Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller
Date: July 11, 2022
This was one tough 4-mile trek. Mt. Lassen Peak, at 10,457 feet was one of the world’s largest plug dome volcanoes. Our trailhead began at 8,500 feet. The first 100 yards was quite formidable as it was almost a straight up incline. I was winded already. No wonder the trail was rated difficult. I could see large rocks way above on the bald tundra and hoped they would not avalanche down on us. The trail continued up via loose rock switchbacks or rounded curves with no protection from the sun. We passed smaller rocks, and some scrub brush, patches of wildflowers and a few twisted hemlock and white bark pine trees but not much else was growing this high up. I had to stop often to catch my breath at this altitude, but Rosie seemed unfazed. At the higher points we encountered big patches of snow. At one location, Rosie lay down and made snow angels. We talked to a few hikers who had made it to the top and were returning. They said it took about 4 to 5 hours. We made it up to 9,950 feet, four out of the five miles, and then turned around. I considered this a success. As we descended, we saw a furry, small mouse looking mammal called a pika run across our trail. Pika’s only live above 8,000 feet. We took many panoramic photos from our high elevation. We returned to the campsite and did some serious stretching after that tough hike.