Second attempt on St. Helens proved to be more fruitful. Turned back about 500 vertical feet from the summit a couple months ago we were determined this time. Left the trailhead at 2:30 am. Saw the sunrise over Adams from about 7000 feet. Beautiful day. Great weather. Also my first serious snowboard descent, makes it a lot less painful on the knees and a lot quicker.
This was the third volcano my friend Gary and I climbed in 6 days. (Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams were the first two). After Adams, we rushed to get to the small campground store that handed out the climbing permits for St. Helens. We then proceded up to one of the trail heads. Like Mt. Adams, St. Helens also got 200% snow fall that winter and not all the roads were open. So we could not start at the Climbers Bivouac but had to start at Marble Mt Snow park. That added a couple of miles to our climb. Since all the snow, I used my double plastic boots instead of my hikers. We really though it would be a quick scramble on dirt. Instead it was a long snow climb. Views into the crater were great. It was clear that day also so Rainier, Hood, Adams were clearly visible. Glasaded almost all the way back to the tree line.
I moved to Seattle in July 1980 just after the major eruption. On one 11 pm flight back to Seattle from Southern California only about a month after this event, I had the unique experience of looking down onto the denuded mountain of snow and trees with just the lamination of a full moon. The glowing dome in the crater was plainly visible. Amazing!
Since that evening I had always wanted to climb this peak, however limitations on entry prevented this possibility then a move out of the area. Finally got the opportunity in the spring of 2002 to give it a go winning the permit lottery on a business trip back to the area.
Unfortunately the weather was overcast with light rain most of the climb, however I was able to get a decent view of the crater but not of the other surrounding volcanoes.
Still a very unique experience.
This mountain got me hooked on climbing. It is easy enough to not discourage you from ever climbing another mountain. Just don't get to close to the edge. The weather was clear and hot. Took about 8 hours up and down.
Completely socked in, cold, windy and a little snow. We couldn't see more than about 30 feet into the crater. I guess I will have to do it again.
Took my split-board. Combination of icy conditions near the top and a binding breaking made me wish I had taken snowshoes. Nice clear day w/ awesome views though.
What a treat to be able to camp in a campground and pack lots of good food without having to carry it all. Nice, easy hike to the top ... unfortunately, the crater got socked in about 20 minutes before I made it to the top.
Left car at 5:00am with 13yr. old daughter. On summit by noon with clouds for views. Did get to look into crater. Way to go Lucy!
camped and climbed June of '99 with Magellan; assisted in search for lost hiker.
great little peak, indian name LU-WIT is way better than the current one in more common use.
Most of the snow on Monitor Ridge was melted out. See the trip report with photos. This was my second attempt with OSAT. The first ended short in a blizzard March 17, 2007.
Update: I returned June 6th, 2016 for another ascent with Jennifer Pharr Davis and Heather Anderson. We started early and watched the sunrise from the crater rim. Trip Report
Great climb, great people to climb with. Started under overcast skies, went up into haze/fog/mist, walked over snowfields, saw rime ice on the monitor station/rocks, busted through the clouds to wind and then absolutely gorgeous blue skies and sun on the summit with a sea of dense clouds below us. Awesome day.
Wind was fairly wild with near "grey out" conditions at times from the amount of ash & sand being blown off the face of the mountain.
Beautiful day, it was. Absolutely no cloud in sight, no snow on path. We started at 8 at climbers' bivouac and reached the summit at about 1:30. Many climbers made to the top that day. Great adventure!
More a "decent" and repelling from a Huey. Contracted by Weyerhaeuser recently ETS'd from the Army, getting workers/volunteers that were in trouble with the ash in their lungs or injuries.
Beautiful clear day... views from Mount Rainier down to the Three Sisters.
Nice day with lots of people. Some in recent days have senselessly written on rocks piled at the peak. On the walk along the rim to the peak and back, there were several rock falls, including one dramatic one close by the peak that kicked up a big dust cloud.
First time to the top and well worth it. I was 12 years old when it erupted in 1980 and remember watching the mushroom cloud from a peak near my house. Can't believe I've never climbed to the rim to peer into the crater before this day. This being the first day the mountain reopened to climbers made it extra special.
Second trip to the top. Road to Climbers' still closed so the winter route it was. Quite a bit longer than Monitor Ridge but very enjoyable and in perfect weather. 6 Hours up and less than 3 down.
My super-duper new GPS recorded a total ascent of 1807 metres versus a TH to summit difference of 1718 metres. No wasted downhills on this one - it's straight up. Round trip distance 16.6 km.
Excellent visibility on top but not quite as stunningly clear as my 2000 visit. Interesting to look down on the new and huge lava dome in the crater compared to 2000.
Walked around the rim to the true summit but were unable to ascend because of dangerous cornices - see this photo.
Don't even think about climbing St H without a permit. We had a lovely visit with a nice ranger whilst on the crater rim. The rangers go up every day in permit season. And very often they catch someone without a permit. At $500 fine each, that's a good source of revenue for the National Forest.
Because I share the same birthday (May 18) as Mount Saint Helens' most famous eruption, although I was exactly three years old when the eruption occurred, I had always wanted to summit the mountain. This has to be the rockiest and sandiest (or should I say "ashiest"?) route I have ever climbed up a mountain, so far. Gorgeous day with spectacular scenery. Looking into the crater, and seeing the devastation of the 1980 eruption up-close, makes the entire trip worth it. Great views of all the nearby volcanoes and other peaks.