Mount Saint Helens Climber's Log
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|Mudville||Monitor Ridge - Sunny Day |
Date Climbed: Jul 10, 2014
|Started our climb at 4:45 AM from Climber's Bivouac. Wore shorts and a T-shirt for the entire climb (a little brisk at first walking through the wood line but warmed up quickly). The wood line and Monitor Ridge route were free of snow (although there was still packed snow in the gullies along the ridge). Guide posts were clearly visible for the entire route. Clear day for the climb. Around 6,000 feet of elevation to about 8,000 feet, there was a sustained wind blowing from the west at about 15 miles per hour. Surprisingly, however, zero wind at the caldera rim - extremely pleasant on top. Had to walk part way around the rim (across some snow fields - just a touch slippery without crampons) to gain a view in to the caldera and Spirit Lake to the north (the snow cornice around the rim was still thick and tall enough to block some of the views and, obviously, would not want to walk out on the cornice). On the descent, did glissade down some of the shorter stretches of snow in the gullies (just wearing my shorts) but it was a bit slushy. Walked down on some of the more level sections of snow in the gullies (which was faster than the ridge line) but, mostly, stayed on Monitor Ridge for the descent. Returned to Climber's Bivouac by 1:00 PM. All in all, an excellent day to climb.|
|Posted Jul 11, 2014 3:19 pm|
|mbt||Mother's Day Fun! |
Date Climbed: May 11, 2014
|Went up the Worm Flows route with about 1000 other people for the annual Mother's Day Climb. Many of the climbers were in costumes (the usual dresses + Star Wars themes), and it all around felt like a party atmosphere. Camped at the Marble Mountain Sno-Park the night before -- luckily, we were in the smaller parking lot (the one without the bathroom), which I heard was much quieter than the main parking lot. I imagine there were plenty of hung over climbers that day. We started up about 6 am and didn't hit snow until around Chocolate Falls, which was way later than when it hit it last year around this same time. Even after Chocolate Falls, we spent a good deal of time scrambling on the ridge rather than in the snow. I think we were consistently on snow for the last 2/3 to 1/2 of the climb. The snow was soft, and although we brought crampons, we didn't need them at any point. |
Hit the very crowded summit around noon, and the weather started to deteriorate while we were waiting for the rest of our climbing party to arrive. In spite of a forecast showing no clouds and little wind, a cloud rolled in, and we got both wind and poor visibility. We glissaded down, and luckily one of the members of our party had placed some wands, which let us know we were going the right way. In spite of the limited snow at lower levels, we were able to glissade almost the whole way to Chocolate Falls, which was similar to what we did last year with more snow. Glissading was slow, though, and the chutes had various pits that required a bit of climbing around. Still beats walking, though. We got back to the car around 5.
Overall, a super fun day with a fun crowd but not your typical nature experience due to the crowds. One other note regarding the crowds, picking up passes the night before took forever, and getting to a computer or on a wifi network is difficult if you don't have your permit printout. So come prepared and if possible, try to show up earlier in the afternoon.
|Posted Jun 26, 2014 7:29 pm|
|x83415||Ski Descent (sort of) |
Date Climbed: Jun 11, 2014
|Departed Climbers Bivuac at 0450, got to the true summit at 0820. Hung out for 45 mins or so. Snow had began softening up and I skied down almost to tree line. The ridges had no snow and I had to kick of skis twice to cross on the rocks. Snow was goodfor spring/summer ski. Got back to car at 1130.|
|Posted Jun 25, 2014 7:15 pm|
|PDuckX||Monitor Ridge |
Date Climbed: Jun 15, 2014
|Stayed at the Climbers Bivoac the night before. If you have time, go explore the Ape Caves. |
Started at 6:00 am with a party of 24. On the hike through the forested portion that group broke up into 3's and 4's depending on speed. Weather was overcast and cool but OK. Once we got up to the weather station the weather started to deteriorate quite quickly. Rain, Sleet, snow and wind.
We made it to the top where the weather was just slightly better than lower. Only thing visible was the top of the crater, but we were there.
