Lassen Volcanic National Park

July 15, 2017

We finally got to Lassen a day late but eager to explore the park. When we got to the visitor center we found out that the road through the park was closed. This cancelled a few hikes we wanted to do but one bug one we could still do. We drove to where the road was closed and checked out some of the geothermal activities. All of which smelled like rotten eggs.

The next day we got up early and started our hike to Lassen Peak. The trail head was closed so we parked at Bumpass Pass and walked a mile on the road. There were a few guys ahead of us that were more prepared and that freaked us out. But we started up anyway. The first part was walking on an icy snow path through other peoples foot prints. It was still early so the snow was frozen and very slippery. We didn’t have poles so I just dug my fingers in the snow. A few times mine or Kirk’s foot lost its grip and slipped but we caught ourselves. It was maybe .2 miles of this but the entire time I imagined one of us slipping down the snowy cliff and into a frozen pond. We got to the top of that area and I hoped the snow was gone but it wasn’t. There were a few more less dangerous snow paths as we climbed up. But then the path came to a wall of 10 ft of snow and there was no way around it. Luckily, a skier came by and he dug us foot holes so we could climb up. The rest of the hike was dry, rocky, switchbacks all the way up. I was relieved there was no snow but was worried about how we’d get down. The skier beat us to the top but then it was just the two of us. We ate lunch at the top and you could see for miles. We were 10,400 ft up.

The way down was easier and we gave advice to others going up. Then we got to the wall of snow and we had to find a way down. Kirk slid down which was terrifying because there was maybe two feet of trail then an icy cliff of snow. I tried to walk down but ended up sliding down safely into Kirk. When we got back to the beginning I refused to hike back down the icy trail. So instead we walked down the tree line in the dirt towards the parking lot. Then we slid down about 50 ft in snow and safely landed at the beginning of the trail. I was excited and surprised to have made it back after such a dangerous hike.

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July 2017

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