Tom, NationalParkAddict, Eric Gilbertson, NWtrax, jstern, John Mac, rubywrangler, day_hike_mike