We left the Climbers Bivouac at 0600 to head up Monitor Ridge. After breaking treeline, the weather started to worsen and we got rain and sleet. By 7500 feet, it was snowing pretty hard and most of the rocks were covered with rime ice. At this point, every party ahead of us was turning back. We decided to press on and see how far we could get. Eventually, we came to the summit crater rim, snapped some quick photos, and beat feet for lower elevation and fairer weather conditions. The summit views were less than spectacular, but we did get a sense of accomplishment for having endured the weather.
The road to the climbers bivouac (3800') got plowed out the day before, saving many miles. We were informed of a situation, an overdue climber, separated from his party. Skamania county sheriff made us promise to walk him out if we saw him on the way to timberline camp.(4800') We saw no one, and were informed via cell phone that 'tom' had wandered out on his own. Two lonely mountaineers having too much fun telling stories instead of sleeping. Got going at 3:30 am. Didn't even need headlamps because of ambient june light. Some ridge scrambling, and a lot of snow. The last 800' had a stairway to the top, thank goodness. It was rock hard and we were cramponless. I can't believe we had the whole summit to ourselves! Frozen but happy, we started waking people up on the phone. Apparently, 7:00 am is too early to call on a Sunday. The fog, the sunrise, the avalanches in the crater, the other volcanoes, and the solitude all added up to an incredible climb. Irritated several groups trying to be the first up the mountain that day. We're view hogs! Back home to our wives in only 26 hours.
megan julia we are eight years old and we reached the top of the mountain. has anybody else reached the top that is 8?
on the way down I slid on my bum on the sand
I saw a rock slide in crater when I was on top
Great day hike! It gets really hot on the summit though. Summit early and use sun screen!
My wife and I camped at timberline Saturday night and summited Sunday morning. There was a group of 34 on the summit with us!!!!!! I do not know what the heck a group so large was doing up there, or why they were allowed more like?!?!. My friend proposed to his girlfriend on the summit-pretty exciting. That was my 5th time up-it doesn't get old! Route is snowfree, bugs were horrendous at timberline!
I left at 3:00AM from below the Climber's Bivouac and summited at 5:00AM in time for sunrise over Mount Adams. I enjoyed solitude for most of the morning until the Bivouac party crowd started to arrive (one guy had a cigarette and Bud Light after summiting at 9:30AM). I noticed that the off trail sediment is extremely loose and likely to slide significantly in the future.
With peter, robin, karin & robert. Skied crater rim to parking lot. Yee hah!
Climber's bivouac parking lot opened Friday afternoon. Skinned up through the trees, snow is thin and trashed with branches/cones/etc. Upper mountain was fun skiing down (corn snow, heavy in places). Got too far west and had to bushwack over lava ridges. Ugh!
My first ski mountaineering experience. Hauled my skis to the summit but my skiing abilities & noodly BC boards were unable to cope with the extremely sun-cupped conditions--ended up walking nearly the entire descent, turning into a really LONG day.
Had BEAUTIFUL weather with good views of Rainier, Adams, Hood, and Jefferson. All in all, a GREAT day!
What a view over that crater rim, though!
After the weird permit ritual we climbed nicely to the summit ridge where we continued to the real high point
Had to take skiis of around 6500 feet and haul from there. Beautiful day, and it was the last weekend of no limits on climbers passes so everyone was up there.
What an amazing hike! I remember it like it was yesterday. It was so awesome to look down into the steaming crater. If you have the chance to climb this volcano then I highly recommend that you do. Being above the clouds on that ash covered trail is really awesome!
