Our next big adventure is Mount Saint Helens in Washington State!
A buddy of mine sent me a note asking, “Wouldn’t it be great to climb Kilimanjaro AND Mount Saint Helens both in the same year!?!”
I didn’t tell him, but my initial thought was, “Hell no! Leave me alone!”
But then over the course of the next day, that idea ate away at me and by the next day I was thinking more like, “Maybe it would be great to climb Mount Saint Helens! That would be pretty cool!”
Once I’d taken that first step, it wasn’t long before I confirmed that I’d do it if my buddy would go with me. 🙂
One piece of evergreen advice that I heard about Kilimanjaro that I think applies to St. Helens and probably most other adventures is that the fastest way to get screwed up on the mountain is to underestimate it. Just because Kili is called “Everyman’s Everest” and you have a ton of guides and support staff and etc., you MUST NOT underestimate Kilimanjaro.
Well, Mount St. Helens is “only” 8365 feet (less than half of Kili’s height) and it is estimated to be a 7-12 hour round-trip day-hike, but let me tell you – I do NOT intend to underestimate this mountain!
When we were approaching Kili (for 4 days) one of my recurring thoughts was, “WOW! it took an awful (awesome) lot of FORCE for God to throw all this rock all this distance!”
But when Mount Saint Helens erupted in 1980 with a force 500x greater than the Hiroshima bomb, it shot ash 12 miles high at 300mph, fired lightning bolts tens of thousands of feet into the air, buried Spirit Lake and the Truman lodge under 200 feet of ash, vaporized the ice cap, and caused incredibly destructive mudslides!
It looks majestic and innocent now, but only 4 decades ago this monster destroyed nearly every living thing within 200 square miles of it!
And we’re getting ready to clamber up the side of it!
You can bet we’re not going to underestimate it!