A last minute outing to take advantage of a great weather forecast. We bought our midweek permits the day before and were rewarded with a warm, sunny, picture perfect, windless fall day. Loved everything about this hike: scaling the lava boulder and ash fields, the outstanding views (Rainier, Adams, Jefferson, Mt. Hood, et al.), the lava dome, the views down into the crater... all of it! And it's the most unusual landscape (moonscape) and terrain I've seen in the NW. What amazed, and surprised, me most though was the sound the mountain made. We walked along the rim until we were away from the crowds to hear it fully: snap, crackle, pops; deep rumbles; the crash of crumbling rocks and loud cracking sounds as it shifts and moves. All very exhilarating and hard to tear away from. Can't wait to get up there again next year!
My brother & I were going to climb today, but it was rainy, so we went to Windy Ridge & the Visitor Center. We had fun even though we didn't get to climb today. Plus yesterday we went to the ape cave & hiked around for a while.
Great Hike! We had wonderful weather, great views but missed the collapse of Spine #7 by just a day. My 6 six pals sung happy birthday to me on the summit for my 42nd birthday. What a great memory.
I went up with one of my dad's 50 year old friends. We got to around 5100' and had to turn around. The snow was starting to come down hard, there wasn't enough snow on the ground to cover the boulders, and I was suffering from a cold. It just wasn't a good day.
Even though this is probably a small feat (especially with it's top blown off), it was interesting to peak into the crater and see the steam coming out!
I Climbed this for the view inside....INCREDIBLE...!
Been there done that
a cold start and then it got windy. Ash/dust gets into everything including ur lungs but it was defuinately worth all the work. saw rockslides about every ten seconds at the summit and the dome was smoking a little bit. grart climb
Crazy Country! My wife and I summited for my birthday. This is a one of a kind experience to witness rock that is alive. Way to go, babe!
I've summited 5 times. Once in October, the others in the spring.
The October climb I could taste the mountain in my mouth for about a week.
One spring attempt was aborted. Jim Hinkhouse, Dick Wright and I helped evacuate a skier with a broken leg near the seismic transmitter, and camped there after the chopper took him off. We woke up under a 8-10 inches of new snow, and not enough visibility.
We started the climb at 5:10am and the mountain was covered in clouds. As we ascended the trail got above the clouds and saw the sunrise on the mountains. Got to the top at 10:20am but we still had to get to the summit. Made the true at 10:55am. The weather was great and we could see all the mountains. Back to the car at 3pm. Great hike.
We had doubts about this day when we woke up to fog at Climber's Bivouac. Decided to head up around 9am hoping the summit would be above the clouds. No such luck. I decided not to risk going to the true summit due to not being able to see a thing. Listening to the rock falls inside the crater was cool though. I will be back!
"amochka" (see below) was kind enough to offer a couple of the open spots on her permit to my wife and me. My wife didn't make it all the way up with us, but we still had a great time! We looked into the crater, but didn't attempt to reach the highest point on the crater rim.
My wife, Denver, and I successfully summited on the 27th via the Monitor Ridge route. Total round trip time 11 hours which included lunch at the top and lots of glissading on the way down. We captured some pictures of one of the larger rocks slides off the dome. The rock slides kick up large dust clouds and dusk masks really help.
What a fantastic experience it now is to climb this peak. From the rim we were literally watching nature build a mountain. The new "dome" is really a cone that is apparently being created by the upthrusting pinnacle falling apart from the top, causing big, loud, and violent rockfalls down one side or another of the cone. The plumes that we see rather often are at least sometimes caused by those rockfalls. We didn't see any other cause for plumes, so my guess is that most of the plumes are indeed from the dust and ash being carried aloft by rockfall. Photos to follow.
We went to the true summit, which hardly anyone does. There was another couple over there while we were, but nobody else that we saw during our 2.5-hour stay on the rim was headed in that direction. The route over to the summit is somewhat sketchy in places when there's no snow, but was quite easy when I went over there on snow in 2001. I wouldn't recommend it for most people, but for peakbaggers it seems like a necessity in order to claim to have summitted the mountain.
Perfect weather and temperatures. The air was crystal clear, with sharp views from Rainier to the Three Sisters.
Wow, what a great way to spend a hot summer day. Great views all around and lots of people. Also saw a hudge rockfall on the new dome kicking up dust everywhere. Even got some glissading in.
Climbed Monitor Ridge route with great group of friends, very mellow bunch. Left camp at 2 am. New moon, amazing stars, headlamps most of the way to the summit. Summit at 6:30am. Incredible volcanic activity inside the crater, much different that I remember it on past climbs, crater floor is SO much higher! Loud rock fall, yellow sulfur smoke spewing out of vents. Headed down to avoid hot weather, made it back to camp at 10:30am. Recommend bug spray for the bivy. Eaten alive by nasty biting black flies. In hot weather, leave super early. 2am was a perfect start for such a hot day on the mountain.
Climbed under cloudy condition with my buddy Brian after being denied Rainier. Desended over the top of swift glacier and were suprised by ice underneath the pummice.
Got a climbing permit in Cougar, parked at the Marble Mountain Sno Park Lot where there was still huge amounts of snow, and then put on my randonee skis I had rented in Seattle. I climbed/skied to 6,500 ft. and spent the night on an exposed pumice outcropping. I then went the rest of the way up to the top of the summit crater rim. Total time spent climbing/skiing up the mountain was 8 to 9 hours. I skied down to the Marble Mountain Sno Park lot in 1 hour. Weather was awesome. I did notice snowmobilers way up high on the mountain where they probably were not allowed to be.
Mother's Day on Mt. St. Helens is always a festive affair, especially being the last weekend before the permit season starts. There were about a million people on the mountain this day, which started out gloriously sunny. Both would change by the time we reached the summit.
We were slowed down both by a friend's failed home-made snowshoe experiment and the snowboard on my back. I was licking my chops the entire ascent at the gullies directly to climbers' left of the ridge, and the memories were about all I had to guide me once the clouds rolled in at the summit. We parted ways, them glissading and me riding down the tempting untracked snow I had daydreamed over. I remember very clearly a point maybe 500' down where I knew if I rode to the left I would re-join the "climber's" trail. Instead, I opted for a particularly enticing chute off to the right, and entered a world of solitude.
For good reason. Ten minutes later I started lazily traversing back eastward to the general direction of the trail. It didn't take long to realize that, even on the blunt-summit of MSH, seemingly minor off-course errors have a way of exacerbating themselves on mountain descents. Four or five ridges in waist-high snow later, I found a group of people who were similarly lost. Roaming the mountain together, we happened to find wooden markers to follow to the Loowit intersection, where my friends had amazingly just arrived. With daylight dwindling and a sense of relief, we started down into the woods...only to realize we weren't out of the woods yet. We quickly got back off trail and found ourselves in deep brush. Retracing our steps to the outhouse, we cut our losses and called for help. Getting bearings and direction, we finally made it off the mountain around midnight. Not one of my proudest moments.
But the ride down was heavenly, for what it's worth.