Mount Saint Helens

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Mount Saint Helens Trip Report (#6842)

We started at 6 in the morning, got to the summit at 11:42. We used wands, which was very useful because we had fog on the way down. Other climbers told us to get to the top before noon, because it often fogged up by then. We took it slow, rested and drank water every hour. We had ice axes with us because there were still patches of snow, but walking sticks or ski poles would have been much more helpful (esp. for folks like me with so-so knees). It has rained the day before so the footing was good and packed. We had a leisurely lunch at the crest, it was a very beautiful climb, and my highest (My husband Greg has done much more) There is a photo of me on the way down on my website (scroll down):

We both did drawings, and I did a series of paintings later, which included images of Loowit. If you have room, you can include her story here, from SNOW SENTINELS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST by Joseph T. Hazard (1932): (I suppose ' Sahale' is the head honcho god)

"An Indian legent of St. Helens is one of the most romantic of those of the entire Cascade Range. Among other things, it records Indian recognition of the distinctively feminine ways, grace, and beauty of the mountain:

In the long ago there was a Tomanous Bridge where now there are but the Cascades of the Columbia River. A wrinked old witch, Loowit, had faithfully kept the sacred fire upon it and had generously prevailed upon all-powerful Sahale to allow her to bestow the blessing of fire upon the cold and wretched natives of the Columbia. Because of her faithfulness and kindness. Sahale granted her a single wish.

From old and wrinkled she became young and beautiful.

Lovers came to her--all the chiefs and mightiest warriors. She favored two only, and cound not choose between them. The rivals fought and burned, burned the forests and villages, each of the jealous other. Sahale frowned in righteous wrath. He smote Tamanous Bridge, and the heavy might of his hand crumped it into the river, where today it fills the river and makes it boil and cascade in angry protest. Sahale smote Loowit and her too-warlike lovers. Sahale loved the three erring ones, even as he chastised them. He reared a mighty mountain peak where each one fell.

The white man came and, in his ignorance, gave other names.

Loowit is St. Helens, the beautiful maiden.

Klickitat, Adams and Wiyest, Hood, are the warrior lovers."

Nice, eh?

Janet & Greg

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