Mount Gilbert May 28-29th 2006

A goat rocks adventure by josh hummel

Mt. Gilbert early morning from camp.

The crusaders: Marrisa, Hanna, Jon, Greg, Angie, Steve, Kurt (my dad), Phil, and Erik

Photos and story by Josh Hummel

The weather report was a toss up.  It being Memorial weekend sitting around was not an option.  Friday afternoon at work I put out some feelers.  Both Sam and Phil sounded interested in doing something.  On Saturday Phil was the only one willing to go.  Along with him he brought Greg.  Now the plan was to do Mt. Gilbert.  My dad along with many others were already up at Mt. Gilbert.  It was going to be a party and I mean a party.  All told we were ten.  Steve Shock, Erik, Marissa, Angie, Hanna, John, Phil, Greg, my Dad Kurt, and myself.

Green False Hellebore after a morning rain.

Conrad Meadows with Phil and Greg .

The hike was mellow and not too long.  The weather was as expected, overcast with a touch of rain/snow mix.  My dad and others had no idea we were coming up.  They were quite surprised when we appeared.  After some flack for how light my pack was, as I one armed it off of my shoulder, and "Where the heck was the beer," (my dad) they let me sit in peace in their fortress of snow (table and chairs included).  I felt like an intruder having not done any of the building.  I soon got over that as Phil and I dug and built our wind breaker for our tent.  We did not build such a good shelter but to our benefit the weather started to improve, that is after we skied.

Phil, Greg, and I decided to head up valley to find some skiing.  The snow was getting a bit crusty and the wind was becoming irritating. We decided to head to a small knoll just east of camp.  Just on the other side of it we found some very good skiing down a small chute.  Greg's head first descent of the chute provided some added entertainment value.

Phil skiing above camp.

Back at camp I still had a lot of energy and so did many others. Marissa, Hanna, Angie, and even Steve with the use of a tarp found a release for some of our pent up energy by sledding down a steep hill off one side of camp.  It was quite fun and a bit scary.  I even took photos as I slid down. Some are way too funny.  I'll have to save a few for later to protect the innocent.

My leg, and from left to right Angie, Marissa, and Hanna all having fun sliding down from camp for late afternoon entertainment.

The morning brought many surprises.  The first being the sun.  As I watched it rise I could hardly believe my eyes. All about me was blue skies and more than a few tents to shake.  Too many sleeping people makes for a boring day. There was some skiing to be done.  It was especially satisfying waking my dad up.  Most of my life it had been the other way around.

Sunrise, "time to get up everyone.".

Phil, Erik, and Steve enjoying the morning view and good food.

After a long breakfast the group was ready to go.  The hike from camp is no more than 2-3 hours at most.  We took a leisurely pace to a shoulder just below the summit of Mt. Gilbert.  I was going to stop there but I wanted to see how the back side of the peak looked.  As I was packing my skis to climb Phil points out Mt. St. Helen’s doing what it does best.  The explosion was impressive so I took a photo.   

Mt. St. Helens blowing up mid afternoon on Memorial Day.                   

At the summit I took a self portrait and a photo of the steep NE Face.  It looked good to ski again, but I was not going to do it alone. I was able to ski from about 10 feet from the summit.  It was actually pretty fun. Back down at the shoulder I convinced Phil to follow me to some nice steep chutes.  After skiing one we could not help ourselves.  Giddy over steep cornacopia we climbed up and skied another line.  It was good fun.

Self portrait on the summit of Mt. Gilbert.

Erik, Marrisa, and my dad getting ready to ski from the shoulder of Mt. Gilbert.

Mt. Adams looking good.

Phil skiing a steep couloir.

More turns.

Looking good Phil .

Marissa cruising back to camp.

Josh skiing, phil test driving the D-200, "good shot Phil."

Too much fun.

The skiing was great, even better the second time down.

Back at camp everyone was nearly packed up.  Phil and I made quick work and soon had our packs ready to go.  After a group photo and some collaboration on how we should descend we beared toward Surprise Lake.  The snow coverage on that side of the valley was at least a thousand feet lower than the other side.

From left to right Marrisa, Hanna, Jon, Greg, Angie, Steve, Kurt (my dad), Phil, and Erik.

The two snow boarders (Marissa and Angie) of the group got a good work out traversing at least a couple of miles.  Some walking was involved.  Eventually, a lot of walking was involved(5 or so miles).  The skiers were able to make it most of the way to the valley bottom with only some shenanigans due to yours truly, sorry guys.  Next time I say, "follow me", remember the old adage, never follow a Hummel."Yeah Phil the map was right,... this time." 

Angie looking good, "just 5 more miles of traversing to go."

Hanna and my Dad resting at Surprise Lake.

With some time on my hands and a light pack I burned some megs on the new digital camera.  Jason had used it, but this was my first outing with it.  It was fun and instant gratification was nearly too much.  Not waiting a week or a month to get film back just felt wrong.  That soon faded as did interesting objects to shoot pics of.  The car was a relief and a cold drink amongst friend, refreshing. We'll have to do this trip again next year guys.     

Trillium under a late afternoon sun.

Yellow Bell. 

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