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Capturing the Summit of Mount St. Helens

While vacationing in Washington State, Kathie, her boyfriend Chris, and his family hiked up Mount St. Helens. It was a challenging five-mile hike to the summit, which stands at an elevation of 8,366 feet. A portion of the hike was a two-mile uphill walk through the woods, but most of it required them to trek through the “Boulder Fields.” These were three miles of fractured spines of cooled lava flow that gave way to gravel and ash, “It was kind of like trying to go up a sand dune. It was very steep, so I kept sliding back.”

After nearly seven hours of hiking, the endless fields of rock gave way to a breathtaking view from the blown out, Southern rim of the volcano that Kathie and her boyfriend captured. “I tell our friends that I took it. Everyone thinks this is some stock picture I had printed up. They’re amazed to find out that this was a photo we took and that this was the result. Everyone is very impressed with that.”

The photo of this stunning view became Kathie’s 12” x 46” Floatmount art. After a family member suggested having a metallic print made, she tracked down Artmill and had the image printed to Moab Slick Rock metallic photo paper. She was even able to enter a custom size to print her panoramic art so there was no loss of the image quality or need for awkward cropping.

Upon her order’s arrival, she was impressed with both the packaging and the quality of her image, “I couldn’t believe how well packed and protected it was. And then I looked at it and I said ‘Wow this is beautiful. This came out beautiful.’”

Looking down the slope of the Mount St. Helens in that photo keeps the memory of her hike and the adventure back down the mountain firmly in Kathie’s mind. "I told Chris I’d be damned if I was hiking back down those rocks, so we decided to glissade.  There is snow between the lava flows and many hikers sit and slide down the mountain on their butts." Glissading by definition is a technique of sliding down a steep slope of snow on one’s feet, but is also popularly executed by sliding on one’s derrière.

Kathie hopes to have other photos, including a second panorama, printed to create a gallery wall commemorating that trip. "I have all of these pictures of us doing different things and of beautiful scenery but what good are they doing sitting on my phone?  I’m going to print some of my best photos and hang something that’s meaningful to me."