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Mt. St Helens - what's going on???

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Mt. St Helens - what's going on???

Postby billisfree » Tue Oct 05, 2010 6:06 pm

What is with the St. Helens climbing pass system?

The forest service limits the St. Helens climbs to no more than 100 people per day.

I just climbed Helens for the 3rd time and an obvious pattern is clear... the number of people climbing St. Helens is nowhere near the number of permits sold.

It seems like the permit limit is reach WEEKS beforehand. Therefore, one needs to make climbing arrangements weeks ahead. And woe to the climber who gets bad weather on their assigned climb date... much less, those who need to re-arrange their plans.

My first climb, 100 passes were sold... it seemed like... maybe 15 people summited. The great majority were not even on the mountain.

My 2nd climb 85 passes were sold. We were only two to summit that day. Maybe 10 other "trekkers" did a partial climb, obiously with no intention on summiting.

My 3rd climb, the forest service website wouldn't show how many passes were sold. Judging from the days before and the days ahead, 100 passes were sold. It apears that only 11 people made any summit attempts.

It kinda puts hardship on me to plan so far ahead and I'd like to buy my passes a few days before the climb.

Are people buying up the passes and not using them? Or is the Forest Service being less than honest about the number of passes available?
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Re: Mt. St Helens - what's going on???

Postby OJ Loenneker » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:09 am

Forget the stupid permits on that hill. In summer, I climb from another trailhead where they do not check for the permits. (Butte Camp, Marble Mountain, Moonbase etc.) I have only once ran into a ranger, and I told her I was hiking the Loowit trail, and nothing was ever said about a permit (even though I went to the summit).

Or better yet, go in the winter where the permits are FREE, and you don't have to bother with that crappy sandy scree near the top.
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Re: Mt. St Helens - what's going on???

Postby lcarreau » Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:51 am

If you go in winter, just be aware of the conditions on the crater's rim ..

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Re: Mt. St Helens - what's going on???

Postby Sunny Buns » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:07 am

What's going on? A bunch of goobermint maggots that don't care much for climbers/hikers is running the show. It's pathetic. They are protecting nothing but a bunch of pumice scree. It's goobermint gone wild - totally out of control - as usual. Before the permits were required there was never an overcrowding problem. Shame on them!

Whitney is the same way. Not Shasta. Shasta is self-issue permit at the trailhead - no limit. I think the permit is $20. Unless you go to the one popular route you will not find overcrowding.
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Re: Mt. St Helens - what's going on???

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:36 pm

Sunny Buns wrote:What's going on? A bunch of goobermint maggots that don't care much for climbers/hikers is running the show. It's pathetic. They are protecting nothing but a bunch of pumice scree. It's goobermint gone wild - totally out of control - as usual. Before the permits were required there was never an overcrowding problem. Shame on them!

Whitney is the same way. Not Shasta. Shasta is self-issue permit at the trailhead - no limit. I think the permit is $20. Unless you go to the one popular route you will not find overcrowding.

Seconded. It is asinine policies such as those that cause me to have zero respect for the NFS and their employees (rangers on Shasta expected... Have met several of them and they are a credit to their position).
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Re: Mt. St Helens - what's going on???

Postby Muddeer » Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:31 pm

Sunny Buns wrote:Before the permits were required there was never an overcrowding problem.


That's because there were far fewer people wanting to hike/climb those places back then.

Don't know about Washington, but here in California, I've been told by the Forest Service that the permit limits are determined with estimated numbers of no-shows taken into account.
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Re: Mt. St Helens - what's going on???

Postby mtnview » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:46 pm

Why don't they just sell a annual permit for $30 then you can go anytime you want. No pressure, no anxiety about the date.
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Re: Mt. St Helens - what's going on???

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:18 pm

Muddeer wrote:
Sunny Buns wrote:Before the permits were required there was never an overcrowding problem.


That's because there were far fewer people wanting to hike/climb those places back then.

Don't know about Washington, but here in California, I've been told by the Forest Service that the permit limits are determined with estimated numbers of no-shows taken into account.

And how does the FS in CA justify a quota of 60 people per night each for Mt. Whitney and Onion Valley, but only 10 per night for North Fork Lone Pine Creek and Taboose Pass?

I'll be damned if I think they are taking anything into account. Maybe just setting the quota at 1/3 demand regardless of what that is.
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Re: Mt. St Helens - what's going on???

Postby mrchad9 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:00 am

OMG. I actually agree with almost all of that post!
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