From left: Sarah Kuck, Emily Nuchols. Sitting: Natalie Brandon.
Emily Nuchols is a near-by Wallingford neighbor – about a half block leap from the back deck. On a recent weekend while on my daily walk of the neighborhood I was lured by bunting and balloons at her front door to make a donation at the back door. There hovering above the salads and corn on the cob on her own deck were a few of Emily’s friends who are supporting her part in the fifth annual “Summit For Salmon.” It is a group climb of Mt. Rainier scheduled this year for August 25. I gave the suggested donation of $20, and thereby joined in the “fight to save our wild salmon.”
Emily is the Save Our Wild Salmon’s Communications Manager, but she has done considerably more than “mediate.” For instance, she has kayaked through Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River, and been “swimming” about Seafair and other events in a well-tailored costume as Buster the Wild Salmon.Our linked sponsorships behave like a kind of pyramid scheme with a wild salmon on the top. This means having been reached I am now expected to find at least five other sponsors and so on until together we raise $5,000 – her goal – for supporting Save Our Wild Salmon by sponsoring her early morning trek up the 14,410 feet of Rainier, the hardest endurance climb in the lower 48 states.
Emily can be seen jogging around the neighborhood, seemingly with little effort. However, by the testimony of practically everyone who has tried it, climbing Mt. Rainier, even on the most fortunate of summer days, is extremely tough.
For my soft part I will stay below in Wallingford keeping a daily posting of what Mt. Rainier looks like – or does not look like – a few feet from Emily’s front door. I have practice, for it is a subject I have been photographing for more than a year, steadying my camera against a power pole at 42nd Street and First Avenue Northeast.
I’ve included here two examples, which I have dated. As every local knows, in any year there are only a few days “The Mountain” can be seen. But what — from Wallingford — will be revealed in the coming three-weeks plus for Emily? These daily postings of the “Mountain That Was God” begin on the first day of August and continue through the 25th, the day of the climb, and perhaps through the month.
When she returns we will ask for an interview.If you would like to help save the wild salmon by helping sponsor Emily’s climb you can contact her at Emily@wildsalmon.org or visit http://wildsalmon.org/donate/. Click “donate now” and then scroll down to “Summit for Salmon” and pick “Emily Nuchols” from the list of climbers.
August 1, 2008: Blue Angels approximate the line of Emily Nuchols upcoming ascent of Mt. Rainier. Photo taken in the early afternoon from the Wallingford corner of 42nd St. and 1st Ave. N.E.. (The dome on the horizon tops Holy Names Academy on Capitol Hill.)
Included as evidence that The Mountain is there. This Rainier was recorded on January 1, 08 and from the same Wallingford intersection (a few doors from Emily’s front door) as those that will be snapped through this month in a watchful accounting or count down to Emily’s ascent…
Looking at Mt. Rainier as if it were there on August 2.
Mt. Rainier twice on August 3. The top was taken around mid-afternoon with a few angels performing for Seafair. The above was snapped about 4:45 pm with the mountain revealed, in part.
Sunset – around 8pm – August 4. The Mountain reflects the color of wild salmon.
Around 7:30 pm – August 5.
Around 6:30 pm – August 6, a Wednesday.
7:30 pm – August 7 – Mountain lost behind miles of haze at the end of a clear but hot day.
6-ish and still beyond the purple haze on 8/8/8.
About one in the afternoon of 8/9/8, a Saturday, with The Mountain relaxing in the bleachers at a cloud rally.
Six or seven hours later after an afternoon squall brushed the north end a rainbow formed a complete semi-circle across the western horizon. As seen from Emily’s avenue in Wallingford its southern end did not quite reach the summit of The Mountain, which was, of course, still hidden behind the remainders of Saturday, 8/9/8.
Sunday, 8/10/8 around 4pm.
Monday, 8/11/8 around 7pm. Had Emily climbed this morning and lingered at the top of The Mountain she could have looked down at Wallingford in the late afternoon.
8/12/8 around 6pm on a generally dismal Tuesday that may have tested the good will of every dear reader.
8/13/8 – a Wednesday – around 5:30 and as clear as The Mountain snapped through the Interstate-5 atmosphere can get.
About 7pm on Thursday the fourteenth after the loitering contributions of this hot day.
