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Mount Saint Helens Climber's Log

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uap304Mom's Day on Monitor  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 11, 2003


Mother's Day on Mt. St. Helens is always a festive affair, especially being the last weekend before the permit season starts. There were about a million people on the mountain this day, which started out gloriously sunny. Both would change by the time we reached the summit.

We were slowed down both by a friend's failed home-made snowshoe experiment and the snowboard on my back. I was licking my chops the entire ascent at the gullies directly to climbers' left of the ridge, and the memories were about all I had to guide me once the clouds rolled in at the summit. We parted ways, them glissading and me riding down the tempting untracked snow I had daydreamed over. I remember very clearly a point maybe 500' down where I knew if I rode to the left I would re-join the "climber's" trail. Instead, I opted for a particularly enticing chute off to the right, and entered a world of solitude.

For good reason. Ten minutes later I started lazily traversing back eastward to the general direction of the trail. It didn't take long to realize that, even on the blunt-summit of MSH, seemingly minor off-course errors have a way of exacerbating themselves on mountain descents. Four or five ridges in waist-high snow later, I found a group of people who were similarly lost. Roaming the mountain together, we happened to find wooden markers to follow to the Loowit intersection, where my friends had amazingly just arrived. With daylight dwindling and a sense of relief, we started down into the woods...only to realize we weren't out of the woods yet. We quickly got back off trail and found ourselves in deep brush. Retracing our steps to the outhouse, we cut our losses and called for help. Getting bearings and direction, we finally made it off the mountain around midnight. Not one of my proudest moments.

But the ride down was heavenly, for what it's worth.
Posted Apr 4, 2006 8:12 pm

Infected MushroomRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date climbed: July 2002  Sucess!

Infected Mushroom

Nice hike to the summit on monitor ridge after a 4 day hike around the mountain on trail 216. Very nice, interesting volcanic terrain. Perfect weather all week.
Posted Mar 30, 2006 4:07 am

AeldrinRoute Climbed: Monitor Couloir  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 7, 2004


Ah ... Mother's Day 2004. A beatiful day with all of the cool people wearing dressed in tutus, mu-mus, frocks, and dresses. I as wearing a lovely flowery blue number that didn't breath as well as I hoped, but kept me warm on the ascent. If you've never climbed the mountain on Mother's Day, I highly recommend it.
Posted Mar 21, 2006 6:32 pm

Eric SandboCrater, what crater?  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 5, 1977

Eric Sandbo

The Dog's Head route from Spirit lake. Beautiful, symetrical cone of a mountain. What's all this talk about a crater?
Posted Mar 6, 2006 5:01 am

e-docDesert in the Cascades
Date Climbed: Jun 22, 2004


Really cool mountain. Lucky to have snow on the Swift Creek Flow to climb up. Beautiful views. I'd hate to slog up in the pummice. Greg (who climbed Mt Adams with me 2 days prior) and I went to Portland, met Gregs wife and flew home to the right coast the next day; 3 peaks 5 days! Yoo-Hoo
Posted Mar 5, 2006 11:05 pm

madmallardthe start of my addiction  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 31, 2004


my first major solo climb. perhaps my last climb of this peak too. almost exactly one month before it became active again. the pictures from that day are priceless.
Posted Feb 25, 2006 6:49 pm

cowlitzRoute Climbed: Blue Jay trail up south face Date Climbed: April 28th, 1980  Sucess!
This is a late posting. 26 years to be exact. Sorry I don't know the exact name of my route.I had never ever climbed a mountain. The only gear I had, that halfway resembled climbing gear, was a pair of Rockport hiking boots with some Sno-Seal smeared on them. I had to sneak in, because a Red Zone had been placed around the mountain five miles out by the U.S. Forest Service. A $600.00 fine and 6 months in jail awaited anyone who ventured into the Red Zone. I believe I may have been the last person to climb Mt. St. Helens before the historic eruption of May 18th, 1980. Check out the photos. cowlitz
Posted Feb 1, 2006 5:41 pm

Epdrun1Route Climbed: Worms Flows/Swift Glacier Date Climbed: May 19th, 2004  Sucess!


My first mountain. Unfortunate I was already 20 years old. A great, long day hike from June Lake Trailhead. Overcast at lower elevations but broked out of the clouds at about 6,000ft. (Never get completely discouraged because of the NW weather.) Beyond that conditions were more than perfect. A really nice introduction to high mountains.
Posted Jan 17, 2006 10:07 pm

KoohnavardDate Climbed: May 1988  Sucess!


