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Mount Saint Helens Climber's Log

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K WilliamsRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: 8-24-03  Sucess!

K Williams

Truly amazing to think and see the explosive power of this Mountain making the climb through the boulders worthed. Shared the summit with a handful of people, saw and heard several rock slides into the crater. There seemed to be a small vent near the dome venting steam and could see Spirit lake in the distance as well as the near by mountains.

Posted Sep 15, 2003 12:41 am

annaleiserabinekRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 25, 2003  Sucess!

annaleiserabinek

I love a good rock scramble, much more than a slow trudge up scree and ash. Lucky for me I got the best of both worlds on St. Helens. When leaving Climbers Bivouac in the morning listen to the birds sing all the way to timberline. The rock scramble was tedious, but a blast. It seems to go much faster than the last 1000+' of two-steps-forward-one-back scree/ash sludge to the summit. The views into the crater are spectacular! Crazy! My climbing partner Cornvallis hiked a little way to the west down some scree, caused a rock fall, and up another ridge to reach the true summit....while the rest of us 99 hikers stayed on what everyone else thinks is the summit. The west side of Monitor Ridge has a very nice descent trail (there is no need to scramble over all those rocks again). The view of Rainier can't be beat from here. Wear sunscreen and a hat.



On a side note: We had time to kill to avoid rush hour traffic in Portland so we hiked through Lava Canyon. Besides its nice to take an easy walk and let your leg muscles cool down before getting right into the car. Its beautiful. Take the time to see it. It has a fun, very safe, suspension bridge. Its a quick 1.4 mile loop, cool and in the shade. Amazing powerful waterfalls.
Posted Sep 3, 2003 1:50 pm

donstrRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 29, 2003  Sucess!
I did it! So did my wife and 11 year old son. 4.6 miles each way, 4,500 feet of elevation gain. There are three sections to the hike. 1) 2 miles through a forested area to the end of the timberline. Only 1,000 feet of elevation gain. (From Elevation 3,800 to 4,800) A walk in the park. But then: 2) Scrambling and miandering through rocks for the next 2+ miles. This is the real struggle of the hike. Keep as close to the posts as possible. The beautiful views of the surrounding nmountains, Hood and Adams begin to unfold as you hike through a rather barren moonscape of rock, pumice and ash. Then; 3) A steady slow hike through ash to the summit, starting at elevation 7,000 to the rim of the crater at 8,300 feet. Then you can look down right into the crater. You can't capture what you see in a picture, only a snapshot in your head will do. It is surreal.

Advice: Make sure you leave before 7 AM in the morning (not 9, like us). Bring 3 quarts of water per person minimum (not 2 as it says on the web site). I would also advise staying in a motel or bed and breakfast, you're going to feel dirtier (from the ever present ash) than you've ever felt before. You'll want nothing more than a nice shower after you're all done.

Posted Sep 2, 2003 6:38 pm

CornvallisRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 25, 2003  Sucess!

Cornvallis

Pulled into Climbers Bivouac at dusk. Exhausted from the day’s climb of Mt. Adams we decided to crash in the back of my truck. Much better night of sleep than the prior night spent at the Lunch Counter on Adams. Crawled out of the truck in the twilight to enjoy the sunrise, much to the dismay of a sleepy annalieserabineck ;-) Started off around 6:30 AM under clear blue sky. Enjoyed the rocky scramble up monitor ridge until we hit the upper "beach" slog to the crater rim. Had amazing views from the crater rim as far as the Olympics and Mt. Baker. Traversed along the crater rim to find the true summit. Enjoyed nearly 2 hours on the rim on a clear warm day with relatively few climbers (only 58 on the register for the day). The trip back down to timberline was fast and fun through soft ash and scree. 12,000 feet gained over 3 days, good times!
Posted Aug 27, 2003 4:48 pm

OtomaxRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 14, 1987  Sucess!

Otomax

First climb ever. Really loved it, even with poor fitting, borrowed climbing boots, totally inadequate water supply and ridiculous route finding skills.
Posted Aug 20, 2003 6:40 pm

Phil DeckerRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: July, 2002  Sucess!

