01) The trail starts at Cold Springs-5550 feet
An easy climb up the lower trail,
through forest and wildflowers.
02) Indian Paintbrush in profusion, all along
the lower slopes.
03) Above treeline-climbing the switchbacks up
the lower ridgeline.
04) Splashes of blue along the trail.
05) Well up the ridgeline west of the Crescent
Glacier--approaching 8000 feet.
06) Small cone near the Crescent Glacier.
07) End of day at the 8,291-foot camp, perched
above the west shoulder of Crescent Glacier
(and below the Lunch Counter). A climb of
2,743 feet from the trail head.
08) Last sun of the day.
The view up to Piker's Peek from camp.
09) View of the southern hills.
10) Twilight on the mountain. Dinner done, time
to crawl into the tent.
11) Evening light on Mt. St. Helens.
12) Morning; the way up. 6:45 departure.
13) An easy climb on cold, firm snow, ascending
the snowfield between the top of Crescent Glacier
and Lunch Counter--the main campsite on the
mountain at 9,400 feet.
14) Near the hump of Piker's Peak (11,540 feet). A
long climb up the sun-pocked snowfild on Suksdorf
Ridge. Nothing difficult here, just a long plod
in softening snow. The Lunch Counter far below.
15) Another solo climber
16) View across the wide back of Piker's peak.
Good place for a water-and-food break. False peak
and the true summit now clearly visible. Leading
up to the False Summit, there are a series of
switchbacks on the dirt and rock between the big
snowfield to the right and the small patch of
snow to the left of it. With crampons, kept to
the left edge of the big snowfield.
17) The back of Piker's Peak is a wide, flat saddle,
edged by cravassed glaciers on the East (right)
side. Smell of sulphur in the air, just before the
climb up to False Summit.
18) On the summit-12,276 feet. Arrived at around
11:30 after a nearly five-hour climb and 4,000 feet.
Modestly steep climb to the False Summit, then an
easy transition to the true summit. Half-dozen
climbers at the top. Beautiful weather, stunning views.
19) At the western edge of the broad summit ridge,
a sulphur miners' cabin, according to another climber.
Hard to imaging mules making the trek to the top.
20) View to the west and The Pinnacle.
21) St. Helens far out to the west. A climb for
22) Working down the scree from the False Summit.
A good view of Piker's Peak and the glaciers on
the Eastern slope.
23) A worn-out, four-footed climber on Piker's Peak.
A true example of being dog-tired.
24) The fast way down the mountain-especially in
the soft afternoon snow: Butt glissading. A twisting
track and ice-axe brake helps keep the speed down.
25) It's easy to get disorientated on the broad
snowfields. Needed to check the GPS to not over-
26) Back at camp around 2:00 p.m. Broke camp
quickly and continued down the mountain-a long,
hot walk, arriving back at the car two hours later.