Mt. Thielson, Oregon; June 22, 1998
This nifty spire of crumbly rock is called by one guidebook "The Lightening Rod of the Cascades". When my brothers and I were there in 1998 we should have taken the implied advice. But, luck (or really a much higher power) was on our side...

John and Diamond Lake
John with Diamond Lake in the background

John and Bob below summit As we neared the final summit spire the clouds steadily descended and darkened. I roped up and began to lead the easy (5.1?) summit pitch when thunder sounded close by. My judgement was clouded by that strange condition that overcomes many "soon to be dead" mountaineers and I argued "we're so close we can't stop now" and continued up. Just before reaching a semi-protected area just below the summit the drizzle turned to hail but my "now afflicted" brothers followed.

Waiting out the weather

John and Bob at summit
After realizing that the weather was there to stay we decided two things. Move quick and stay separated from each other to reduce the "electrical" hazard. We took our chances, took our summit photos, and quickly got down. I'll say again that somebody was looking out for us. Thunder kept sounding all around but Thielson was never struck.

Looking back...
Well, uh, thankya Lord...

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Proud to be an American!
Mack Muir