Mt. Hood, er, Adams, er, Rainier

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Mt. Adams, 12,276'

While working in Eugene, OR for two months, Shaun took one weekend off and drove north to climb Mt.Hood. Upon arriving, he was informed in no uncertain terms that October is not the time to be found atop Hood. "It's bowling season up there and climbers are the pins," the sign said in the self-registration area of the Ski Resort above Government Camp, warning of heavy rockfall.

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A rare, perfect day below the Nisqually Glacier

So he climbed back in the rental car and drove north again, camping in the forest near Mt. Adams, another 12,276' volcano. As near as he was, though, he chose to keep on driving to Rainier, the 14,411' active volcano celebrating it's 100th year as a National Park.

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Looking west from below Camp Muir

From Paradise (5,500'), Shaun headed up the Skyline Trail and stayed at Camp Muir (10,800'). If you beat the crowds, you can get a spot inside one of the stone cabins there.

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Top bunk

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Mt. Adams rises in the south

Guide services, of course, have their own huts. The last guided group left camp after 2:00 a.m. and was visible from camp as tiny specks on the upper ridge at 8:00 a.m. Without ropes or partners, Shaun just hung out for a while, exploring a crevasse or two and watching avalanches tumble down the cliffs in the Nisqually Glacier before making his way back down.

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Avalanches sent plumes of snow into the air, appearing as puffy clouds from a distance

rainwandx.jpg (12779 bytes) A wand marks the trail. The fall line often confuses climbers when clouds move in, leading them toward cliffs and deep crevasses instead of safely down the ridge.

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Looking down the ridge from Camp Muir

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Shaun pauses befor leaping over a 50' deep crevasse

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A crevasse opening reveals a thin snowbridge

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Oregon beach sunset

Once off the mountain, Shaun drove to the coast and back to Eugene, stopping to watch another perfect sunset sink below the distant, undulating horizon.

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