Mount Saint Helens
- Added By: Terrill Thompson
- Date added: July 19, 2010
- Distance (km): 6.295
Climbing Mount Saint Helens is still strictly regulated due to the fragility of the recovering ecosystem. Climbers register in advance by lottery, and a quota of 100 climbers per day is enforced. The climbing route begins at the Climbers Bivouac, at primitive camp site located at the end of Forest Service Road 830 on the south side of the mountain.
The ascent is a moderate hike, through two miles of forest, then more-or-less straight up Monitor Ridge to the crater rim. It's easiest to climb on snow in the early season. After the snow melts it requires some easy scrambling along the way, but route-finding can be tricky in spots and wind has a tendency to blow ash. Either way, the route is generally well-marked with poles.
The crater rim is unstable, so keep your distance. Geologists have reported wide sections of the rim (up to 50 feet wide) collapsing, and one climber fell 1500 feet to his death in February 2010.