Mt St Helen's via Monitor Ridge (7-19-2014)

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mjuliana
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Mt St Helen's via Monitor Ridge (7-19-2014)

Post by mjuliana » July 20th, 2014, 9:56 pm

8 years ago we did this hike with our two oldest children but by the time we got to the top, the clouds had rolled in and we couldn't even see into the crater.
Here's the four of us back in 2006 at the rim:
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This time around the weather was a little better. Along for the ride were our two youngest, our oldest, Anthony who was with us 8 years ago, a niece who flew out from Utah to join us, and 3 friends of our family. We started out from Climber's Bivouac at 8:30AM. The first 2 miles is through forest as the trail climbs about 900ft to about the 4800 ft level. Here's Mt Hood sticking up over the clouds to the south:
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Once out of the forest, the fun begins. From here on up, it's follow the posts that mark the route up the scree field at the top.
Here's the first boulder field as we came out of the trees:
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A little further up we were able to see Mt Rainer to the east:
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Some of the boulder fields are steeper than others. Here's Isabel working her way up:
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Still a long way to go...
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At the rim. Anthony (in red) and Ben:
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Isabel made it! It was a rough day for her but she did it.
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My wife slogging up the last section of scree. I don't know how people do this section without trekking poles.
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A panorama from the rim. The summit is the high-point to the left another 400ft or so up.
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Here's another shot of the summit. I didn't see anyone going up there but you can see some boot tracks in the snow. That's Ben and his buddy Nate over there.
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The east wall of the crater:
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We lingered at the rim for a good while enjoying the views but the wind finally drove us back down. I think the trip down is just as tough as the trip up. The same boulder fields that were "fun" to climb up now need to be down-climbed.

As we went down. the clouds rolled. Here's our parting view as we entered back into the forest:
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This is one tough hike but definitely worth the $22/permit to do it. Isabel even managed to smile as she walked into the parking lot
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More photos from the hike are here: http://smu.gs/1yOCmXP

http://gpsfly.org/gps_map.php?gps_id=3490&w=645&h=440
Last edited by mjuliana on July 21st, 2014, 10:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
Thanks,
Mike J

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RobinB
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Re: Mt St Helen's via Monitor Ridge (7-19-2014)

Post by RobinB » July 20th, 2014, 11:27 pm

Excellent pictures and TR - I always smile when I see people taking their kids on that kind of trip, because I remember doing it when I was that age. Even though I complained more than I should have at the time, I'm grateful for the memories.

Also, it's cool to see the route with so little snow. We climbed back in May, when things looked much different.

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kepPNW
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Re: Mt St Helen's via Monitor Ridge (7-19-2014)

Post by kepPNW » July 21st, 2014, 5:30 am

What an excellent family adventure! I was surprised, too, at the near total lack of snow. My only near-summer experience was last October and there was far more then. Fully agree on the poles - once you've used them, it's hard to imagine doing without.
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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derwoodynck
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Re: Mt St Helen's via Monitor Ridge (7-19-2014)

Post by derwoodynck » July 21st, 2014, 5:52 am

Nice report. I think we spotted you guys as you were heading up the ridge. We had come up from June Lake and were following the Loowit Trail over to Dryer Creek Meadows and back. We'll be heading up to the rim in September with our Son.

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mjuliana
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Re: Mt St Helen's via Monitor Ridge (7-19-2014)

Post by mjuliana » July 21st, 2014, 12:40 pm

RobinB wrote:Excellent pictures and TR - I always smile when I see people taking their kids on that kind of trip, because I remember doing it when I was that age. Even though I complained more than I should have at the time, I'm grateful for the memories.

Also, it's cool to see the route with so little snow. We climbed back in May, when things looked much different.
Things like this are worth the memories despite the struggles. Isabel really struggled on the way up. We think she was not eating enough and got calorie-deprived. Now she can say she did and has learned that she can tough it out.
kepPNW wrote:What an excellent family adventure! I was surprised, too, at the near total lack of snow. My only near-summer experience was last October and there was far more then. Fully agree on the poles - once you've used them, it's hard to imagine doing without.
I was surprised at how little snow there was left. I did boot ski down the top patch and the poles really helped out here as well.
I'm plotting a loop around Coldwater Lake for sometime this fall. After our family's visit to Harry's Ridge last fall, I'm really looking forward to that.
derwoodynck wrote:Nice report. I think we spotted you guys as you were heading up the ridge. We had come up from June Lake and were following the Loowit Trail over to Dryer Creek Meadows and back. We'll be heading up to the rim in September with our Son.
Have fun in September!
Thanks,
Mike J

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rainrunner
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Re: Mt St Helen's via Monitor Ridge (7-19-2014)

Post by rainrunner » July 21st, 2014, 2:18 pm

A perfect family outing in our books. Way to go!
The mountains are calling and I must go.
John Muir

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