Sunday, July 05, 2009

Musings on mountains


As some of you may know, Ravelry is having a dye contest in conjunction with the Sock Summit in August. This has me thinking of socks and summits and series, which leads me to muse on mountains I have known, but one in particular.

Mt. St. Helens and I first became acquainted in 1994, and we are probably the best acquainted of any other I have known, with the exception of my own local Mt Diablo.

In 1994, I had arrived into Portland with no money to my name, having spent the last 11 dollars to layaway some turn of the century Japanese hair sticks in Seattle. I was able to get some money from family, enough to stay at a youth hostel downtown where I met two women who were planning to conquer the summit. It sounded like fun, even if I was sure at the time that mountaineering is not my thang. That day we barely made the summit by mid-afternoon, ate lunch on the edge of the crater and then sledded down the glaciers on our butts.

Without ice axes.

Not my brightest moment, but a good thing that we did slide down, because as it was, we hiked from the tree line down in the dark; I, without a flashlight.

I remember though seeing the other mountains in the neighborhood from the edge of the crater. It was amazing. I have no pictures that I can remember, but see it clearly in my mind, not as you would in this picture, but as a gravel cone that we climbed in tennis shoes. I remember my feet slipping down the gravel, and the main image is looking up from the slide of the gravel cone to the edge of the crater. We were above the tree line, but that's what I remember.
It seemed impossible.

Sometimes, when I think of that day, it helps me remember that if I can summit St Helens, I can do anything. Even if I am scared out of my mind or just plain lazy.

3 comments:

Bezzie said...

Ah to be young again!

suzynjackson said...

I have a similar memory, but it's standing in the middle of a bridge in Prague. It's my "if I can save up enough money to get myself to Prague, I can do anything" moment.

zippiknits said...

Mountains are sometimes deeply mysterious, and a great cause for musings, and that one sure the heck is. We once found a tiny piece of glass that was from Mt. St Helens. There's a formation made during eruptions that is fairly rare.