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Mount St. Helens ~ Monitor Ridge

I cancelled this trip a few weeks back on account of weather. This weekend looks pretty good and I'm planning to go on Saturday. The road to the climbers bivouac is still open and we can  hike the Monitor Ridge route. Snow level is around 3,500'. Expect a lot of new snow and maybe some ice. Because of the time change we will need to meet at 5am. Hope to be hiking by 7am. We only have about 9 1/2 hours of daylight now. I'm opening rsvp's now. If you were on the hike list last time and get wait listed this time, contact me, I will open a spot for you. Any hiker in good condition can do this hike. All are welcome. 


Round Trip distance - 10 miles +/-

Trailhead Elevation - 3,615'

Summit Elevation - 8,280'

Elevation Gain - 4,665'

Estimated time on route - 9 1/2 hours.

Difficulty - This is a very difficult hike. A non-technical climb.

Avalanche danger - No good information available yet. A few were reported around Mt. Baker.

Link to report 

http://www.nwac.us/forecast/avalanche/current/zone/8/

What to bring - This is a winter like hike with a lot of snow and maybe some ice. Come prepared for cold, wet, and slippery conditions. I'm bringing crampons and ice axe. I insist on one thing. Turn around time 12:30 pm at the latest, no matter where you are. A head lamp is a good idea, but you should be back to the trailhead before dark, if you turn around when you're supposed to. Don't forget sunglasses and sunscreen. Let's go play in the snow.

150 miles round trip mileage, don't forget the drivers. $10 - $12 each.

PARTICIPATE AT YOUR OWN RISK; Northwest Wilderness Group organizers are volunteers. We come prepared to lead you on a trail or off trail hike but assume no liability for your safety getting to or from the trail-head or on the hike. In case of accident, illness, or other incapacity, hikers must pay for their own medical and/or evacuation expenses, whether or not the hiker has specifically authorized them.

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  • KRIS

    bruce, what happened to our uploaded pictures??

    February 11, 2014

  • Rick L. J.

    Hey Guys, I don't see any pictures? Did you get a few on the site?

    November 27, 2013

  • Sherpa Chatchay Mazama M.

    I uploaded MSH climb trip from 11-24-2013. I just had to do it. Beautiful sunny blue skies. Enjoy!!!

    November 25, 2013

  • B.G

    Wow! beautiful pictures, looks like the day was absolutely perfect for the outing. What was the snow depth like? and how packed for was it?

    1 · November 24, 2013

    • KRIS

      Snow was inconsistent: it was icy and snowy... We really had to use crampons especially near the summit...

      November 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Alright, been trying to upload my photos for an hour now. Any tips?
    Kris?

    November 24, 2013

    • KRIS

      Bruce, I uploaded mine thru Meetup app in my iphone. Im not sure about uploading it thru PC.

      November 24, 2013

  • Roma

    It was an epic trip, thank you Bruce!

    November 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    A great trip indeed! Conditions were near perfect. A couple gear adjustments on the way up, the rest of the day was awesome.
    Nice to meet all of you. A great group.

    1 · November 24, 2013

  • Ondie

    We had a great trip !

    1 · November 23, 2013

    • KRIS

      indeed!

      1 · November 23, 2013

  • Michael M.

    You could check into the Mazamas Ski Mountaineering class. It starts in early Jan and runs through March. I'll head up with you over the weekend.

    November 23, 2013

  • Michael M.

    Lindsay - I was thinking of skinning up and skiing down as well, but Gary Walker (the climbing ranger at the St. Helens Ranger Station) said while there was 6-8" at climbers bivouac and likely up to a few feet up higher, a lot of the boulders are likely to be exposed with a potential for moats. Combined with the high temp of 47' projected at 3,600 ft for Sat, I think I'm going to hold off skinning untill the base builds up a bit.
    That being said, if you go and it's awesome please let me know. :)

    November 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Well RSVPs seem to be closed every time I look, and thigh I've skied with hikers before, more fun with skiers! Know of any back country ski Meetup group? I'm way too strapped to stay one, but now that I work weekends, needing to reach it beyond my existing fruends for AT adventure buddies.

