Scheduled outside of paid permit seasons, Nov. 1–March 31.

This route is open year round from the Marble Mountain Snow Park, so it's usually used for early season ascents. It's about 1,000 more vertical feet than Monitor ridge. Snow can be soft early season due to the low starting elevation, so bring skis or snowshoes in case. St. Helens is one of the lower and technically easier glaciated peaks in the Pacific NW, but still a strenuous climb as the starting elevation is relatively low. The peak is often underestimated; exposure and route finding challenges in low visibility can make this peak a serious as any in the Northwest. Watch out for the cornices on the summit crater!

This is a classic NW ski climb, with long open runs, minimal avy danger, and no crevasses. This can be a nice overnight trip as well - ski in, make camp, and hike up for some tele turns. Permits and Stuff: St Helens is one of the most heavily regulated peaks in the US. See the Gifford Pinchot National Forest web site for current permit regulations, SnoPark permit required between Nov 15 and April 30.

Activity Notes

Let's climb Mount St. Helens in winter! This will be a long one-day climb starting and ending at Marble Mountain Sno-Park. This is a non-technical climb, but climbing it in winter requires bringing crampons, ice axe, helmet, trekking poles, snowshoes or backcountry skis (for flotation; we will not be skiing down as we need to keep the group together on the descent), 3 new AAA batteries for avalanche transceiver, and an avalanche transceiver if you have one. If not, the Mazamas will provide one. You will also need a Washington Sno-Park permit for each car.

Other Information
Driving Distance from Portland 80 miles
Driving Time from Portland 2 hours
Distance - Round Trip 12 miles
General Route Info summitpost:
Expected Duration Car to car in one day
Relevant Books Climbers Guide to the Cascade Volcanoes by Jeff Smoot Cascade Alpine Guide: Columbia River to Stevens Pass by Fred Beckey Selected Climbs in the Cascades by Nelson and Potterfield
Relevant Maps USGS 7 minute series, Mt. St. Helens, WA Green Trails, Mt St. Helens Google map
Awards Qualified 16 Major NW Peaks, Guardian Peaks
Useful Links