A hot Friday afternoon, 8/15/8 – with The Mountain barely detectable on a “clear” day.
A hotter Saturday, 8/16/8, around 6:30 pm, with only the speck of a single crow heading east to the arboretum for the night.
Another clear day and yet impenetrable. 8/17/8
Gray Monday, the 18 of August, about 5:30.
Tuesday the 19th with clouds failing to shape themselves like The Mountain. About 5 pm.
Wednesday the 20th – suggestive of entropy about 6:30 pm.
Thursday the 21st – clouds acting like mountains but no The Mountain about 7:30 pm.
The Mountain shows herself on the afternoon – around 3:30 – of Friday the 22nd, 2008.
August 23, 2008 about 11:30 AM and so some part of two days short of Emily’s ascent of The Mountain. Living now in Portland – and so nearer the Wild Salmon of the Columbia – she will be approaching Mt Rainier from the south side, the side from which she will begin her ascent. We will be watching, sort of.
The day before: Sunday August 24, 2008 about 6:30 pm, and the day before Emily’s scheduled climb for Wild Salmon. Today it rained and tomorrow is looking at least somewhat wet. What will become of the climb in such stuff may be revealed tomorrow.
A moment after the above photo was taken around 3:10 on the afternoon of Aug. 25, 2008 – the day that Emily was scheduled to climb and we assume reach the summit of Mt. Rainier – had The Mountain been in Wallingford, the Seattle neighborhood in which Emily lived when this count down began on the first day of August, it would have been pelted by an impressively heavy rain that flooded the gutters and drove cats to waiting beneath parked cars. Tomorrow we will attempt to recount Emily and the Wild Salmon’s fate on what we hope was a climb that reached above these piling clouds.
The Mountain show her head around 3:30 pm on August 26, 2008, the day after the Wild Salmon team was scheduled to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier. However, no news as yet from Emily nor on the www.wildsalmon.org website concerning the success or, we may imagine from yesterday’s weather, gray rain away. Of course, we hope for pictures soon as evidence either way. For our part we will continue to watch The Mountain from Wallingford.
Looking towards The Mountain hidden from Wallingford on Wednesday, Sept. 27, around 4pm — and we have news from Emily.
“Thanks Paul. We ended up getting stormed out. 60 mph winds and avalanche danger turned us around about halfway up Disappointment Cleaver (aptly named :). We were all bummed, but our guides were spectacular and we all had a great time . . . I’ll send you some choice pix tomorrow. Cheers, Emily”
A Google for Disappointment Cleaver will bring up a great variety of slide shows taken by climbers that follow the route that Emily took, until her group was turned back by those winds. If you compare some of these illustrated narratives you will soon get a confident impression of the route to the top that goes by way of Camp Muir, Cathedral Rocks, three glaciers and Disapointment Cleaver. After the rock cleaver one reaches the last part of the climb, up the “big snowy top” of the mountain.
Towards The Mountain from 1st ne and ne 42nd around 4 pm August 28, 08.
August 29, 08 around 7pm with the day’s evidently getting shorter.
Saturday, August 30 about 4 pm. The Mountain is hidden behind sympathetic clouds.
Last day of August 2008, the 31st, a Sunday and around 2pm. When Emily Nuchols returns to her Wild Salmon office (now in Portland) and sends us a scene or two of her group’s attempt to climb The Mountain by the Paradise, Camp Muir, Cowlitz Glacier, Cathedral Rocks, Ingraham flats, Disappointment Cleaver, more Ingraham Glacier (I think), Emmons Glacier to the top route, only to run into 60 mph winds while on Disappointment Cleaver, and there be turned back by their guides, we will print them. Otherwise, this concludes the August record of Mt. Rainier as seen – and not seen – from the northwest corner of the Wallingford intersection of 1st Ave. Northeast and E. 42nd Street, with the camera steadied about seven feet up on the street sign post. And may more wild salmon make it to Idaho.
Sponsors at the back deck benefit – July 12, 2008. From left: Rachel Kuck, Leigh Newman-Bell, Sarah Kuck, Sherry, Emily Nuchols, Mike Cooksey, Rachel Cooksey, Val Heer. Sitting: Natalie Brandon, Dan Ritzman.