Ascent of Mount Saint Helens on 2013-07-05

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Others in Party:Kathy Rich
Date:Friday, July 5, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Saint Helens
    Elevation:8333 ft / 2539 m

Ascent Trip Report

We secured tickets (22 dollars each) for the climb about 6 months in advance. They had sold out for the summer when we arrived, even though 100 tickets per day are sold. However, the office has an informal ticket exchange where one can leave extra tickets at the office for climber's to buy up to the day of the climb. That's what Kathy did with our extra ticket.

Climber's Bivouac usually opens up by July 1 and has 20 or so campsites near the trailhead. The trail starts in rain forest for the first 2.5 miles and then it's a boulder scramble onto Monitor Ridge following wooden post markers and braided use trails. The trail was nearly entirely free of snow for us. At the rim, the crater was so immense it was hard to imagine that much rock had been blown into the sky. But the fog soon moved in and obscured the view. The high point was an easy 5-10 minute walk to the west.

On the descent we chose to glissade down on the snow in the gully just west of the ridge trail. What fun! There are warning signs about glissading. So one needs to know what they can handle based on the steepness and snow conditions.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4683 ft / 1427 m
    Extra Gain:50 ft / 15 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8 mi / 12.9 km
    Route:Monitor Ridge trail
    Trailhead:Climber's Bivouac Trailhead  3750 ft / 1143 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 

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