While the weather in Seattle had been beautiful for a week the forecast wasn’t looking great for Sunday, May 12th. My mom was landing late Friday though and considering she had been planning to do the Mother’s Day Helens' climb with us since we did it in 2011 we decided we were getting out there rain or shine or snow or wind or whatever.
After picking up rental gear for my mom, grabbing a quick breakfast, and stocking up on food and drink we hit the road. Saturday was gorgeous, which made for a nice drive. We arrived at Lone Fir around 5pm to find out we were given the same beautiful accommodations as last time. Bourbon was sipped around the pool, pasta was ingested, and dresses were tried on. We went to bed around 9pm to prepare for the 4am wake up.
We got moving quickly, which was good since we missed the turn off and drove 30min out of the way. We still reached the trailhead plenty early, packed up, and began the hike by 7am. The trail was snow free for about the first mile, which made for a very different experience than the last time. Soon we started seeing some dresses heading down. A few groups had started in the early morning and were all reporting a turnaround of about 5,000ft. We marched on determined to make it as far as we could. After a few hours we caught our first glimpses of the mountain, or at least what we could see through the fog.
We stopped for lunch at the base of the mountain while we contemplated which side of the ridge (the one covered in snow that we hiked on last time) to ascend. After some calories we were back up and skinning. The next 1000 feet consisted on my novice skinning mom sliding around, being pushed up the mountain, and boot packing. I hope she had as much fun as we did! I was just excited to see my mom skinning like a pro(ish)! By about 4800’ we decided that going higher wasn’t worth it so we had lunch number two, took in what views we had, converted, and headed back down. For all of the times my mom said, “I won’t ski well. This isn’t my set up.” she didn’t even fall once and even carved some nice turns. We were quickly back down to the on and off again snow section but we did manage to have about 20min of uninterrupted “bobsled” skiing once we hit the trail. Back in the car many naps were had on the way back to Seattle and we finished off the day with delicious Mexican food. All in all I would say it was a successful Mother’s Day. Showing my mom what I do every winter weekend was a great way to spend the weekend!