What to do?The weather forcast was looking abnormally good for what had turned into an early wet fall in the Northwest. Desispsu was itching to take a trip, and I was in complete agreement. While throwing ideas around, a thought came to me...Mt Saint Helens! I took a look at the permit situation, and saw that while we would not be alone, there were plenty of passes left for the weekend. We kept an eye on the forcast, and the number of permits, and by Thursday it was clear that the forcast was going to hold. I snapped up two passes (looked like there would be 60 of us on the mountain) and the plan was set. We would head out on Friday, spend the night closer to the mountain, and get a reasonable start on Sat.
Up up and away
After picking our way up the pumice to the top of the ridge we worked our way up a bit before droping into snow on the west side of Monitor ridge.
We steadily worked our way up the snow, until rocks at the top of the gulch started to make us nervous, so we regained the ridge for a bit, and then dropped onto the east side, where we had our first real postholing fun.
We climbed the snow back onto the ridge and then it was straight up snow and the occasional pumice scramble to 6800' where we passed the ridge's namesake Monitor.
We slogged on the last remaining vertical and finally reached the crater rim around 2pm. The views were spectacular. It was a bit hazy, but the view is breathtaking.
Only way is downAfter a celebatory hershey's bar, we snapped some pictures and decided to start down. Snow conditions were good for glissading, so we were off. Had a blast sliding down, and made good time.
As we lost elevation we started really postholing pretty baddly, soaking my boots.
We were tired, but drove back to Seattle, stopping in Olympia for some Taco Bell.
A great October day (mid 60s!) at a fantastic location, and great company!
5 hours up, 2.75 hours down. 10 miles round trip, 4,500' elevation gain.