Looking at the weather forecast, I decided to go south and climb Mt St Helens. Permits for all the weekends are already full, so I was left with the option of climbing on Monday, so I took the chance! It turns out to be the 29th anniversary of the 1980 blast! Pure luck
After taking the permit at Cougar, spent some time exploring Ape Cave (amazing lava tubes) I set up camp at the Marble Mountain Snopark (Climber Bivouac was still closed by snow)
On Monday morning we started hiking up this amazing volcano.
1-2 views at timberline
3. hiking up the worm flow
We took the worms flow route. The views opened up quickly. It was a boiling hot day and snow was slushy almost right from the start. We were able to boot part of it, but decided to put the snowshoes fairly quickly. Some people hiked with boots, but they had a long slog! Most people were skiing.
1. Time to put snowshoes on
2. Worm flow with Mount Adams
3. Going up
4. looking down at what we just climbed
5-6 Skiers and hikers spread on the volcano's slope
The last push is hard. I could see someone on the rim, who seemed to be fairly close, but it took a long time get up to the rim. Had to stop every 5 steps!
But suddenly the views from the rim over the crater are breathtaking. Watching the lava dome and smoke coming out of it, hearing rocks falling from the sides, smelling sulphur, the snow still covering part of it. This volcano is only sleeping....
1. Lava dome forming
2-3 Crater and steam coming out
4. West part of the Crater rim
5. View of Rainier
5. East part of the crater
Nice views in every direction, Rainier, Mt Hood, Mt Adams ...
The cornices along the rim were dangerously overhanging the crater. That's a direct drop into the lava dome...
7. Mt St Helens smooth slopes and Mount Adams
8. Cornice overhanging the crater.
9. People coming up the last steep part
I went to the highest point along the rim. It's not really a summit anymore, but couldn't see the crater from there because I was scared of the unstable cornices.
1. Enjoying the day
2. Highest point along the rim
Going back down was a fun and super long glissade!
1. On the way down
2. Group shot with Mt St Helens
Those volcanoes have something special. They really attract me and I was fascinated by the crater.
As a bonus, the north side of Mt Saint Helens, from Johnston Ridge observatory
More pictures of the long weekend here: