Ascent of Mount Saint Helens on 2013-03-23
|Others in Party:||Jeremy B|
|Date:||Saturday, March 23, 2013|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
|Peak:||Mount Saint Helens|
| Elevation:||8333 ft / 2539 m|
Ascent Trip ReportPerfect conditions and a great crew!
Loose snow (Cascades version of powder) over a really hard crust at about 9" depth on the south aspect from 5000-8400'. Wind blown snow deposited up to 22" deep on lee sides and in shallow depressions.
When we were traversing from Monitor Ridge @ ~7600' NNW to the true summit (not the one that everyone else goes to) I was wading through 10-18" putting in steps on a 40-45 degree incline, with wind scoured ice along even minor ridges. That was probably the only part that gave me any pause as far as avalanche goes (whumpf-ing steps about four times in ~.25mi), but thankfully we were very near the top of the ridge so there wasn't much space above us for a release, and no one below us (west of Monitor ridge).
The trail from the Marble Mtn. Snow Park is fully packed in all the way up to where the falls are in the summer (~3700'). Boots were OK if you stay in the middle of the trail. We went snowshoes to ~4500' and then crampons from there, but MSR snowshoes or skis (w/skins) could be worn the whole way.
|Summary Total Data|
| Elevation Gain:||5873 ft / 1789 m|
| Extra Gain:||100 ft / 30 m|
| Distance:||10 mi / 16.1 km|
| Route:||Swift Creek (winter)|
| Trailhead:||Marble Mtn Sno-Park 2660 ft / 810 m|
| Grade/Class:||Class 2|
| Quality:||7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb|
| Gear Used:||Ice Axe, Crampons, Snowshoes|
| Nights Spent:||0 nights away from roads|
| Weather:||Cold, Calm, Partly Cloudy|
Perfect alpine weather! ~32deg
| Time Up:||6 Hours 30 Minutes|
| Time Down:||3 Hours |
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