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[TR] St. Helens - Worm Flows 5/11/2014

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Trip: St. Helens - Worm Flows


Date: 5/11/2014


Trip Report:

2014 Mother’s Day


It is Mother’s Day, so I am going to visit my mother, Helen, who left this world in 1999. In the hours it takes to climb up and down St. Helens, there is plenty of time to reflect on my mother, and think about my own children.


Of course, the fashion parade and festive atmosphere make this a fun day. Even though I was thoroughly trashed from a long trail run on Saturday, the climb was still on. The excuse to go slow and savor actually added to the experience.


The parking lot and side of the road was full at 8:00 AM. There were a couple of spaces in the overflow lot, way back near the road barricade. So everyone must have been an early riser to pay tribute to their moms – quite touching.


This Mother’s Day had a wide assortment – of dresses, of weather (heat and a late afternoon snow shower), conditions. That is Spring on the mountain. The trail was mostly snow free up to about 4,300’.


New to the celebration this year was the parapentes. While a visual treat to the mountaineers, this created a bit of a buzz among local officials. Their concern seemed to be largely for the welfare of the flyers. A small plane surveyed the area and found no evidence of distress.


Several climbers asked if I was a mother and wished me a happy Mother’s Day. Thanks. I did see a mom having a special day. Her kids asked what she wanted to do for the day expecting that her reply would be brunch. They happily accompanied her on the climb, creating a lifetime memory. As I sat on the summit and watched them approach, it was quite moment.


I did not hear an official count of climbers this year. There were over 450 cars reported in the area. While there were two climbers rescued last year, there were no rescue calls this year.



Gear Notes:

On this day, glitter, feathers, or tutus are expected. Hats get bonus points.


Approach Notes:

Swift Trail nearly melted out

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I did that last year. About 750 people were headed up the mountain.

I'm heading up Friday to Helens, do you think snowshoes will be needed?

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They said 900 permits were sold when we were at Lone Fir Sat night. I believe it seeing how many people were out there. Getting the 3am start we well worth it to avoid the crowds.


There is a boot highway right now so I would leave the snowshoes at home. With the heat it will be getting mushy in the afternoon though, so leave early.

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No snowshoes were necessary for the back of the pack. My buddy went up early and pounded in some steps. The freezing level is dropping Friday - Sunday, so the snow will get crispier. Fluff does not exist right now.

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