Ominous clouds foreshadow a rough day.
Matt and Justyna ready to head out into the wild.
Okay, the beginning is not quite wild, but we'll get there.
Finger marks the spot.
Heading up the Skyline.
The weather is not clearing.
A light mist starts to fall now and again.
The pavement ends, and trail begins.
A scenic meadow.
The Skyline trail . . .
. . . with intermittent snow.
A marmot sees us off to the snowfield.
The last steep trail before the Muir Snowfield.
On the snowfield.
Like walking in snow soup. A descending party told us of 90 mph wind gusts that destroyed a tent.
At least there's more to share in the 'fun'.
Taking a break at about 7500 ft.
The strings get longer.
Continuing up in a steady rain and 40 mph wind. We're currently looking to get out of this mess.
We decide to find room at the Muir public shelter, instead of setting up a tent.
Plaque on the shelter.
Cozy and snug.
Keepin' warm at Muir.
Braving the wind and cold to gather snow for 'cooking'.
I did go the other way to get snow. These pics are towards the latrines.
Starting to cook at Muir.
Another party at Muir. They went on to summit in 60 mph+ winds!
Dinner's looking good.
The next morning (Mon), clouds are breaking up, but winds are excessively strong.
Fashion model (or victim?).
Clouds closing in again.
A lone trekker heads onto the Cowlitz Glacier (unroped).
Another tease of blue sky
before the clouds rush in again.
Winds are high, but clouds are lifting.
Getting lunch on.
How do you feel about summiting in this wind?
Oh. I see.
Now if the winds weren't so strong . . . .
Cat and mouse with the clouds all day.
Off to bed at 9 pm. The plan is to wake at 12 midnight and check out the winds.
Winds were bad at 12 am. We ended up starting a summit attempt at 3 am. We got as far as the top of Cathedral Gap before Justyna complained of headache and naseousness.
Cathedral Gap (the rock ridge at right) marks our highest point (c. 11,000 ft).
A stitch taken from the helicopter pad at Camp Muir shows 180* from outhouses (left) to the RMI and NPS encampments (right).
Mt. Adams in the distance as we prepare to descend.
Mt. St. Helens from Muir.
Packing up the gear to leave.
Back onto the Muir Snowfield.
That's a lot of pack!
Muir is in the snow "saddle" in the center of the picture.
Looking up at the upper mountain.
Changing clothes for changing weather.
Justyna heads down.
Justyna with Mt. Jefferson in the distance.
Matt 'duck walks' down to help keep the strain off his ankles.
Muir gets smaller and smaller.
Getting to "Moon Rocks".
Saying goodbye to the upper mountain. Too bad we are descending in such beautiful weather.
Almost onto the trail at Pebble Creek.
Getting into the clouds.
Leaving the snow for good.
The mountain again gets wreathed in mist.
Swallowed up by the clouds.
Hiking in the clouds again.
It's actually a relief from the sun's heat on the snowfield.
The meadows at Paradise are covered by beautiful wildflowers.
Taking a break.
Finally my ambulance got here!
Taking off the medevial torture devices that mountaineers call 'boots'.