Backcountry Skiing Mt. St. Helens – March 19, 2011

This is a super delayed trip post. Basically, I made a photo post on lj from one of the days on this trip, forgetting I have an actual blog. The Explorer has started blogging and mentioned making a trip post. In the future I’ll try to be a little more prompt, though I really can’t promise anything. =D

One of my boyfriend’s really good friends from college came out to Oregon to visit last March. Neither she nor I had been on a backcountry trip yet, so we decided to head up to Mt. St. Helens.


Our alarm goes off around 8.
The Explorer showers then realizes he left all his clothes in the SKIburban. Silly boy.



We get dressed, snag some free breakfast from the lobby, then head to the cars.


I think it’s a miracle that we were driving before 10am.


Ouch. And prices have gone up at least another 15¢. Glad I don’t drive that often (and that the sweet boyfriend pays for my gas 99% of the time).  [Gas prices are back to a reasonable price again, thank goodness.]


We head to Safeway to park my car and buy food stuffs.
D proceeds to spill half his coffee. “Clean up on aisle 12!”



Head out from Woodland towards the mountain.




The main parking lot at Cougar Sno-Park wasn’t plowed (nor was hwy 503 past Cougar), so all the stupid snow mobilers and their trailers were crowded into the smaller lot. I let Big D and Sunny D do all the hard work shoveling a spot for the SKIburban.


After we get parked (and watch at least three trucks+trailers drive around in a circle for 10 minutes looking for a spot) we get our gear together.



And we’re off!


Danielle was on Telemarks and I was on ATs. We snagged my boots for super cheap up at Mt. Baker the weekend before and this was my first time using them! (This was also the first time on what are now my skis!  I was the only person to rent them all last season from The Mountain Shop in Portland and we got a great deal when we purchased them this summer.)  Neither of us had skinned before and it was definitely weird feeling. I’m not used to having my heels free!


It was so beautiful. I love being outdoors.


We skinned for about 15 minutes before finding a perfect camp spot.
Again, I stand around doing nothing while The Explorer and Danielle do all the hard work.



The start of our snow cave!


Then we ran into a tree branch.


He’s my favorite.



Since we only had two shovels, I have a mini-photoshoot with our FORT GEORGE IN A CAN! They just started canning and this was our inaugural trip into the woods with some. SO GOOD!



After shoveling for a bit, I take a lunch break.


So pretty!


The Explorer enjoys some delicious Vortex IPA!



We pose with our Vortex and 1811 Lager.
Because we’re insiders at Fort George, when we take photos of their beer/gear out doing awesome things, they give us free beer.
Local brews are the best!




We sit around, eat, drink, and be merry.



Finally get our butts in gear and start skinning up the mountain.


So glad the boyfriend caught this on camera.
I fell at least three more times (having my heel free means if I lean too far forward, my boot goes all the way over). I’m so impressed by my combination of Capilene 4 tights and hiking pants – I was all up in the snows business and my legs stayed totally dry!



Our first glimpses of the summit. We were hoping the clouds would clear off for sunset, but alas.



We stopped just above tree line. It was so beautiful!



I love him so very much.

It was getting late, so we took our skins off and started back down the mountain.
However neither Danielle nor I felt comfortable skiing down the trail (especially since it was getting dark and she was the only one of the three of us with a headlamp [I KNOW, RIGHT?!]). She and I took our skis off to hike back to the camp site while D skied ahead to the truck to get the rest of our stuff.


We all crashed for a bit when we got back.



The Explorer makes us Annie’s!
I look like an oompa-loompa. I think at this point I have Cap-4 tights, fleece pants, and ski pants on bottom and Under Armor base, Cap-3 top, fleece, Monkey Fur jacket, AND my rain coat on top. Plus my gloves and a pair of socks between my fleece and Monkey Fur.


D finishes off our snow cave with the help of some Vortex.


The moon was so bright!
We later found out that it was a Supermoon!


We cozy up in our sleeping bags and go to sleep!

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