Mount Saint Helens Climber's Log

Viewing: 1-20 of 424

Cornvallis - Aug 27, 2003 4:48 pm

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 25, 2003  Sucess!

Pulled into Climbers Bivouac at dusk. Exhausted from the day’s climb of Mt. Adams we decided to crash in the back of my truck. Much better night of sleep than the prior night spent at the Lunch Counter on Adams. Crawled out of the truck in the twilight to enjoy the sunrise, much to the dismay of a sleepy annalieserabineck ;-) Started off around 6:30 AM under clear blue sky. Enjoyed the rocky scramble up monitor ridge until we hit the upper "beach" slog to the crater rim. Had amazing views from the crater rim as far as the Olympics and Mt. Baker. Traversed along the crater rim to find the true summit. Enjoyed nearly 2 hours on the rim on a clear warm day with relatively few climbers (only 58 on the register for the day). The trip back down to timberline was fast and fun through soft ash and scree. 12,000 feet gained over 3 days, good times!


Otomax - Aug 20, 2003 6:40 pm

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 14, 1987  Sucess!

First climb ever. Really loved it, even with poor fitting, borrowed climbing boots, totally inadequate water supply and ridiculous route finding skills.

Phil Decker

Phil Decker - Aug 7, 2003 7:17 pm

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: July, 2002  Sucess!

Dusty, busy, but well worth the sunset.


crirwin - Aug 1, 2003 11:31 am

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: July 27, 2003  Sucess!

Took my 15 yr old daughter Katie and her friend Krystal. Decided to make an early morning run for it to catch sunrise up on the mountain. Left Climbers Bivouac at 1:00am. Soon after departing camp heard a coyote howling and about 15 minutes later came our headlamps picked up two sets of yellow eyes peering back at us from about 30 yards up the trail. Broke through timberline and followed the posts in the darkness up Monitor Ridge. Kicked back for about an hour just below 7000 ft. and watched the sun rise over Mt. Adams. Finally packed up and hit the summit about 7:15. Weather was perfect and the view great as usual. Headed back down about 8:30 and ran into a caravan of people heading up. Also ran into a number of very aggressive squirrels!! They have us humans well trained. One of them jumped on Katie and tried to run up her leg.

Katie described the climb as "awesome," which makes it all worthwhile.

Climbers Bivouac was a zoo the night before. Hard to get even a few hours of sleep with the loud party going on . Certainly the place to avoid on a summer weekend!


amochka - Jul 27, 2003 11:51 am

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: July 22, 2002  Sucess!

Beautiful steep hike. Easy going through the forest up to timberline from Climbers Bivouac. Loved the sight of our headlamps bobbing through the trees and the small patches of snow still hidden in the forest.

Monitor Ridge itself a real slog....just straight up the side of the mountain. On the way up, ran into the first group coming down. They had started at midnight and had the experience of watching the sunrise from the mountain.

Tough going up the boulders near top of Monitor ridge...just a lot of climbing over rocks and picking a trail to the top. Only truly painful part of the trip was the pumice field near the summit. One step up and two steps back...progress was difficult, but cresting the summit was worth that bit of pain...what an amazing view!

I grew up in Portland and remember the eruption from my childhood. I've always seen Mt. St. Helens on our skyline, but climbing to the top and looking into the mountain gives you a completely different perspective. I will never look at this mountain the same way again. It's just a shell of a mountain!

A lot of very large rockfall into the crater while we were at the summit. The ground would vibrate when really large compact-car sized boulders would break loose and tumble into the crater. We stayed clear of the interest in experiencing a tumble in.

The trip down...what a blast!! That same painful pumice field was a hell of a lot more fun going down...leaping through the air, it felt like we could take off and fly back to the Bivouac.

Knees were a bit sore by the bottom of Monitor ridge, and the sun was blaring down by now, so very hot.

Would love to do this mountain when there's snow on it...


yronman - Jul 18, 2003 2:44 pm

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 2002  Sucess!

Fun, climb. Strenous(2h, 20min to summit), but well worth it. Might try it at night or a ski descent in the future. (watch out for the rangers if you don't have a pass, $$$)


dkantola - Jun 29, 2003 2:58 am

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: May 9, 2003

After failing to reach the true summit last August, I was eager to reach it this time on a club outing. When we crested the crater rim, however, the leader proclaimed it the summit and declared it was too dangerous to traverse over to the highest point on the rim. Grrrr. I'll be back.


dkantola - Jun 29, 2003 1:47 am

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 21, 2002

A horrible trudge up scree and ash to the crater rim above Monitor Ridge. Only the volcanoes were visible above a sea of clouds. I'll come back another time for the true summit.


crirwin - Jun 18, 2003 4:26 pm

Route Climbed: Worm Flows Date Climbed: May 3-4, 2003

Overnighter with my friend Nathan and Brian Jenkins as a warm up for Adams later this year. Knew the weather was marginal but thought we'd take a shot at it. As Brian said, set up camp at about 5600 ft. Weather just got worse but we had a lot of laughs just the same. Made a run for the summit in the morning. Made it to about 6700 ft. and couldn't make out a thing much more than a couple feet ahead of us. Brian and I just looked at each other and made the tough (but smart) decision to head back down.

Nevertheless, it was good experience in difficult conditions and I enjoyed the company.


cmc56789 - Jun 7, 2003 11:36 am

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: June 7, 2003  Sucess!

