Sunday, July 19, 2009

Day 2 - Mt Lassen

Jill, Nathan and Joel drove up from Loma Linda on Wednesday just in time for our most strenuous activity, hiking to the top of Mt Lassen (10,451 ft elevation) in the evening in time to watch sunset from the summit, then hike down by moonlight (one day past full moon).

The drive to from Fall River Mills to Mt Lassen took about 90 minutes. We took along lots of water, snacks, many layers of clothing, and cameras. The parking lot at the Mt Lassen Summit Trailhead is around 8500 ft. During our 2000 elevation gain, we hiked up switchbacks, enjoyed the beautiful views of surrounding mountains and lakes, crossed several snow fields (we heard someone feel over 1500 feet down one and had to be evacuated a week earlier), stopped for snacks and photo opps and finally reached a stopping spot just below the summit.

There was plenty of time before sunset so some hiked over to another high area just to the west of the summit while the rest climbed the rock fall to the summit. Fortunately we took warm clothes and warm drinks; it was freezing on the summit and we had to wait almost an hour for the sun to go down. But it was worth it. (We saw several summiters with just shorts and tshirs, brrr!)

It was getting dark during the descent of the rock fall. Then due to a miscalculation of moonrise time, we waited for another hour for the almost full moon to rise giving us moonlight for the hike down. While we waited (with one other person who wasn't part of our group), we kept ourselves and him entertained by singing folk songs.

After the moon came up, we hiked down with headlamps, flashlights and then simply moonlight. There were at least a dozen hikers ascending in the moonlight. It was amazing how bright the moon shone, but there were still areas where lights were helpful. The drop off along the trail is quite steep.

I have so many pictures from various cameras. Will post a slideshow later. But for now, here are a few pictures.

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