Phil Decker

Dusty, busy, but well worth the sunset.
Posted Aug 7, 2003 7:17 pm

crirwinRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: July 27, 2003  Sucess!

crirwin

Took my 15 yr old daughter Katie and her friend Krystal. Decided to make an early morning run for it to catch sunrise up on the mountain. Left Climbers Bivouac at 1:00am. Soon after departing camp heard a coyote howling and about 15 minutes later came our headlamps picked up two sets of yellow eyes peering back at us from about 30 yards up the trail. Broke through timberline and followed the posts in the darkness up Monitor Ridge. Kicked back for about an hour just below 7000 ft. and watched the sun rise over Mt. Adams. Finally packed up and hit the summit about 7:15. Weather was perfect and the view great as usual. Headed back down about 8:30 and ran into a caravan of people heading up. Also ran into a number of very aggressive squirrels!! They have us humans well trained. One of them jumped on Katie and tried to run up her leg.



Katie described the climb as "awesome," which makes it all worthwhile.



Climbers Bivouac was a zoo the night before. Hard to get even a few hours of sleep with the loud party going on . Certainly the place to avoid on a summer weekend!
Posted Aug 1, 2003 11:31 am

amochkaRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: July 22, 2002  Sucess!

amochka

Beautiful steep hike. Easy going through the forest up to timberline from Climbers Bivouac. Loved the sight of our headlamps bobbing through the trees and the small patches of snow still hidden in the forest.



Monitor Ridge itself a real slog....just straight up the side of the mountain. On the way up, ran into the first group coming down. They had started at midnight and had the experience of watching the sunrise from the mountain.



Tough going up the boulders near top of Monitor ridge...just a lot of climbing over rocks and picking a trail to the top. Only truly painful part of the trip was the pumice field near the summit. One step up and two steps back...progress was difficult, but cresting the summit was worth that bit of pain...what an amazing view!



I grew up in Portland and remember the eruption from my childhood. I've always seen Mt. St. Helens on our skyline, but climbing to the top and looking into the mountain gives you a completely different perspective. I will never look at this mountain the same way again. It's just a shell of a mountain!



A lot of very large rockfall into the crater while we were at the summit. The ground would vibrate when really large compact-car sized boulders would break loose and tumble into the crater. We stayed clear of the cornice...no interest in experiencing a tumble in.



The trip down...what a blast!! That same painful pumice field was a hell of a lot more fun going down...leaping through the air, it felt like we could take off and fly back to the Bivouac.



Knees were a bit sore by the bottom of Monitor ridge, and the sun was blaring down by now, so very hot.



Would love to do this mountain when there's snow on it...
Posted Jul 27, 2003 11:51 am

yronmanRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 2002  Sucess!

yronman

Fun, climb. Strenous(2h, 20min to summit), but well worth it. Might try it at night or a ski descent in the future. (watch out for the rangers if you don't have a pass, $$$)
Posted Jul 18, 2003 2:44 pm

dkantolaRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: May 9, 2003

dkantola

After failing to reach the true summit last August, I was eager to reach it this time on a club outing. When we crested the crater rim, however, the leader proclaimed it the summit and declared it was too dangerous to traverse over to the highest point on the rim. Grrrr. I'll be back.
Posted Jun 29, 2003 2:58 am

dkantolaRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 21, 2002

dkantola

A horrible trudge up scree and ash to the crater rim above Monitor Ridge. Only the volcanoes were visible above a sea of clouds. I'll come back another time for the true summit.
Posted Jun 29, 2003 1:47 am

crirwinRoute Climbed: Worm Flows Date Climbed: May 3-4, 2003

crirwin

Overnighter with my friend Nathan and Brian Jenkins as a warm up for Adams later this year. Knew the weather was marginal but thought we'd take a shot at it. As Brian said, set up camp at about 5600 ft. Weather just got worse but we had a lot of laughs just the same. Made a run for the summit in the morning. Made it to about 6700 ft. and couldn't make out a thing much more than a couple feet ahead of us. Brian and I just looked at each other and made the tough (but smart) decision to head back down.