Natural Born Hikers
Headed down Saturday afternoon and got to the the Marble Mountain Sno Park that evening. Started at 730am in rain and yucky weather. Bill and I skinned up on our skis and Ely snowshoed and carried his snowboard. Once we got a few hundred feet up we could see the mountain and it was almost clear. The forecast was not the optimistic, but we wanted to do this so we trudged on in weather that changed every 10 minutes. Once above treeline the sun shined brightly and tanned my pale hide. Around 6500 feet the clouds came back in and snowed and blew on us pretty hard. Once at 7000 feet the clouds were below us and it was gorgeous weather! We had to carry our skis the last few hundred feet as it was pretty icy in spots but we never needed our crampons or ice axes. Hit the summit around 130pm. Hung out for about 30 minutes and then started our descent. Great snow up top, then icy in the middle and cement near the bottom, but we were able to ski all the way to the parking lot, and made it there by 4pm. Could have been faster but we had to retrieve all of our wands. What a great day to get in 5500 vertical feet of skiing!
Summer day in the winter! Wind picked up a little halfway up, but at the top there was not a breeze at all and completely sunny. The footholes were consistent for the most part, and we ditched our snowshoes halfway up and just used hiking boots. We skiied down, but this proved extremely difficult with the variable snow conditions. The sticky snow was catching our edges, and the steepness of the slopes made our intermediate skills look quite elementary. I would wait for fresh snow before trying to ski down, unless you're comfortable in the Cascade Cement. Although, it did prove to be a quick descent (1.5 hour).
Climbed the Worm Flows route with an overnighter just above timberline. Hike up from snow park to timberline was in perfect weather - the evening was calm and clear as well. The trail (Swift Creek #244) to timberline is like a highway - tons of people, well beaten. Weather still held well on Sunday morning - better than our June trip on S. Sister. Clouds moved in as we climbed the final section along Monitor - wind started pounding away; vis. dropped. Bad weather followed us all the way down. Snow-shoed all the way up (good snow - too soft for walking; perfect for snowshoeing) - no need for crampons (that day); kept ice ax handy on the way down. Several parties (+1 lone skier) were seen on the summit approach that day.
The hardest part of this climb for our group was getting the permit. The lottery that weekend was harsh. There were like 100 people trying to get passes and of course most were turned away. We were lucky. But knowing this, I would always make a reservation way in advance and not hassle with the whole lottery scene in at Jack's Restaurant. On the other hand, if you don't have a reservation, go anyway and risk it. There is so much to see and climb out there, it is worth it.
The summit in my opinion was awesome. We had great weather and clear skies. There was little wind, so the crashing of rocks falling from the rim onto the youngest glacier in N. America was geological music to my ears.
The sights are amazing as well. It is a view into the bowels of the Earth! Some of the rocks under your feet are only 22 years old! The vents of sulfur and bubbling ponds of mud in the crater... It was the closest I have ever felt to the world beneath the crust that we are so accustomed to climbing around on. Granted, this is all taking place hundreds of feet below you (straight down) when you are on the rim, but the perspective from the summit makes it even so much more sublime. It is a wonder of nature. You are looking into the core of a mountain...
There was a whole lot of snow on the route this year. The snow started before we were even out of the trees. It was a beautiful day and the first time I summited a "real" mountain.
The Monitor Ridge route in the summer is a non-technical, long walk-up; but lots of fun. The rangers have done a nice job marking the route. Snow-covered slopes should provide for easier climbing earlier in the season because the loose scree up high on the mountain isn't the most fun. The views are some of the best around. Since Mt. St. Helens lies on the far western portion of the crest, the view that awaits is very rewarding because none of the nearby volcanoes are abscured by another. Looking down into the crater and north towards Mt. Rainier is simply awe-inspiring. A climb to the summit is a must for any avid hiker.
It was the first weekend that climbing was again allowed after the eruption. The weather was unseasonably warm, and scantily clad climbers of both genders were in abundance. Within two weeks the new and generally hated quota system would begin, so 100s were taking advantage of this golden opportunity. The first look into the crater at the dome and of the crater rim were truly amazing sights. I had only climbed the mountain once prior to the eruption, unfortunately, on June 15, 1975, using the Forsythe Glacier route. The post-eruption climbs are not as satisfying, but St. Helens still offers a great opportunity for conditioning climbs and early-season fun. And that view into the crater never gets old. I've climbed it several more times, including a 3-generation effort by my dad, myself, and my son Ryan in 1993. My dad was 78 at the time, and Ryan was 14.