May 1988 was my first climb on this mountain, it was with the Boy Scouts. Since then I've climbed it 7 times, just because it's there.
Posted Jan 16, 2006 12:27 pm

mountain medicRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 1997  Sucess!

mountain medic

My buddy Jason and I climbed it on a heck of a hot day. I had a lousy backpack, and as soon as we hit timberline, the zipper broke open, and I watched all of my precious water soak into the ash 10 ft below. Not wanting to turn back (After the lottery at Jacks!) I bummed off my partner. An outstanding hike, but I was way dehydrated and sick for 2 days! Still worth it though. Hope to do it again someday!
Posted Dec 30, 2005 4:54 pm

setrentRoute Climbed: Swift Creek Date Climbed: 10 April, 2004  Sucess!
An excellent ski ascent.
Posted Dec 26, 2005 9:54 pm

mandrakeRoute Climbed: Swift Creek Date Climbed: May 13, 2004  Sucess!


Bit clouded in on the summit, but otherwise great climb.
Posted Oct 31, 2005 7:47 pm

indianhillstedRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: June 2001  Sucess!
Great day, low clouds, 3000ft glissade!
Posted Oct 28, 2005 5:19 pm

Franko1946Route Climbed: Dog's Head Date Climbed: June 1977  Sucess!
As we crossed the crater we joked about the mountain erupting (at this time there was no hint of what was to come).
Posted Oct 2, 2005 11:12 pm

Brian FrederickRoute Climbed: Leschi Glacier (deceased) Date Climbed: july 1979  Sucess!

Brian Frederick

Climbed just months before the first blow almost right over the blast site. This was an absolutely beautiful mountain.
Posted Sep 29, 2005 9:53 pm

diceyRoute Climbed: worm flow Date Climbed: 1999,2000,2001  Sucess!
Fun spring ski/snowboard destination
Posted Sep 21, 2005 12:55 pm

SusanMRoute Climbed: Surrounding areas Date Climbed: September 4, 2005


All my intentions to climb this peak were there, but the restrictions are still in place. Still, there are multiple beautiful hikes to do in the surrounding areas, which made the trip worth it.
Posted Sep 6, 2005 7:24 am

vancouver islanderRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: July 12, 2000  Sucess!

vancouver islander

Straightforward solo walk up from Climber's Bivouac. Left at 7am, summit just before noon. Climbed on snow whenever possible. Crystal clear air quality on top with spectacular views. This was only my second Cascade volcano so the views were all new and all the more breathtaking for it. I never got better clarity on any of my subsequent climbs. Found a descent route completely on snow and down in 1.5h - to find my truck had a flat. The only negative in an outstanding day. Hope the mountain will re-open to climbing one day.
Posted Sep 2, 2005 6:21 pm

2skinnersRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: September 24, 2004  Sucess!


I climbed this mountain with my nephew, Jeff. This was my first REAL mountain that I have climbed and now I am hooked. My wife did not have the energy to climb this mountain but she hung out with her friend at the Johnston Observatory across from the summit wondering what all the news vans were doing there. Apparently, the mountain decided to wake up and there had been hundreds of earthquakes unbeknownst to me or my nephew. However, I did summit and had my first experience glissading which was a blast and it shaved time off of my descent. The Mountain was closed down for climbing after the next day and has not reopened since due to increased volcanic activity. I feel truly blessed to have been one of the last people to have summited this great peak. The next morning we were camped out a Silver Lake and my wife awoke to an earthquake early in the morning, so I made the executive suggestion that we all drive up to the Mountain and watch the sunrise. Not a smart idea, but hey the sunrise was pretty even if I was the only one awake to enjoy it. The mountain "Burped," impressively I might add a week later. I Definately will climb this magnificent peak again if it ever allows us to. I also must add that since seeing my pictures from the summit of St. Helens my wife has started climbing with me and is now hooked too.
Posted Aug 24, 2005 5:53 am

jnoffsingerRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: November 1, 2003  Sucess!


Spectacular! Much different climb than Colorado 14ers. More elevation gain, but less altitude. I cruised up to the ridge solo. Very clear day. Great views of Adams, Hood, and Rainier.
Posted Jul 17, 2005 10:26 pm

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