We spent a couple of weeks in Oregon and Washington earlier this month. We spent the first week seeing friends and getting a couple of dayhikes in. On Sunday of Labor Day weekend, we hiked up to Comet Falls and Van Trump Park at Mount Rainier. The weather was pretty good and, although it was a little smoky, it wasn't too bad.
Mount Rainier on the trail up to Van Trump Park
A couple of days later, we had permits to climb Mount Saint Helens. In the meantime, the Eagle Creek Fire had started and blown up big time. The smoke was pretty bad. We camped at Climbers Bivouac and there was quite a bit of ashfall on our tent and car in the morning. It was also pretty hot. We got up and started hiking by 5:30 a.m. so we could summit and be well on our way down before it got really hot.
The trail at treeline. You can see the posts which mark the trail up on the ridge.
The last push to the summit. The trail, at the end, was pretty steep and soft in places. Also, we're flatlanders, so that slowed us down, too.
Did I mention smoke? This is the view from the summit of Mount St. Helens.
We really enjoyed the hike. We were pretty slow going up. It took us five hours to get there. Going down only took us three. It got pretty hot among the black lava boulders on the way down, so we were pretty happy to reach the shade of treeline. I would like to do the climb again someday under better conditions.