Operation Breaking and Entering

The feds shut down the national parks and monuments last week, but that didn’t stop me and a small band of internet hikers from getting out to enjoy the beautiful day on Mt. St. Helens on the fourth day of the 2013 government shutdown.

it was a beautiful day for civil disobedience

We did a fun 12-mile loop on the southwest side, starting at the Redrock Pass trailhead, ascending north up the Butte Camp Dome trail, and tromping through snow on the Loowit to the Loowit re-route. From there, we did a short bushwhack south along the drainage to meet up with Trail 237 (Toutle Trail) and then floundered to find Trail 231 (Kalama Ski Trail) back to the trailhead. (The 231/237/238 trail intersection is confusing. The actual trails weren’t expressed correctly on any of our four maps.) A [really] early winter storm dropped snow was low as 4500′; it was between 4″ – 6″ around 5,000′.

red is the plotted route; white is the actual route

Cougar, Pine Creek, and the summit of MSH have been shot out

a little splash of color

Mt. St. Helen's fat side

Mt. Hood made an appearance

almost to the Loowit

Well, hello, gorgeous.

the last ridge of the Butte Camp trail

a picture of someone taking a picture

the sweep

Kam's all-weather setup (Chacos, wool socks, Yaktrax)

lunch on the Loowit

it's like summer hiking, but with snow!

hiking along the Loowit

setting up the group photo (required)

out of the snow zone - to the bushwhack!

it's getting a little thick

zone 1

zone 2

and we're out!

take a left at the cactus snag

heading down the wrong trail...

trail nap

frustrated that none of the maps show the correct trails

a little debris movement with last month's epic rains

fairy forest

zoom zoom zoom

dog vomit mushroom

heading back to the trailhead

so long, Ms. Helens. glad you were still open.

6 thoughts on “Operation Breaking and Entering

  1. oh gosh. I hate to say this but it wasn’t breaking and entering. The national forests (of which MSHNVM is part managed by) are not really closed. Yes, all of us are furloughed, but the FS decided to take the position (unlike the NPS which has controlled entry) that facilities only are closed (campgrounds, visitor centers etc). People can still go in. I’ve been hiking in the forest all week which I wouldn’t do if it was actually closed, mostly cause I’d get in a ton of trouble as a Fed if I were caught. See, you aren’t a criminal. Go to the North Cascades and you might be.

  2. I was checking in to see if you did the Enchantments, and found this fun post. I’m jealous that Steve got to meet Oscar!

  3. Oscar hung with Steve most of the day because Steve was out front most of the day. We bailed on the Enchantments because of the snow levels. Next year!

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