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Mount St. Helens - It's a special relationship

Matt Zaffino shares his special memories and favorite moments of climbing, biking, and simply enjoying the majestic beast known as Mount St. Helens.
Credit: kgw

PORTLAND, Ore. — As I think back on the times I've spent on or around Mount St. Helens, it might be the Cascade Peak where I've spent the most time.

Climbing Mount St. Helens is no great feat of mountaineering or even hiking. As climbing goes, Mount St. Helens is not technical, meaning you don't need ropes. There are no crevasses to cross, and while the upper slopes sometimes require crampons — those are the fang-like devices you strap on the bottom of your boots that grip the ice and allow you to ascend or descend safely on hard snow — no technical mountaineering gear is required.

Hard-core mountaineers might consider this a bit of a yawner, but I think it's anything but, and as I look back through my pictures of fun on Mount St. Helens, it brought me nothing but smiles. I was filled with joy and reminded of how much that volcano has given me personally and how much it means to all of us in Portland and the Pacific Northwest.

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Check out my latest podcast where I share some of my most meaningful experiences on Mount St. Helens.

As I travel my routes in Portland — here and there for home, work and errands — I know where I will see you, and I always look. Is the mountain out? What's she showing us today? It's one of the joys of living in the Northwest in sight and in the shadows of our living, steaming, breathing volcanoes.

Happy anniversary, Mount St. Helens eruption.

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