I climbed this by solo at night, so i could see the sunrise from the summit. I left climber's bivouac around 11 PM, and summited at 3:55 AM just as it was beginning to get light and Rainier was barely visible. I was the first one to summit, and had the summit to myself for about an hour before two other climbers joined me. Watching the sun rise between Rainier and Adams was truly a memorable occasion. On the way down I passed what was probably close to all 97 of the other people who got permits.


pksander - May 28, 2003 1:30 pm

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: May 23, 2003  Sucess!

Spent a warm, but rather sleepless night at Campers Bivy and started out on the MR trail at about 6:30am. This was my first alpine ascent and I was a bit nervous setting out, since I was doing so alone. Emerging from tree line, found tracks all over the snow heading variously upward; decided to follow the most direct (steep!) path up the first pitch: two pairs of tracks in crampons. This was to be the steepest part the climb, at perhaps 40 degrees. Continued following these tracks until I met their makers another hour and a half later. Continued the rest of the climb (and the glissade and bushwack back) with Mac Cook and Jerry Strahle. (Thanks, guys!) We made the summit in time for about ten minutes of clear skies before the clouds obscured everything around us. Great views of Adams, Rainier, and Hood. Round trip took roughly 8 hours. Not nearly as hard, technically or physically, as I'd thought it would be. Am planning on climbing again in another 3 or 4 weeks, possibly from Worm Flows approach...

A great spot for alpine beginners...

krishna - May 12, 2003 2:18 pm

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: Apr 28, 2002  Sucess!

Great weather. Wish I had taken my skis with me.

Brian Jenkins

Brian Jenkins - May 6, 2003 12:46 pm

Route Climbed: Worm Flows Date Climbed: May 3-4, 2003

Met up with Craig Irwin from SP and his friend Nathan at Jack's Saturday morning. Started out from Marble Mountain Snow Park about 1 pm and hiked through gloom and some snow onto the ridge. Got to about 5600 feet, just below the seismic monitor and shoveled out a flat area and set up camp. Snow started in earnest then and came in sideways from the west the entire rest of the weekend. At midnight, had to shovel the tent out a bit. Not sure how much snow we got as the drifts made it hard to judge, maybe a few inches, maybe a foot or so.

Made breakfast in the vestibule and climbed Sunday in decreasing visibility to about 6700 feet. Visibility feet and wind about 25-30 mph so we decided to turn around. Got some good winter camping and travel experience and had a great time with some new friends. At one point I swore I heard sirens from our camp and then on the hike out, some other hikers told us SAR had pulled a group of disoriented climbers off earlier. Either way, it just wasn't meant to be a summit trip but had a good time nonetheless. A nice steep section just above our camp got to use the axe on. Broke a trekking pole in half though postholing on the ridge on the hike out.

cuprina - Mar 13, 2003 3:40 pm

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: August 3, 2002  Sucess!

This one is little crowded, especially in summer on sunny day like this. Had a great time anyway.


MikeB - Mar 9, 2003 5:17 pm

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: June, 1993; April, May, June, July 1994; March 1995  Sucess!

Fell 600 feet in avalanche - April 1994. Real wake-up call to the mountains.


big_g - Mar 3, 2003 6:15 pm Date Climbed: Sep 11, 2002

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge  Sucess!

1st Cascade volcano.


jhalz - Feb 26, 2003 9:35 am

Route Climbed: Swift Creek/Worm Flows Date Climbed: February 23, 2002

Broke trail from the tree line Sat. Set up our tent just above Chocolate Falls in blowing wind and snow. Clear, beautiful night though. Got an early start Sunday. Made it up to 700ft below the summit. Summit was socked-in, snow was blowing sideways. Tried to wait it out for a while, then headed down.


leftfield - Feb 15, 2003 7:42 pm

Route Climbed: Butte Camp Date Climbed: February 13, 2003  Sucess!

Usually this route isn't open until June. Similar to Swift Creek, perhaps a bit steeper. Left the trailhead at 6:45 a.m., summited at 11:45 a.m. Snow in surprisingly good shape even after 12 straight days of sun. Used crampons and trekking poles from the end of Butte Camp trail on. Breezy on top, otherwise wind and weather not a factor. Back at the trailhead at 3:45 p.m.


Dulton - Feb 10, 2003 12:40 am

Route Climbed: Worm Flows Date Climbed: Feburary 8th, 2003  Sucess!

Got up at 3:30am to get to trailhead by 8am from Seattle, uhg! Awsome trip, little icey on top which made for a sketchy ascent because we didn't bring crampons or snowshoes (ya i know, stupid). Made the summit at 1:30pm after 4hrs of climbing under clear blue skies. Total trip time was a shade over 7hrs. Had a great time on the glissade down!!


jhalz - Jan 23, 2003 10:08 am

Route Climbed: Monitor Ridge Date Climbed: June 20, 2002  Sucess!

Decided to climb during the week to avoid the weekend masses. We spent an unseasonably cold night at Climber's bivy.

Got an alpine start and had a pleasent hike on firm snow to tree line. Slowed down once we got above tree-line, snow was still firm, but we didn't bring crampons or ice axes. I wish we would have. Spent minimal amout of time on the summit due to wind.

Glissaded down with trekking pole as a brake. Once we reach the tree-line the snow was pretty sloppy. I had pretty wet feet when we arrived back at the car.

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