Cynthia preparing for the hike. mmm...yogurt!
We were greeted by a Hairy woodpecker at the trailhead.
If you look closely you can see that this waterfall has cut down through first one layer of glacial till then an Andesite lava flow, and is now cutting into another till deposit.
Oregon's Mt. Hood in the distance
This was our first decent view of the crater rim, we were dealing with white-out conditions a good portion of the time on the summit.
Kevin discovered that if we walk slightly down from the summit we could see into the crater if only the clouds would clear. This is looking back at the summit from the area he found.
Just as we were about to give up on the weather there was a sudden clearing and Cynthia convinced us to move a little further yet down slope but still on the crater rim. This position proved be the sweet spot, from here we could see nearly the entire crater. This photo is of Gabe with the summit in the background.
Being the most active volcanoe in the Cascade range, and also a reletively easy hike, St. Helens draws many seasoned climbers and neophytes alike. We can see in this picture that the climber on the summit is reletively safe, but from were he is standing he has no way of knowing if he is on a cornice or not.
In these photos you can see the volcanic dome. After the eruption in 1980 this dome started to slowly grow until 1986 when it fell quiet for 18 years. Then in 2004 there was increased seismic activity and a new dome began to form. Since that time the growth rate has been as high as the equivalent of one dumptruck load per second. Currently it is closer to one dumptruck every six seconds and, if continued, the mountain will reach its' pre-1980 altitude in less than 100 years.