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Mt. Saint Helens

This is a great beginning summit for mountaineering. It provides a bit more steepness than Mt. Adams, but isn't technical mountaineering where ropes would be involve. The views from the top were amazing, because I was able look directly into the volcano. (I liked the view from Mt. Saint Helens more than Mt. Adams.) The bummer was that since the volcano exploded in 1980, the top of the volcano was blow off. It's still a cool summit to get up to the edge of the crater's rim, which now technically counts as the new top! 


I completed this trek in late January. During this time                 for the summit were free of charge and self-issue at the trailhead. There is an additional permit for parking. Unfortunately, state regulations require different permits for different times of years so the Northwest Forest Service Permit that you buy once and use for most locations only works in the summer. In January and most of the winter, a                                    is required .

Below I have included a spreadsheet that includes the gear I brought, my plan of attack, and route. There are two different routes depending on the time of year you summit. Here is the 

Route & Equipment:

** Make sure to click the tabs at the bottom


Weather is always a factor to consider when doing anything outdoors. This was my first winter summit so there are more factors than just incoming weather to consider, (i.e., snow pack, avalanche danger, etc). A few days before the hike I called the Saint Helens Climbing Office (360-449-7861). This was really useful to get information about recent avalanches, weather, and road conditions. Additionally I used these two resources: 


Errors I learned the hard way:

Error #7: Stimulate the mental state you'll be on the mountain in the gym. The entire month I worked out to music, podcast, or movies in the gym and when it came time for this trip my mental game sucked

Error #8: Still didn't bring enough food

Error #9: The food I did bring had to be cooked and took way to much time

Error #10: Didn't bring the snow pad for my fuel canister

Error #11: SLEEP! I did not get good sleep. I was to excited. I only got 2 hours of sleep before spending 15 hours hiking.

Error #12: Did not try on my rental crampons before getting on the mountain which lead to a slow and dangerous hike up and down. 

Error #13: Snowshoes for steep slopes do work but they made me clumsy as fuck. Ended up using the crampons that didn't fit. Do not recommend

Error #14: There are some slopes to steep to glissade down

Error #15: Know how to dagger with a straight ice axe. I had an anxiety attack on the steep section because I have never walked down at such steep angles before

Error #16: Going up was extremely icy where the crampons didn't provide me reassurance

Error #17: Daggering is probably the best way when coming down the icy slopes. Side stepping and heel toeing were also two methods that were useful even though I struggled.

Error #18: Don't set ski goggle down on rocks. It scratches them...

Error #19: Put food in ziplock bags with the zipper so that there isn't a ton of trash

Error #20: Bring a duffle bag that you can put a change of clothes, shoes, and other items in so everything isn't just spread around in the car

What worked!

1. Finding hiking partners on Facebook Groups! Pacific Northwest Mountaineers and Pacific Northwest Women's Climbing and Mountaineering Partners are the two I had the best luck with

2. Having a workout regiment that focused one single leg acceleration

3. This hike is definitely a great started mountain to show you the type of obstacles you will face on higher volcanoes. 

4. Using a gear checklist! I've included the one I used below

5. Eating Diorites! These boosted my morale and were tasty! 

6. Affordable! Overall Cost was just the cost of gas ($40). My friend had a snow park permit. 

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