I had a business meeting in Yakima, Washington and decided to squeeze in a hike of something on the way back to Portland, Oregon. I’d had Shriner Peak on the east side of Mount Rainier National Park on my list for a while and as it’s conveniently located just off Highway 12 between Yakima and Interstate-5, that’s where I headed.
A friend of a friend was visiting from back East and wanted to climb a Northwest peak, so we decided on a dayhike of Mount Saint Helens via Monitor Ridge starting from the Marble Mountain Sno-Park. Because of the popularity of this climb (largely due to its proximity to the masses in Seattle and Portland), climbing permits are required year-round for each person and each day they will be traveling on the mountain’s slopes above 4,800 feet elevation. The permit quota period starts on April 1st but we had been fortunate to snag a permit for six on a weekend day. So after a pre-dawn drive from home, with a stop enroute to get our permit and register (and strenghten ourselves with donuts), we were at the Sno-Park trailhead and off just as it was starting to get light. Continue reading