Of course when we all back at camp, the weather broke and the sun came out. Oh, well. Gives me an excuse to do it again.
|Posted Jun 16, 2014 5:11 pm|
|Mike Austin||Worm Flow Trail |
Date Climbed: May 13, 2014
|Good Climb ... was slushy towards the 4,800 marker, but icy at the rim.|
|Posted Jun 11, 2014 2:29 am|
|MattDurkee||Monitor Ridge |
Date Climbed: Jul 30, 2004
|Actually went to the true summit to the West, didn't seems like most people bother to. Proceeded to hike the Loowit trail around the mtn. following the climb.|
|Posted Jun 8, 2014 11:22 am|
|Fairley8||Best view from the top |
Date Climbed: Feb 5, 2012
|Started from the Marble Mountain Sno Park at 5:45am. Climbed the standard winter route up Worm Flows. Amazing views from top including Mt. Hood to the south, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Rainier to the north. 55 degrees and no wind at the summit was quite a surprise in early February.|
|Posted Jun 7, 2014 6:42 pm|
|yadahzoemtn||First Cascade Volcano |
Date Climbed: May 15, 2001
|One of my first mountains and the first of my Cascade Volcanoes. With Kevin and Doug. Wonderful trip.|
|Posted May 10, 2014 4:32 pm|
|WendyK||Historical Event |
Date Climbed: Aug 11, 2012
|Something pretty cool about being alive during the Mt St Helens explosion, playing in the ash at Moses Lake as a kid, climbing the mountain and staring into the crater.|
|Posted May 2, 2014 3:50 pm|
|nlahue||worm flows |
Date Climbed: Apr 26, 2014
|Great climb of the worm flows route. Got brief views of hood, adams and rainer. Snowboarded down from the summit on some pretty icy stuff. Had a brief period of white out on the way down.|
|Posted May 1, 2014 9:44 pm|
|pschlais||Monitor Ridge |
Date Climbed: Aug 2, 2012
|Other than being a bit windy, perfect weather.|
|Posted Apr 26, 2014 6:08 pm|
|ThorsChosen||Worm Flows |
Date Climbed: Apr 13, 2014
|A lot of people at the Marble Mount Parking lot the night before, around 50 cars or so. I think close to 200 people had permits for 04/13/14. I started climbing at 0330hrs to get ahead of the crowd. I think I was the first one to get to the true summit for the day. Beautiful morning with great views.|
|Posted Apr 18, 2014 12:05 am|
Date Climbed: May 13, 2012
|Worm Flows route, nice glissade down.|
|Posted Jan 22, 2014 3:17 pm|
|Kevintheclimber||Summit success |
Date Climbed: Jul 22, 2012
|Generally a beautiful day. The climb up was fun, and a bit easy. However- i do remember the descent being a bitch|
|Posted Dec 27, 2013 11:32 pm|
|Cascade Scrambler||Second time is a charm |
Date Climbed: Sep 15, 2013
|I had unfinished business with this mountain after getting blown off of the Worm Flows route in the worst white-out I've ever experienced. This trip was wild, too. |
I car camped at Climber's Bivouac, and was on the trail at 5:15. I hit treeline in no time, and spent half an hour or so waiting out an absolutely gnarly lightning storm. After I began ascending, I noticed a gorgeous double rainbow off to climber's left; I hoped this would be a good omen. *Just* prior to sunrise, I took a series of the most amazing pictures I've ever taken of Rainier. I had to stop once to wait out a torrential downpour for about 10 - 15 minutes, and at the Plate Boundary Observatory Station I had to wait out winds that kept picking me up and knocking me down.
Once the winds subsided, I hauled ass as fast as one does at this altitude towards the summit ridge. I've heard people say that the traverse over to the true summit is loose and dangerous- well yeah, it's an active volcano. However, it's not as bad as advertised, and it's worth the trip. I had the true summit to myself for 30 - 45 minutes before the next group arrived. I ended up being the unofficial "official" photographer for the next 10 people or so that made the trip to the true summit.
