I've been wanting to climb MSH for awhile and had finally gotten the chance to do so when I secured my permit. Luckily, the weather in the PNW had been unusually summer-like and excepting for the hazy sky to the south and west of the mountain, the weather was perfect.
I arrived at the Climber's Bivouac at around 3 a.m. and prepared my items for the climb, stepping off at 3:30.
From the Climber's Bivouac the posted two-mile trail up to tree line is very well maintained and quite easy. This part of the trail is open to all users without permits. When it breaks from the tree line is where permits are required.
I'm not that great at judging trail miles but it seems to me trails are longer than their posted distances.
At the tree line the trail immediately starts with a long stretch of having to maneuver through boulders, with the trail being marked by wooden poles. These poles are not colored nor marked and in the darkness, even with a headlamp, can be difficult to see. There was a spot where I couldn't make out the next pole (I had a headlamp) so I just waiting until the sky got lighter. I definitely recommend a headlamp to anyone starting off before sunrise. Be very careful in this area.
After the boulder-filled ridge subsides it will be a long scramble up to the summit through an area with the consistency of thick beach sand. This was the toughest part of the climb for me. Though you probably would not need trekking poles up until this point, I definitely recommend them from this point on. Poles will not make it easy but it will surely make it easier. You can easily see the summit from this point which gives you the determination to make your climb successful.
At the summit I was rewarded with awesome views of the north side of the National Volcanic Monument areas with Spirit Lake and Mt. Rainier. Normally the other volcanoes to the south are easy to see, but with the hazy sky only the top half of Mt. Hood was visible and Mt. Jefferson was barely visible. The view to the north and east of the summit was quite clear, though.
This climb was tough and I'm glad to have finally done it.
Headlamp with fresh batteries
Trekking poles; a backpack in which the poles can be secured when not in use is definitely a plus
4-5 liters of water plus snacks
Gaiters for the scramble area....especially on the descent
A WAG Bag (for when you gotta go). They are available at the trailhead climbing register but the supply may be exhausted. You also have to pack it back out and dispose of it at the trailhead if you use it.
Attaining the summit with the breathtaking views made the toughness of the hike worth it.
with Dennis and Greg. Fine weather day, but somewhat smoky atmosphere from wildfires. Rained most of the day before, so ash was perhaps not so soft. We also hiked Big Pumice Butte (4882') on the edge of the Plain of Abraham a couple days before. We saw a sizable elk herd in that area.
#1 07-14-14 Got a permit on a last-minute effort and climbed this volcano on my way back to Utah after climbing Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan further north. I wish there had been more snow but ...
Fourth of my five Cascade Volcanos journey. Thought I would beat the heat by leaving parking lot at 4:00am - unfortunately NOT! Back to parking lot where it was 91 degrees. UGH. Was able to glissade down a significant portion of the upper mountain which seemed to amaze a lot of those slogging upward! My knees thanked me at the end!
Dad and I started at 6:00 and stood at the summit at 9:30. Good bits of scrambling through the rocks, and a good slugfest through the ash and sand. Had a great time taking in the views and talking to the other people on the trail.
Wintry conditions on a spring day. Got an early start and was the first to the summit. Didn’t stay long, it was a bit windy and socked in with clouds. Will have to come back on a clear day for the views.
Maud and I arrived to the nearly-full Marble Mountain SnoPark late on Friday evening. We slept until the climbers marching band walked by at 5:45 with assorted jingling and jangling stuff hanging off their packs. We agreed with their "it's time to go" assessment and donned our gear.
There were a few parties that started up at 2 or 3AM but the majority seemed to concur with our plan to leave about 6, climbing up while the route was still ice crusted, and then skiing down in the afternoon after the sun softened the top layers into snow.
We ski ascended the first 2k' near the the well worn boot track. After breaking out above tree line we added our ski crampons and cut our own (less steep) lines for another 1k' before finally packing our skis and booting the last 2k' to the actual summit.
Despite the early arrival of the forecast cloud cover, the sun burned partly through around mid-day and we had glorious ski conditions all the way back to the car.
What a slog up the worm flows route in the crusty snow and whipping winds. But a very rewarding trip to the crater rim and then traversing across to the proper summit. That descent was a real leg blaster.
Made it to the south rim, though decided not to go to the highest point. Beautiful day; absolutely stunning views.
Climbed Wormflows for the 40th anniversary. We started at 3:45 AM. There were some long patches of soft snow below timberline. Did not need snowshoes or crampons but hiking poles with snow baskets helped a lot. We took the ridge up to a bit over 6000' and then we were on crusty soft snow the rest of the way. At around 8:30 AM at 7200 feet the visibility turned to near zero so we turned back. You could probably glissade most of the way down to Timberline. My 21st climb of this mountain, but the first time I didn't actually summit.
My first mountain summit - so beautiful! No snow that year.
Day hike to summit, then down and around to explore the ash and debris fields. At Missoula Montana the St Helens ashfall was a heavy dusting, compare that to the 2000 feet thick volcanic debris east of the Yellowstone Caldera (Pilot and Index Peaks vertical height is almost entirely volcanic debris). So some day we may witness a serious eruption.
Terrible weather conditions, but a fun summit nevertheless. The lodge at the Marble Mountain Sno park is a great place to make breakfast before starting your alpine start. Also, if some snowmobilers stop by to make a fire when you return to your car, that is a great bonus.
Hit the trail for the Worm Flows at 1 am, and reached the summit at 6:30 on the dot. Was sleep-deprived coming down though, and mistakenly came down the Monitor Ridge route, while it was still under heavy snow, and ended up shwackin' my way back to the car... for 6 hours. That wasn't so fun. Great views at the summit though
I climbed this once when I was 11 and once when I was 15 (just this last summer). The first time I remember crossing over the first section of Monitor Ridge and seeing the summit for the first time. When I saw the summit, I lost all motivation. I ended up eating a cliff bar for the first time and getting enough energy to get up.
This summer I got about 1 hour of sleep out of anticipation for the climb the following day - probably not a good idea. Anyways, we started on the trail at exactly 8:00, and I was on Monitor Ridge by 9:00. The only time I stopped was to take my jacket off. Breaking out of the fog and being able to see for miles in a mist-filled sunlight is one of the most magical experiences of my life, and I was not expecting it. My experience with climbing and scrambling aided to cruising through Monitor Ridge in under an hour (9:45). I was still not remotely experiencing fatigue at this point and got to the top in under 30 minutes (Summit at 10:11). I was extremely happy with this and am looking forward to Adams and Rainier in 2020.
~Nick Stoker (Infinity Mountaineering/The Mountain Range Project)
Found this one surprisingly easy for a fairly large mountain! Stellar views from the crater rim, never seen anything like it. Great visibility to Rainier, Adams, Hood, even Jefferson in the distance. Start early or just hike fast to get ahead of the slow-moving crowds...my friend and I didn't start until 7 or so but passed pretty much everyone on the trail going up and had the summit to ourselves for a while before the masses started to catch up!
Beautiful clear day, and a fantastic glissade down almost 4k feet from the summit to treeline.
Go early, bring water.
One of my most fun glacier climbs - up the Forsyth Glacier, plus a 1000 foot glissade off the Dog's Head in a track so deep it looked like a bobsled run
Can't remember the year, but my dog Scooter Bug made it to the top with us! :)