Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Central Oregon

I was going to attempt South Sister, an extinct volcano in central Oregon, on May 23rd.  Unfortunately, a storm system dropped too much snow over the Cascades, and that plan became unfeasible.  In fact, several feet of snow covered the parking area at the Devils Lake trailhead and parking was impossible.  So, I spent the day checking out Lava River Caves, the Newberry Caldera, and a trail that followed a creek which terminates at Tumalo Falls.

Mount Saint Helens

Another failed attempt on Mount Saint Helens.  During the early morning hours of May 21st I set out with my mother up the Worm Flow Route.  Light rain changed to sleet and snow at treeline, but skies began to clear above 6000 feet.  There was hardly any wind, and the day was seemingly perfect for a summit attempt.  My mother made it to the rim a couple of days earlier, and noted that snow conditions were soft and crampons weren't needed.  Based on that report, I decided to leave my crampons in the car in order to save weight.  Unfortunately, the day before my summit attempt was warm and sunny.  This caused the snow to melt high up on the mountain.  A cold upper level storm system then moved across the area during the night, and the melted snow froze hard.  I was able to kick steps in the hard snow up to 7000 feet, but above 7000, the surface turned to a sheet of ice, and I couldn't penetrate it with my boots.  The slope was steepening at this point, and I realized that I was loosing my margin of safety and setting myself up for a long long slide down the mountain.  For this reason, I decided to turn around.  Good lesson learned...always bring your crampons.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ape Cave

I visited Ape Cave in southwestern Washington on May 20th.  The cave is a lava tube that transported molten rock downhill from Mount Saint Helens during a past eruption.  After visiting the cave, I got a room at the Lone Fir Resort in Cougar, WA (last picture), and prepared to climb the nearby volcano the next morning.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dallas, TX

Monday, May 06, 2013

Downtown Oklahoma City - Evening Pictures

More experimentation with the manual settings on my camera.  These pictures are from the Bricktown district in Oklahoma City during the evening of 6 May 2013.