The views to the north east were obscured by low clouds, but the views in all other directions were stunning. I booked it back down the trail and managed to make it home for the Seahawks game that afternoon. What a great, glorious day!
|Posted Nov 30, 2013 10:15 pm|
|locke456||Great Winter Climb |
Date Climbed: Dec 5, 2011
|Route: Monitor Ridge|
We decided to wait out permit season on this one, and it was totally worth the wait. We lucked out with a great, clear weather day (except for some high winds that tried to blow our tent away). The climb itself, even in December snow, is a pretty easy one along Monitor Ridge, but because it's St. Helens, you still feel like you're tackling some huge alpine monstrosity. We needed crampons a bit at the end, but more for peace of mind than anything else. Oh, and the rim cornicing at the summit was scary, so be careful if you go in late season...
|Posted Oct 7, 2013 10:49 pm|
|Robert Hollingsworth||Mount Saint Helens via Monitor Ridge |
Date Climbed: Oct 4, 2013
|Great day on the summit of the mountain. The weather conditions were terrible all week but managed to clear up the day of our climb. There was about a foot of snow that was a little icy but softened up quickly in the morning sun. Could see Rainier, Adams, Hood, and Jefferson as well as the Northern Cascades. A great day to be on the mountain!|
|Posted Oct 6, 2013 6:11 pm|
|nicozone||Farewell to Grandfather |
Date Climbed: Sep 12, 2013
|We originally wanted to take a few newbie climbers for their first summit, but every of them bailed at the last minute due to anxiety or scheduling. My regular climbing partner and I went up and back in 5 hours 25 minutes to see how fast we could push ourselves. He also brought his grandfather's ashes to the summit for a quick memorial and release onto the flanks of the mountain; his grandfather last summited Mt. St. Helens in the late 1970's, and was unable to return for a post-eruption summit.|
|Posted Sep 13, 2013 2:55 pm|
|youngdoc||Damn you, cloud |
Date Climbed: Aug 17, 2013
|I started at 7 a.m., summited at 10:45 a.m., spent 90 minutes on the rim, and was back to my car by 3:40. Having said that, one third of the way into the hike, a cloud settled onto the mountain and refused to leave. Visibility was less than 100 meters and my view of much of the ascent was mist, through which the occasional hiker appeared.|
On the summit, the wind, sand, and mist were absolute: every piece of gear that I carried was coated in droplets of moisture and inundated with grit. Despite four layers of clothing, I shivered continuously on the rim and had to pull my buff over my face to stay warm and keep the sand out of my mouth. I could hear helicopters in the crater, but I couldn't see more than a few feet over the edge of the rim. I had no views at all from the summit. Still, I met some great hikers and I enjoyed every second of scrambling over the crusty boulders on the way up. Some chunks of rock looked as if only yesterday they had been ripped violently from the rocky face of the mountain and dropped where they lay, half polished stone, half twisted, sheared rock.
Going up, the wooded section is very easy. The boulder scramble is a little more work, but if you are worried about that section, you can pick your path and choose one of least resistance (steering only roughly from post to post) obviating most points of challenge. The third phase -- the scree slope -- is a little tiresome, because by that time your legs may be heavy and it's nearly a straight shot up to the summit -- there are no switchbacks to diminish the steepness of the ascent. But again, it's just a question of plodding along, a few steps at a time, as I did, after I apparently attempted to set a speed record on the most challenging route through the boulders that I could create. That wore me down and I tottered my way up the scree slope.
If that sounds somewhat encouraging, I have to add the caveat that the descent is more likely to be a genuine challenge. I carried my ice axe and snow pants, but there was no snow worth glissading, so I was relegated to walking down the scree. I slid and fell on my tail several times on the descent, mainly in the areas where the trail transitions between scree and boulders. No cataclysmic falls, but the conditions were potentially there for one. With each step on sand/scree on the way down, I found myself aiming for anything that resembled solid rock, so I could avoid another unexpected slide. My advice: be careful and allow as much time for your descent as your ascent.
|Posted Aug 31, 2013 3:03 pm|
|OwenT||Good Day |
Date Climbed: Aug 13, 2013
|Got all 17 people in our group up and had a great time, stayed in a wonderful B&B in Cougar.|
|Posted Aug 17, 2013 3:47 am|