Home > Trip Reports > May 11, 2003, Mom's Day, St. Helens, of course.

May 11, 2003, Mom's Day, St. Helens, of course.

WA Cascades West Slopes South (Mt Rainier)
Posted by JP on 5/11/03 11:07pm
A late night phone call from a desperate friend found me joining the throngs for the annual Mothers Day accent of St Helens.  We left P-town around 4:30 AM, driving almost all the way to the climber's bivy.  Got on the trail by 6:30 fully expecting to be rained-out, but around treeline we broke thru cloud cover into blue skies and sunshine.  It was still icy enough that we decided on packing up the skis and getting in the conga line.  There were no winds to speak of and the temperature seemed to climb right along with us.  We topped out at 10:45, and after taking photos of the festivities and eating a light lunch we skied off the top on stiff but sweet corn snow.  Snow conditions followed the usual spring volcano pattern becoming gradually thicker down below Monitor Peak.  The cloud layer was still packed in at treeline and there'd been a couple of large sluff slides just above the trail but it hadn't frozen over, so the skiing while difficult wasn't impossible.  Once we found the packed trail thru the trees it was smooth sailing and we flew over the rollers back down to the road.  We packed up, pulled out and were back in town around 3:30.  This was my fifth decent of St Helens and I never expected to do the South side again, but I figure it was worth it to do it just once in a skirt.              

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2003-05-12 06:07:20