Yesterday I joined some friends summiting Mount Lassen. It was a wonderful experience.
Getting there had its little hickups like any group trip. One of the vehicles overheated and we had to leave it at the entrance. Fortunately on the way out of the park it was 30 degrees cooler and down hill all the way home so the car made it back fine. We didn't let it deter us though. We piled into 2 vehicles like a bunch of clowns and drove up to the base camp to hike. It was really cool up there. It was about 65 degrees at the base camp while it was 95 degrees back home :)
While hiking it was the usual fatigue wise. Heavy breathing and heavy limbs in that high of altitude. We moved fairly fast as a group of 9. 2 of the girls had to stay back for various reasons and watched the cars. The light wasn't refracting too much at first but after about 20 minutes it started breaking forth into all sorts of colors. As you can see from the first sunset images it's kind of cyan and magenta. Right before dusk though it got insanely red and yellow. My image does very little justice to that slice of watermelon colored red and bright yellow. It was Gorgeous. The last 1/3rd or so we hiked was pretty much in the dark. At the top was amazing.
We were totally above all the pollution, dust, and fog. The night sky was lit up brilliantly. You could see a giant tentacle of the milky way arching from corner to corner of the spectrum. We had dinner up there. It was mainly sandwiches and some junk food people shared. Some of the girls managed to pack some coffee and hot chocolate that we decanted rather quickly. We stayed up there and talked, joked, etc for about 20 minutes after dinner then hiked back down. It got really cold. Probably freezing.
The hike down was faster and we all managed to warm up a bit during that final stretch. The moon was just enough to light our path. It really helps having someone in front of you too to kind of know where a loose rock or something maybe.
Anyways, that's about it. Lassen only opens a few times a year now to do this so if you're interested check the dates with the office or website. :)