Nevertheless, it was good experience in difficult conditions and I enjoyed the company.
Posted Jun 18, 2003 4:26 pm

cmc56789Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: June 7, 2003  Sucess!

cmc56789

I climbed this by solo at night, so i could see the sunrise from the summit. I left climber's bivouac around 11 PM, and summited at 3:55 AM just as it was beginning to get light and Rainier was barely visible. I was the first one to summit, and had the summit to myself for about an hour before two other climbers joined me. Watching the sun rise between Rainier and Adams was truly a memorable occasion. On the way down I passed what was probably close to all 97 of the other people who got permits.
Posted Jun 7, 2003 11:36 am

pksanderRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: May 23, 2003  Sucess!

pksander

Spent a warm, but rather sleepless night at Campers Bivy and started out on the MR trail at about 6:30am. This was my first alpine ascent and I was a bit nervous setting out, since I was doing so alone. Emerging from tree line, found tracks all over the snow heading variously upward; decided to follow the most direct (steep!) path up the first pitch: two pairs of tracks in crampons. This was to be the steepest part the climb, at perhaps 40 degrees. Continued following these tracks until I met their makers another hour and a half later. Continued the rest of the climb (and the glissade and bushwack back) with Mac Cook and Jerry Strahle. (Thanks, guys!) We made the summit in time for about ten minutes of clear skies before the clouds obscured everything around us. Great views of Adams, Rainier, and Hood. Round trip took roughly 8 hours. Not nearly as hard, technically or physically, as I'd thought it would be. Am planning on climbing again in another 3 or 4 weeks, possibly from Worm Flows approach...



A great spot for alpine beginners...
Posted May 28, 2003 1:30 pm

krishnaRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: Apr 28, 2002  Sucess!
Great weather. Wish I had taken my skis with me.
Posted May 12, 2003 2:18 pm

Brian JenkinsRoute Climbed: Worm Flows Date Climbed: May 3-4, 2003

Brian Jenkins

Met up with Craig Irwin from SP and his friend Nathan at Jack's Saturday morning. Started out from Marble Mountain Snow Park about 1 pm and hiked through gloom and some snow onto the ridge. Got to about 5600 feet, just below the seismic monitor and shoveled out a flat area and set up camp. Snow started in earnest then and came in sideways from the west the entire rest of the weekend. At midnight, had to shovel the tent out a bit. Not sure how much snow we got as the drifts made it hard to judge, maybe a few inches, maybe a foot or so.



Made breakfast in the vestibule and climbed Sunday in decreasing visibility to about 6700 feet. Visibility was....um...........our feet and wind about 25-30 mph so we decided to turn around. Got some good winter camping and travel experience and had a great time with some new friends. At one point I swore I heard sirens from our camp and then on the hike out, some other hikers told us SAR had pulled a group of disoriented climbers off earlier. Either way, it just wasn't meant to be a summit trip but had a good time nonetheless. A nice steep section just above our camp got to use the axe on. Broke a trekking pole in half though postholing on the ridge on the hike out.
Posted May 6, 2003 12:46 pm

cuprinaRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 3, 2002  Sucess!
This one is little crowded, especially in summer on sunny day like this. Had a great time anyway.
Posted Mar 13, 2003 3:40 pm

MikeBRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: June, 1993; April, May, June, July 1994; March 1995  Sucess!

MikeB

Fell 600 feet in avalanche - April 1994. Real wake-up call to the mountains.
Posted Mar 9, 2003 5:17 pm

big_gRoute Climbed: Monitor Ridge  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 11, 2002

big_g

1st Cascade volcano.
Posted Mar 3, 2003 6:15 pm

jhalzRoute Climbed: Swift Creek/Worm Flows Date Climbed: February 23, 2002

jhalz

Broke trail from the tree line Sat. Set up our tent just above Chocolate Falls in blowing wind and snow. Clear, beautiful night though. Got an early start Sunday. Made it up to 700ft below the summit. Summit was socked-in, snow was blowing sideways. Tried to wait it out for a while, then headed down.
Posted Feb 26, 2003 9:35 am

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