Tag Archives: tired

A weekend of adventure – A Coldwater Lake hike


First Weekend of April – 02-Apr-2021 through 04-Apr-2021

It’s been a while since I’ve had a full adventure weekend. I’ve been kind of floating around between adventures this spring, not really sure what I want to be doing and feeling a bit aimless. I don’t know if it’s the longer days, the solitude, or what… but for better or worse, it’s been a real challenge motivating myself to do much else aside from go to work, go to the gym, and try to regenerate my energy at home by laying on the couch like a lazy bear.

This weekend, I planned it out. I set goals, timetables, and decided to move. To charge forward and to try and drive myself out of the funk that comes with the changing of the seasons!

Saturday, 03-Apr-2021

I’m really happy with how many adventures I’ve been able to go on, and how many amazing photos I’ve been able to take on those trips.

It’s sort of like I’m exploring Oregon for the first time… again. I’m poking around, learning new areas, and seeing slightly different edges of those areas as I stretch out and visit more places.

Today was a hike like that – Exploring a slightly different iteration of a place that I’d been to before.

Last summer, Laurel and I had hiked the Boundary Trail North of Mt. St. Helens, getting some amazing views and learning just how much water one can drink while on a dusty hike… even if the weather isn’t particularly hot. This time, we went to a similar spot, but coming in from the other direction – starting at Coldwater Lake, and heading toward the peak itself…

Coldwater Lake is gorgeous, and is an extremely young lake in comparison to most of the places I’ve been too – check out the Wikipedia link below, but the short version is that Coldwater Lake was formed in 1980 by the Mt. St. Helens eruption, when the explosion created a huge line of detritus that blocked the river, creating this lake. The lake barrier was then reinforced by the Army Corps of Engineers, to avoid a catastrophic flood once the natural barrier collapsed… which created this gorgeous lake, with full trees still standing in some parts.

This hike was beautiful.

Just… so amazingly beautiful.

It was actually quite warm as we walked along the perimeter of the lake; the snow capped mountains were all around, but down at lake-level it was warm and dry… warm enough that I actually hiked in a tee-shirt, and had to toss some extra sun screen on as the sun got higher in the sky.

What else to say… as I’ve mentioned, hiking stories aren’t really the most exciting things to write about. It’s a lot of walking, chatting, and enjoying the scenery. Which, while fun for me, isn’t quite as interesting for people to read about.

Ohh! The snow!

That was a cool part!

Like I mentioned, there really wasn’t any snow down at lake-level… but that changed almost immediately after we crossed over a small bridge, and started to head up in elevation. Literally within maybe 500ft of elevation change, the trail went from bare dirt to multiple feet of snow. Enough that crampons and gaiters came out, and the going got quite slow.

Two interesting events of note happened in the snowy section:

  • We found a full camping stove sitting in the middle of the trail. Literally, one of those single-burner, internal-tank propane stoves. In a full case. Literally in the middle of the trail. I assume… dropped on the descent by another party, maybe?
    However it came to be there, ensconced in the snow… I have a new campstove now, which is cool.
  • Aliona fell so far into the snow that she nearly died, and I needed to rescue her.
    I’m… not convinced about exactly how accurate that depiction really is… but she’s adamant that it be typed up that way. Specifically, and I quote, “Make sure you don’t skip any important details about saving my life when I sunk neck deep in snow”.

    So… you know. Heroic rescuerer, here. I dove into the swirling snow-eddies after her, selflessly imperelling myself as we struggled mightely against the sheer weight of the unfathomable doom that is a snowy trail.

I promise I’m normal.

In all truth though, the snow was impressive, and surprising after the clear trail that we’d entered by. It wasn’t too bad of a walk, but definitely challenging… and frankly was getting harsher the closer we approached Coldwater Peak itself.

With that risk in mind, and the sun dipping at our backs, we made the call – 30min more of ascent, and then an enforced turn around time. We didn’t quite make it to the peak… but I’m quite happy with the views we did get, and the sheer distance we hiked.

12.73 miles is nothing to sneeze at… especially when surrounded by peaks as glorious as this.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coldwater_Lake_(Washington)

09 & 10-April, 2016 – Hanging out in Bend after training on Mt. Hood

Saturday (just the tail end of it) and Sunday, 09 & 10-April-2016
After coming down from Mt. Hood and taking a quick nap in the car, drive down to Bend to meet up with Sarah and friends.  Do a quick stop in for food, but mostly I just take the drive as a chance to cool off and relax a bit from the hike.  Turns out: high altitude really doesn’t set well with me, so taking the time to drive with the top down while cranking music is exactly what the doctor ordered… mostly.  It does help, but I’m still a bit cranky when I get to camp outside of Smith.
So, instead of heading into the park to meet everyone, I just nap at the campsite.  It helps, a bit, though what really saves my sanity is dinner afterward – Sarah makes up some glorious Chili dogs, which satiate perfectly.  Then: passing out.
Sunday, we head up into the marsupials… a pretty far-flung section of Smith Rock.  It promises to be a good day… hot, but not too brutal.
But by the time we make it to the climb, we can tell that our heads aren’t in the game, in any way/shape/form.  So instead of forcing a climb, we take the better part of valor and just head back to Hood River without tempting fate.
The hiking is good though… surprisingly good, after how burnt out I was from Mt. Hood… more proof that the fatigue is altitude related, maybe?  Either way, the hiking is lovely, and Ollie helps keep our spirits up 🙂20160410_105417

Saturday, 09-April-2016… and some of Friday. Mostly: Training hike up Mt. Hood!

Saturday, 09-April-2016… and some of Friday.  Mostly: Training hike up Mt. Hood!

Friday and Saturday, 08 & 09-April, 2016… though not much of Friday, I’ll admit.

Quick post this time… since let’s be honest, a training hike isn’t really the most exciting thing out there.


Wake up and hit the climbing gym “early” for a warm up… at 9:30 or 10:00. Good leading, though I still pop off that 5.12b from the comp. Then drop Sarah off at the house, hit REI to get some gear that I wrecked on the hike the weekend before (trekking poles and snow pants), and back home to Hood River to sleep. Sleep, pack, eat, stress, sleep, stress, etc…



Finally leave the house @ 4:00, way later after I’d planned, thanks to forgetting stuff and generally being annoyed and flustered. Start hiking Mt Hood at 5:45, as it’s just starting to brighten up.  It’s a long walk… and honestly not the most exciting one.  But walking solo is kind of nice, and I keep a… pace.  Definitely a pace.  Rest a lot, enjoy my time.  Nap at the top of the Palmer, play on some high-angle ice, chat with photographer and give him water, see an injury from icefall (wear your helmets, kids!), and walk down.  Not… not super exciting, I’ll admit.  It wasn’t a super fun hike, but it did get me some good training and altitude conditioning… I think?