My wife, our friend, and I climbed the Monitor Ridge route in PERFECT conditions - sunny, windless, unlimited vis. Amazing day in early December!!! Spent over an hour at the summit enjoying the sun and the views (NO wind!!!???). This was a bonus weekend for the residents of the PNW.
Met my party at the Salmon Creek Park and Ride at 3 AM. Hit the trail by 5:30 AM with our headlamps illuminating the forest. The ridge was marked with poles and was easy to follow. We stopped at around 6500' to put on crampons. Got to the rim by 10:15 and then traversed to the true summit at around 10:45. The weather was incredible! Sun was shining and the wind not too bad. Stayed up on the summit for about an hour - I actually took a short nap! Coming down was a dog - the snow was getting soft and we were sliding around, our footsteps unsure. The postholing didn't help and there wasn't enough snow to do a whole lot of decent glissading. About 9.5 hours round trip, including nap time :-). This was my first summit of St. Helens and it certainly won't be the last!
This mountain was my favorite mountain to climb and although I only summitted once, several trips were made to the dog head's area for the outstanding glissading that was available at times. This part of the mountain is sadly no more as it was blasted into the air on May 18, 1980. Mt. St. Helen's (pre eruption) was to me the most beautiful mountain in the northwest, as well as the Spirit Lake area, a mountain that was often referred to as America's Mt. Fuji. I still miss it.
Camped overnight at Climber's Bivouac. The sheriff came by and took my picture and commented about how odd it was to see me cooking hotdogs out of the back of my car in my t-shirt this late in the season.
Started up at 6am, reached the summit at 9:30am. The route was mostly snow free, and the day was beautifull with blue skies and about 50 degrees F at the summit. I was the first one up there, and spent an hour wandering around before heading down. As I came back down the mountain i passed dozens of others heading up.
It was amazing the variety of the gear on those heading up -- there was a group of folks marking the route with wands, who had full the full mountaineering outfit on, and then there was the couple in jeans and sweatshirts hoofing it up there with their dog.
We got lucky to get a permit for the day as we rolled in kind of late and didn't even hit the trail until 11:30am. Lots of folks were on their way down as we set out with our dogs in tow. Kind of rough on the mutts feet, I would recommend booties and lots of water. We had a hot, dry day for hiking; the scree at the top was screaming for gaitors! Summit greeted us with great views all around, we spent about an hour up there and headed back to make it before dark. Each step we took downhill in the scree we were able to ride about 4 feet, lots of fun. Begging to be done again, in the winter!
Dec. 8-So much better in the winter, although conditions were so mild I think another "true" winter summit is in store. Started from climbers bivouac at 6:30am in the dark, above treeline by sunrise. Much less crowded this time of year, easier on my dogs paws and the snow kept the dust and scree hidden. Near perfect conditions, views of Adams, Hood, Rainier, Jefferson, and maybe Broken-Top! 6 1/2 hours roundtrip, back in time to start the day!
Apr. 27- After barely getting to climber biv. we camped in the snow, up before dawn. Bushwacked to find the trail, crampons handy for the last hour, summited at 11, perfectly clear day, great view from the frigid crater rim. Back to the car by 3 pm. Best climb up there yet.
I managed to pick the perfect day to climb! 20's in the morning with barely a whisper of a breeze, and not a cloud in the sky from sunrise to sunset. After spending the night in Cougar, we hit the trail at daybreak, around 6:30. The day was cold, but just right for a brisk climb. The trails were easy to follow, and the summit was reached in just over 4 hours. The views were spectacular all day long. Passed quite a few folks on the way down, so leaving early was a wise decision. Looking forward to a repeat climb in winter or another day like today!
We camped at the Climbers Bivouac , left at 530 am reach the summit at 1030 am , my 11 yo girl did a wonderful job. Unbelievable sight of destruction from up on top ! The view of the sunrise next to Mt Adams was awesome as we hiked above timberline . Want to attempt this in the snow . This climb inpsired us to climb other mtns !!
