14 May 2012

Birthday Volcano Ski

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this SPECIAL announcement: In celebration of my 28th Birth Anniversary, yesterday I successfully summitted and skied Mt. St. Helens.

In a dress.

With about 300 other people.

That's right, they ALL care about my birthday!....that or it was Mother's Day and this is an annual event...but I'm going to continue to believe that they were all there for my burfday!

Our first glimpse of the mountain
I heard about the Mother's Day Helens Dress Ski a few months ago from my friend Ben (who you remember from this post) whose birthday is ALSO May 13! He's exactly 10 years older than me. When he mentioned it, I immediately took the opportunity to invite myself along. Thanks Ben!

Ben, Johnny (another BC skier friend I know), and I left Saturday early-afternoon and headed south. Leaving Seattle was a little sad as the weather has been absolutely stunning here lately, but it was equally nice down at Helens. We arrived around 6pm and it was still "shorts weather" - shorts and a tutu that is! We ate, drank, had some delicious birthday brownie cake (thanks Ben!) and got all prepped for the big ski before hitting the sack early! Our alpine start time had us waking up at 4:15am!

Kristina + Scissors + Beer = a good idea? (click to enlarge)

Night Flight

Johnny, Ben, and I were joined by 3 other people from Ben's hood on the Kitsap Peninsula and the 6 of us were on the trail by 5:30am. Most of the campers left the parking lot between 3-6am due to a warning issued about high avy danger. Actually about 1/2 of Ben's friends who were going to come down bailed because of the NWAC warning, but we assessed the situation and decided to still go, and I'm sure glad we did.

Always happy to be on the trail, I enjoyed skiing up through the trees for the first 1,000 feet while watching the sun come up. 

I'm enthusiastic in the morning without coffee. Don't hate.

As we got closer, you could see the ants heading up their giant hill. You can see the different paths straight up below. The true summit is to the left in the shadows.

Highway to the top
The trip took me a little over 5 hours and I stood on the summit by 10:45am. I'll stop yapping and let the photos do the talking. 

Getting out of the tress

Ben bootpacking post ridge traverse

One of my fave pictures from the weekend

About half way!

Head up on the left. Glissade down on the right. This is the hill that never ended

Once on the summit, I took in the amazing views, and was surprised when Kevin scooped me up for a summit pic, backpack and all! Kevin wins the unofficial Best Dress award.


Not a bad view. Not bad at all.

Closeup, Mt. Rainier got all dressed up for us

Birthday Buddies!

After spending my last birthday climbing Monkey Face, I didn't think I could top it, but this was definitely just as great! Thanks to everyone who was a part of it, and to all of you who mailed cards/got me flowers/called/texted/facebooked me Happy Birthday wishes. You know how to make a girl feel special.
Celebrating 28 years!


Ben said...

Glad I got to spend my burfday with you on your burfday Kristina. And, I'm really happy Kevin's dress wasn't any shorter in that picture of him picking you up on the summit!!!

sara said...

Hey, lots of fun I see guys! Great that you enjoy yourself so much, I wish I was also there :)

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Nick the Greek said...

Great recap of the weekend! Amazing day working our @$$es off for some great skiing, and even better stories!

JonClark said...

Wow! Nice work guys. Thanks for the post Kristina