Well, we both kinda knew it would be doubtful we'd hit the summit. My friend Isaac was in town from MN to try to climb something like Baker or Rainier but with the storms and recent snow dumps, we decided to try something tamer with crevasseless non-avalanchey terrain.
Only about 20 others on the mountain this day as it was raining for the first 1000 feet or so. Then wet snow, then about 5500-6000 feet, it was full-on ice-pellets-in-the-face, high winds, postholing fun. And there are 3 more days of summer left!
About 7500 feet at the last post, I had already placed several wands between posts due to crappy visibility. Visibility went to maybe 40 feet or so and the winds were maybe 50 mph. Was starting to get turned around in the swirling snow so we decided to head back down. Slowly we inched our way down weaving back and forth to try to find the posts. Was lucky to find all my wands in the mess and we headed back down and on to Jack's for some hot food.
So, I am only 1 for 3 on this volcano and still never had any decent views. Maybe I'll hit this one again on a nice weekend once the permits are done for the year. Still had a good time though since we were out on a mountain.
This was a great day for climbing - there was a strong temperature inversion and while it was 45 degrees at my house in Vancouver, it was 65 degrees at the trailhead when I arrived just before sunrise.
Got to the summit in an hour 45 minutes and was treated to incredible views.
I've climbed St. Helens about a dozen times since this first summit and it's always an awe inspiring trip.
Amazing day on the volcano. Clear as a bell. Awe inspiring views of Rainier, Baker, Hood, and Jefferson.
Thought I would cruise this "easy" Cascades peak, and did travel fast (3&1/2 hrs. to the summit), but don't be fooled as I did-it's a big hike. Non-technical, but big for a southwesterner such as myself.
Interesting from a geological standpoint as well.
This is a fun Hike & climb up a Cascade peak. We started at 5:30am to beat the heat and most of the other hiker's. A nice warm up for 2 miles before you hit the Ridge. Then its up and up to the crater rim and the Summit on the Left. Great views of Rainier, Adams and Hood.
Started climb in mist along Monitor Ridge, beautiful start, nice views. Weather began to really decline at last 600 feet. 30-40 mph winds with sleet at summit, and we were facing into the wind on descent. Not exactly a nice summer climb, but a good clothing/gear shakedown to figure out what was waterproof and what was decidedly NOT.
Snow-free all the way. Summitted in a little under 3 hours. Was a little suprised at the extent of the boulder scrambles, (not difficult,) that comprised the middle 2000 feet or so of this route. I'd been putting off getting the permit and going up high here for years, and wasn't disappointed. Quite the contrary, this is a very fun, direct, fairly easy route with spectacular views, and I doubt the quota of 100 people was present today. A lot of smoke which unfortuately blocked out Rainier. But the changing topography and views make it a great climb, and if you've never seen the crater from the top, you are missing out the greatest view of a mind-boggling spectacle. Wow!
Started at 5:45AM at trailhead to beat the heat. No snow at the trailhead. We could have avoided snow all the way to the top, but chose to climb up a couple sections since it was easier than the rocks.
Hit the crater rim at about 9:15 and the weather was still nice, we had managed to stay in the shade most of the morning. It didn't start heating up until we had began our descent. By the time we got back to the car it was easily in the 90s.
Really nice hike, lots of pumice and great views from the top.
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.