Climb Party: Ercan, John, Aish
Summitted St. Helens via the Worm Flows route. Late start from TH (Marble mountain) at 08:30. Reached summit at 14:45. Glissaded down most of the way. Reached TH just before dark at 18:30. Slow descent due to John's bad knee / feet and dehydration.
Have climbed it twice. The first time was in the summer of 2002. Was a hot, dusty, overcrowded slog up monitor ridge with the only reward at the top. St. Helens has probably got the best view of any Mt I have been on. Raineir, Adams, and Hood are looming seemingly an arm reach away and the blown out crater is absolutely amazing. But I vowed to never do it again in the summer. The second climb was in March of 2004 in the middle of the week. We had perfect weather. We had 3-4 full sun days prior to our climb and full sun both days of the climb. We started at 2200 feet from the gate and snowshoed into timberline up the Swift Creek Drainage. Set up a snow camp and slept like babies until a 6 am awakening and frozen path up the beautifully blanketed slopes. The summit was almost too warm and beautiful to believe with only 2 other parties seen all the time. Will do it again and am looking forward to it.
This was my first summit attempt with my best friend and was an amazing trip which inspired a pact to keep climbing.
From the begining of our day, where a line of lights tripped up the mountain in front of us, to the blazing hot trip down, it was gorgeous. But the view from the top, looking down into the side of the mountain was unlike anything I have seen before or since.
Lesson learned? Gaiters; there not just for snow any more. Boy did I wish I had a pair as I dug ash and pummice out of my shoes!
We had thunder and lightning the night before but it cleared by 8pm. My buddy and I hit the the trail by 4am and had clear skies with a very small bit of wind for the whole trip up.
The ridges were all exposed and crampons were nice to have (especially earlier in the am) but were not necessary. We summited by 9:30am with about twenty others and spent about half an hour there looking around.
Glissaded down... the best!... and returned to the car by 11:30am to watch another system of thunder and lightning roll in. Great times!
awesome day, real warm from the beginning. snow starts right at the trailhead. ridges are open almost all of the way up. little to no wind until the summit. excellent view from the top. glacading was awesome all of the way down.
Bivied in the parking lot, and up at the crack o' dawn to summit in crystal clear blue skies. Super fun glissade back down. Gotta do that one again sometime, just for the ride down. Snowboard maybe?
With Fred Spicker.
Nothing like climbing a limited edition route - certainly never expected to have it become part of our garden!
Started out at 4:00am from Marble Mountain Snow Park. I had my snowboard and was looking forward to a good ride down. Snow pretty much started from the trailhead. Snow was very firm early on and once above treeline, we cramponed up. Made easy going until about 500 vertical feet from the summit when we got steady wind of about 35-40 mph. We pushed on and when we reached the summit, the wind had died down. We made the summit in 5hr 20 min. Beautiful day and we could see as far as Mt. Jefferson to the south. The sun was warming up the slopes pretty fast and I had a blast going down.
Sunny day with no winds. Climbed with Aish and John. Started at 8:15 am, reached the summit 2:00pm. Glidased all the way. Snow was soft. Had to use snow shoes on the trail in the woods.
I left the Marble Mountain Sno-Park around 12:30 and summited at 6:50AM. The top was pretty windy, so i didn't stick around as long as I normally would, but I did see yet another beautiful sunrise with the summit to myself. I had to wait a little longer than anticipated for the snow to soften up for glissading, which made for some pretty slow going at first, but once it warmed up I had a nice glissade down. I saw 10 people and 1 dog going up as I was going down. Not dealing with the huge crowds on the Monitor Ridge route later in the season made the added work of this route well worth doing.
Summitted in a white out. Couldn't see a thing, almost walked off into the crater, but the clouds cleared just in time! I'm sure the view is normally awesome from the top (well, at least what's now the top).
Worm Flows (March 20, 2004)
Started early on skis from Marble Mount. Was surprised to hit hard ice at 5000', so had to ditch the skis since I didn't want to carry my extra heavy ancient skis. From that point on it was 3000' front pointing in heavy ski boots, ouch! Windy but great summit views, midday the snow turned into mush and wish I had carried my skis up, oh well had a fun glissade and skied the rest. Always a fun mountain.
Monitor Ridge (May 24, 2003)
Last year carrying skis was painful, so this time will had to try randonee boots and skins. This IS the way to go! Took us few years to figure out how to best climb this mountian :) Skined all the way to the top pleasently. On the way down, weather changed into white-out conditions took some narrow gullies back into the forest and back to Climbers bivy.
Worm Flows (May 11, 2002)
First ski attempt. Climbed in Koflachs and carried heavy! alpine ski boots and pair of skis along with the usual gear. Man it was heavy. Slow and painful going but made it to the top. Skied all the way down to the parking lot, that was worth the carry.
Monitor Ridge (August 25, 2000)
This time took few friends up the mountain. No snow and lots of scree. My friends had real hard time scrambling up and down the rocky part. Group got separated, cold wind made it very hard to wait for the rest of the group. One guy didn't have a jacket so had to shuttle back down and up to get some clothing from the rest of the group. Will not do this this late in the season again.
Worm Flows (May 21, 2000)
My second attempt after my first failed attempt back in 1997, when I was foolish enough to push on with a tent tarp instead of a real jacket in a storm. Very slow going becuase not being in good enough shape and soft snow. Standing at the edge of the crater and looking down was impressive.
Started from Mount Marble snow park at 6:45 am. Reached the summit at 12:20. During the climb up, it was icy on the ridge, however on the way back, it all melted. Weather was sunny all day. Other than the noise of snow mobiles, close to the snow park, It was as a wonderful. climb.
A winter cloudless day with a spring-feel and firm snow until the sun softened it just before noon. This was my first solo trip in the winter and was well worth it even though I didn't ski down. Hamstrings cramped an hour down from the summit but rest, stretching, and food helped to subside the painful cramps. Snowshoed all the way up using MSR Denali Evo Ascent (highly recommend), and as the snow became quite soft the shoes were useful on the descent also. Cornices were very evident. Even though I was about 40 ft. back from the rim, I heard it cracking. Not a comforting sound. Be aware! Stay far away from the summit cornice, especially when the sun is shining.
First climbed St. Helens via Monitor Ridge in September 2000. Easy hike starting from the parking lot. We had a whiteout near the crater which made things interesting.
Second climb via Worm Flows route. It was early spring (March 2002) so I took my snowboard up and had 4000 ft. descent on descent snow. This was fun. I highly recommend it.
Hot and dusty but excellent clear view from the summit. Wish we could of climbed before the eruption.
We had come to the mountain without crampons or ice axes to find the ridge route covered with a thick layer of ice. Undeterred, we dropped into a snow gully, climbed up with some traversing and were the only ones to make it that day.
Our rag tag group of Willamette law students made it to the top on a windy but great day. The snow was pretty soft on the way down and required snowshoes. We camped at the treeline and had a great time. We now move on to Adams. My homemade pulk worked great except when the trail was too steep.
Instead of sloging w/ the masses over the boulder field we scrambled fthe snow fields to the left & right when ever possible. Much easier on the knees, less body dodging and the best solution for my brother's first ever summit attempt. He was totally committed to his first climb. Diet program to shed 115 lbs. and & training for nine months had its rewards in a succesfull summit bid. Could not have asked for a better weather day even w/ the herd of people also on the attempt.
Hot, dusty good to get up & get out.