      November 22, 2013

    • Sherpa Chatchay Mazama M.

      There is a nordic ski group for meetup. Thanks.

      November 22, 2013

  • KRIS

    Im very excited to do this! See you tomorrow, Bruce! :)

    1 · November 22, 2013

    • Ondie

      Me too!

      November 22, 2013

  • Roma

    I've never done a hike like this (although I'm fairly fit). I'm about to rent equipment.
    1. Is it advisable to rent a helmet?
    2. What about poles?
    3. Also, I have regular heavy-duty hiking boots. Will those along with cramp-ons suffice?
    Looking forward to the hike. Thanks in advance to the organizers. See you Saturday morning.

    1 · November 21, 2013

    • Susan

      On St. Helens most climbers don't bother with Helmets - there aren't really places where rockfall from above is common. But if you're worried about taking a headlong tumble on ice they can't hurt. I personally would bring poles - a descent this long can be killer on your knees, especially if there's not enough snow to slide down most of it. Don't know about your boots - plastic boots are horrible torture devices that I wouldn't recommend to anyone, but if you'll be using crampons make sure that the shank of your boots is stiff enough that your foot bending won't allow the crampons to loosen / slide off... I had this happen just above the bergie on Mt. Hood - a little more excitement than I'd hoped for in that particular spot! As always, your mileage may vary. Have fun up there - looks like the weather will be great for this one.

      1 · November 22, 2013

  • Sherpa Chatchay Mazama M.

    Good luck to you all. Be safe and have fun.

    1 · November 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ondie, be sure to read the complete description and I'll send out an e-
    mail to all attendees on Thursday.

    November 20, 2013

    • Ondie

      Great! Looking forward to it!

      November 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Chatchay, there are no guarantees in the mountains.
    How much snow was there last time you climbed St. Helens? Was it easier or harder with snow?

    November 19, 2013

    • KRIS

      Chatchay, i am motivated to prove to you that i can do it... Thanks for the concern and advice

      November 20, 2013

    • Sherpa Chatchay Mazama M.

      Do not let your ego get the best of you. Remember what I told you. Mountaineering is a dangerous sport. You have to keep up and stay with the group. Listen to the leader and not get upset if he decides to turn back

      November 20, 2013

  • Ondie

    I've never done a climb with the group. I would love to climb with you all, is there anything additional I need to do before meeting with you at 5am? Thanks!!

    November 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Lindsay, that sounds bad ass. I've never tried AT skiing so, my primary concern is, you should have a buddy.

    November 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi! I'd like to climb with my AT setup: skin up and ski down. Any thoughts or objections?

    November 19, 2013

  • KRIS

    Omg, i want to do this badly! I will rsvp out of craig's hike though

    November 19, 2013

    • Janice

      ok well i'm not getting up a half hour earlier to drive you :) but good luck!

      1 · November 19, 2013

  • Craig G

    I am on the "late" Meetup now. Good luck ;)

    November 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Yes Elle, we do need to get a self issue (no cost) permit. The route is a non-technical climb, a very difficult hike. Thanks.

    November 19, 2013

  • Sherpa Chatchay Mazama M.

    Bruce - last time we climbed Mount Saint Helens, it took us close to six hours to summit depending on the pace and how many breaks you take. I would suggest starting very earlier and the sunrise is close to 7am. Thanks.

    November 19, 2013

  • elle

    Need a climber's permit?

    November 19, 2013

    • Sherpa Chatchay Mazama M.

      Not this time of year. You guys have to register at Lone Fir Resort Inn in Cougar, WA. Thanks.

      November 19, 2013

  • elle

    this is hiking not climbing right?

    November 19, 2013

  • Sherpa Chatchay Mazama M.

    I would climb with the group, I am done climbing Mount Saint Helens for the year. Next spring or summer. Good luck, be safe and have fun.

    November 19, 2013

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