oh. em. gee.  do you see that?  meet my new bff, glaciers.  for real.  you cannot even imagine how excited I was about the snow.  I just wanted to roll around in it the whole time.  we started from paradise, and hiked about halfway to base camp (a little over 2 miles).  laura had an extra set of poles that I borrowed, and I don’t think I would have gotten by without them.  snow kept getting in my shoes, and I was all “BRING IT.”  we saw a few different groups of people practicing to summit the next day.  we even saw one of the groups practicing self-arrest, so that was pretty exciting to watch.  apparently mt. st. helens is a hiker’s mountain, and anyone can climb all the way up, even kids.  but rainier is a climber’s mountain, and it’s way more intense.  I don’t think I’ll ever climb to the summit, but seriously.  just the climbing that we did, it was incredible.  my friend jeff told me that rainier was a requirement, and that if I didn’t go he’d never forgive me.  he was SO right.  top life experience.