Mt St Helens Summit - June 7

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jdwong83
Posts: 5
Joined: January 21st, 2014, 12:53 pm

Mt St Helens Summit - June 7

Post by jdwong83 » June 12th, 2014, 2:45 pm

On Saturday, June 7th, my fiance, friend and I hiked to the summit on Mt St Helens for the first time.

We headed out from Lone Fir Resort at 6:30AM and arrived at Climber's Bivouac at 7AM to begin the hike. At that time the weather and temperature were perfect. We were a little concerned the 7AM start time would be a little late but a group of 12 started at the same time, and there were still many others behind us. With this being our first time, we wanted to stick close to some others for safety and navigational reasons.

The first 2.25 miles to the permit area were really easy. There were maybe a half dozen or so small patches of snow on the trail. Before we started up the steep hike, we stopped to peel off some layers and apply sunscreen. It was extremely sunny.

From here, the hike to the summit wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. We didn't have micro-spikes, crampons or and ice axe, which many others used, but just hiking boots and trekking poles. Overall, the snow was pretty soft so what I had worked pretty well. Besides, so many people had already gone up before us that there were huge foot imprints in the snow to follow. It was like walking up stairs. There were a few extremely steep sections where I wasn't 100% confident in my footing but they were really short.

When we arrived at the summit we were totally blown away by the views. We took bunch of pictures, sat, relaxed and ate lunch. We were on the summit for about 45 minutes but I could have easily stayed up there for hours.

So what's the best thing about the Mt St Helens summit hike? GLISSADING! I cannot begin to tell you how fun sliding down a snow covered volcano is. We felt like kids again. Since I didn't have waterproof pants, I poked two holes in a giant garbage bag and wore those as my glissading pants. They did the job. In the 1st mile down, there were long and fast glissading paths. After that, we had to trek a little to the left to make our way back to the Monitor Ridge route. When we got back to the route, we kept glissading as much as we could. There's one really good glissading trench near the end.

The total round trip took us 9.5 hours. I definitely would love to do this again next year in June. Snow just makes everything so much more fun.

GPS Data on Strava - http://www.strava.com/activities/151133679

Here's a list clothing, items, food that I brought.

Merrell Hiking Boots
Compression Socks
Compression Shorts
North Face Windbreaker Pants
Mountain Hardware Running Tech-T
Salomon Running Long Sleeve Shirt
Fleece
Salomon S-Lab Light Jacket
Hat
Buff Headwrap
Leatherman Multitool
Headlamp
First Aid Kit
GoPro
SLR Camera
Suunto AmbitR GPS Watch
Sunglasses
Trekking Poles
Backpack
Sandwich
3 liters hydration bladder
20 ounces of Gatorade
20 ounce Pepsi
Some energy bars and candy
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Peder
Posts: 3400
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Mt St Helens Summit - June 7

Post by Peder » June 12th, 2014, 3:01 pm

jdwong83 wrote:So what's the best thing about the Mt St Helens summit hike? GLISSADING!
Yes! And the views... You had airplane views with small cotton wool clouds floating around below you! Next you need to check out the glissading on Mt Adams (a minimum of alpine experience is recommended)!
Some people are really fit at eighty; thankfully I still have many years to get into shape…

jimmymac99
Posts: 15
Joined: May 12th, 2010, 4:30 am

Re: Mt St Helens Summit - June 7

Post by jimmymac99 » June 12th, 2014, 5:57 pm

Thanks for the great report. I am going in two weeks. Is that a pretty good list of what to take? any changes or recommendations?

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RobinB
Posts: 790
Joined: September 9th, 2013, 11:29 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Mt St Helens Summit - June 7

Post by RobinB » June 12th, 2014, 6:26 pm

Great trip report - it looks like you all had a lot of fun :)
jdwong83 wrote:So what's the best thing about the Mt St Helens summit hike? GLISSADING! I cannot begin to tell you how fun sliding down a snow covered volcano is. We felt like kids again. Since I didn't have waterproof pants, I poked two holes in a giant garbage bag and wore those as my glissading pants. They did the job. In the 1st mile down, there were long and fast glissading paths. After that, we had to trek a little to the left to make our way back to the Monitor Ridge route. When we got back to the route, we kept glissading as much as we could. There's one really good glissading trench near the end.
I couldn't agree more! We went up on Mother's Day this year (trip report: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=18866) and must have glissaded down 3000 feet. I (almost) wanted to go back and do it again.

Ruairisdad
Posts: 24
Joined: January 30th, 2013, 12:17 pm

Re: Mt St Helens Summit - June 7

Post by Ruairisdad » June 13th, 2014, 11:17 am

jdwong83 wrote:So what's the best thing about the Mt St Helens summit hike? GLISSADING! I cannot begin to tell you how fun sliding down a snow covered volcano is. We felt like kids again. Since I didn't have waterproof pants, I poked two holes in a giant garbage bag and wore those as my glissading pants. They did the job. In the 1st mile down, there were long and fast glissading paths. After that, we had to trek a little to the left to make our way back to the Monitor Ridge route. When we got back to the route, we kept glissading as much as we could. There's one really good glissading trench near the end.
Use care with the glissading stuff, especially without an ice axe and the ability to self-arrest. On some chutes you can end up going too fast, with no way to stop yourself if you don't have an axe. I heard that last year on Mothers Day on MSH someone broke her ankle while glissading and had to be carried down (fortunately she picked a day with 100's of other people on the mountain). Even very experienced people get hurt sometimes (e.g., see http://www.traditionalmountaineering.or ... JSecor.htm).

FYI, trash compactor bags work better than trash bags; they're tougher and tend to shred less. Just be careful on the steep stuff.

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