Hiked in to the junction with the trail that goes around the mountain. Snow camped then woke up to climb the next day. Made the summit in the morning and took the summit pictures. Glissaded our way down. Glissading rules. Did I say glissading rules?! Was another beautiful day to be on the mountain. I was glad we took snow shoes for the way out. They were needed due to the warm weather.
this was my first summit of any Mtn. I hope theres plenty more
This was my first summit. I was in a group of 4 consisting of my friend, her friend and her mother. We set out around 10:30 or so from the Climber's Bivouac. Beyond treeline the worn path ends and it's pretty much every scrambler for themself over the sharp rocks. The rocks turn out to be a blessing however when you approach the top since it turns to ash as you come over the last ridge. You take a step back for every two forward. It's all worth it as you crest the top however as the destruction of the blast and crater itself stretch out before you. The views of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams were outstanding that day. Mt. Hood was also visible though only in outline due to a bit of haze to the south. We summited around 4 pm and made it back to the car in 2 and a half hours. Bring Trekking Poles though because the ash is great for foot skiing on the way down.
A nice summer day it certainly was not! Climbed with 12 yo son, 15 yo daughter, wife and friends. His 2nd summit in 6 weeks (see my other entry). Rain at Climbers Bivouac turned to hail, sleet and eventually snow when we reached the summit. Luckily, we were well prepared and warmly clothed except for forgetting an extra pair of gloves. Gale force winds the last 1000 feet to summit. Wind chill of around zero degrees. We saw some climbers who had turned back. But, many also continued on. Visibility of less than 50 feet. Couldn't even see into the crater. The route was snow free and completely different from our earlier climb. Despite the weather everyone had a fun time and we're psyched to do it again next year.
A gorgeous day on the mountain. First summit ever for my 12 yo son Jonathan and me. We climbed hand-in-hand the last few steps. Climbers Bivouac had just been plowed out the weekend before and the route was snow covered all the way to the summit. Bright sun and light winds at the summit. The view was spectacular - Rainier, Adams, and Hood. Jonathan especially enjoyed glissading down - especially the last pitch from Monitor Ridge back down to timberline. A day we'll never forget!!
We left the Climbers Bivouac at 0600 to head up Monitor Ridge. After breaking treeline, the weather started to worsen and we got rain and sleet. By 7500 feet, it was snowing pretty hard and most of the rocks were covered with rime ice. At this point, every party ahead of us was turning back. We decided to press on and see how far we could get. Eventually, we came to the summit crater rim, snapped some quick photos, and beat feet for lower elevation and fairer weather conditions. The summit views were less than spectacular, but we did get a sense of accomplishment for having endured the weather.
The road to the climbers bivouac (3800') got plowed out the day before, saving many miles. We were informed of a situation, an overdue climber, separated from his party. Skamania county sheriff made us promise to walk him out if we saw him on the way to timberline camp.(4800') We saw no one, and were informed via cell phone that 'tom' had wandered out on his own. Two lonely mountaineers having too much fun telling stories instead of sleeping. Got going at 3:30 am. Didn't even need headlamps because of ambient june light. Some ridge scrambling, and a lot of snow. The last 800' had a stairway to the top, thank goodness. It was rock hard and we were cramponless. I can't believe we had the whole summit to ourselves! Frozen but happy, we started waking people up on the phone. Apparently, 7:00 am is too early to call on a Sunday. The fog, the sunrise, the avalanches in the crater, the other volcanoes, and the solitude all added up to an incredible climb. Irritated several groups trying to be the first up the mountain that day. We're view hogs! Back home to our wives in only 26 hours.
megan julia we are eight years old and we reached the top of the mountain. has anybody else reached the top that is 8?
on the way down I slid on my bum on the sand
I saw a rock slide in crater when I was on top
Great day hike! It gets really hot on the summit though. Summit early and use sun screen!
My wife and I camped at timberline Saturday night and summited Sunday morning. There was a group of 34 on the summit with us!!!!!! I do not know what the heck a group so large was doing up there, or why they were allowed more like?!?!. My friend proposed to his girlfriend on the summit-pretty exciting. That was my 5th time up-it doesn't get old! Route is snowfree, bugs were horrendous at timberline!
I left at 3:00AM from below the Climber's Bivouac and summited at 5:00AM in time for sunrise over Mount Adams. I enjoyed solitude for most of the morning until the Bivouac party crowd started to arrive (one guy had a cigarette and Bud Light after summiting at 9:30AM). I noticed that the off trail sediment is extremely loose and likely to slide significantly in the future.
With peter, robin, karin & robert. Skied crater rim to parking lot. Yee hah!
Climber's bivouac parking lot opened Friday afternoon. Skinned up through the trees, snow is thin and trashed with branches/cones/etc. Upper mountain was fun skiing down (corn snow, heavy in places). Got too far west and had to bushwack over lava ridges. Ugh!