My son arrives on the summit of Black Butte.
My eldest son turned 9 a few days ago. Among the many milestones he achieved around his birthday was his first ascent of Black Butte. My wife hiked with him while I stayed home with our two younger kids. He has been wanting to climb Black Butte for a while now and was quite excited to make the journey. He has made longer hikes (including the 8.5 mile Panorama Trail in Yosemite at age 6!) but this was the first longish hike with a sustained grade that he has done. My wife reported that he handled the trail with ease. I am thinking next year will be Mount Eddy!
My wife and I live outside of Mount Shasta City, up on the crest of the Black Butte Summit pass. Unfortunately our line of sight on Mount Shasta is blocked by Black Butte but we do have a great view of this lesser mountain. Since we have a good view of Black Butte (including the old lookout tower’s foundation, which is visible to the naked eye) my wife and I coordinated the timing so that, as they approached the summit, I was able to set up my tripod and camera with my zoom lens. While not high quality optics, this lens was good enough for me to see my wife and son on the summit of Black Butte! They were small specks, but their motion and the even the color of their clothes was discernible. You can see them in the image below. Be sure to enlarge the image so you can just make them out.
I know they appear tiny, but I still think it is really, really cool that I could see them all the way up on the summit of Black Butte, 2,500 feet and 2 miles away from our house. You can see them (barely, of course) in the video below:
While they were up there I tried signaling them with a mirror. While they did see a couple of flashes, the sun was essentially behind me and made catching it just right very difficult. This got me thinking about putting an event together with the Boy Scouts, having groups ascend Black Butte, Mount Eddy and up to Hidden Valley on Mount Shasta and conduct mirror signaling to each group. That would be a grand event, one that could be witnessed from in town too!
All in all, I think it was a very cool event. Of course, I am very proud of my son for making the hike up in such fine form. He is growing into quite the outdoorsman. He is hungry to get on the trail and explore more. Of course, we’ll have to get him out a little further from home next summer. The summit of Mount Eddy is only 6 miles from our house!
I’m a proud dad!