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[TR] St Hellens- Worm Flows 4/11/2004


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Climb: St Hellens-Worm Flows


Date of Climb: 4/11/2004


Trip Report:

We drove down Saturday night, Jacks Resteraunt was closed so we didn’t get a permit. Started walking at 4:45, we put our skis on after a few hundred yards. It had been warm overnight so I was worried about the lack of a surface freeze. Gary Yngve and I were on AT gear and John was on XC skies with metal edges and skins. We made good time to the tree line. As we headed up the crust got better. We went up the east side of the south face to stay out of the sun. When it got steep John gave up trying to ski and just walked. There were a few steep sections we had to cross so I was glad I had the ski crampons. Talked to a snow border who had hiked up overnight and was headed down. It was too early so he was doing lots of side slipping on the crust. When we got too the summit there was only one other guy getting ready to ski down. Didn’t hang out for long because it was cold and windy. We could hear the snowmos! As we started down the first of a strung out group of Mounties were getting close to the top The first few hundred feet were kind of hard from all the boot tracks, after that it was awesome easy turning corn. Turn after turn! Got soft near the bottom but was still good. I thought it was going to be much softer. John hiked most of the way down. As we were taking a break at their bottom we could see the Mounties heading down. All were on foot. We felt sorry for them, they were going to be wallowing in the slush. We had a nice cruise out. XC skies with skins will save you lots of time on the approach. Just stash them when it gets steep.

It was Easter Sunday, a great day to be out in the mountains while most people are wasting a beautiful day at church and family gatherings.


Thanks to john for driving and Gary for the pics.


Gear Notes:

Ski crampons were great to have.


Approach Notes:

Melting fast.





Edited by Dave_Schuldt
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Oiy mates,

I think I was one of the "strung out mounties w/skis" you are talking about. I might have briefly spoken with you as you started your descent. -I was the one with the bright yellow skis strapped to my pack as we chatted about our "lines down" The ice on top wasn't too bad, the corn midway was great, and the potato slop down lower made you work those turns a little more! All in all, a great day!!!

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I was there with some friends on the 11th as well, and also enjoyed the healthy dent that mass attendance at religious events put in the crowds this Sunday. This phenomenon was notable due to its stark contrast with every other Sunday of the year.


Now, if I was a believer, I would have to ask myself just how likely it is that the omniscient, omnipotent being that I am ostensibly pleasing by my attendance in the said church is overlooking the fact that I am situated somewhere besides the structure erected in his honor on the other 51 Sundays in any given year. I might page through Deuteronomy or The Book of Revelations for a moment or two and reaquaint myself with the manner in which this fellow deals with folks that don't walk the walk - if it were me. I can't say for sure, but some have suggested that there is a firm scriptural basis undergirding the contention that if you set foot outside of your church of choice on any sunny weekend (or powder day) you will fester in the darkest pits of hell for all of eternity. They may be wrong, but is it really worth the risk? Heaven%20Hell.jpg


Indeed. Think Carefully.


Is a little bit of powder under the skis and blue sky overhead worth it? These guys don't think so.




On a related note, the ever increasing pressure within his Dark Majesty's Foul Kingdom - first noted in a groundbreaking paper on the thermodynamics of hell (link) - has generated enough heat to begin melting out a few sections of trail in the woods on the approach to the worm flows, all of which will no doubt be quite a bit larger by next weekend if people stoke the fires by falling back on their old ways and skipping out on next Sunday's sermon.


You can bypass the trail and one or two of the melted out sections by continuing your descent on deeper snow (still deep enough to muffle the faint hysterical wailing and bitter lamentations of the sinners underfoot that are clearly audible if you stop on the dry patches of the trail and listen for a moment) if you stick to the gulley just a few feet off of the trail on the skiers right when you re-enter the woods. Continue in the gulley until you hit the second short rock step that's big enough to require a few feet of downclimbing.. Once you've cleared the second step, take a hard left up the side of the gulley and look for a blue trail marker, which will put you on the Swift trail, which will eventually take you back to the main trail if you follow it downhill. Don't descend too far though, or you may end up here...



Whatever you do, don't end up like these people-




Sell your skis and repent.

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Does anyone know if the road to climbers bivouac is drivable yet ?


HA! Yes I do know, we went that way last weekend. There is continuous snow about .25 miles up road (81) from the turnoff of 83. It added about 4-5 miles of road skinning to our day (just to get to the bivouac). We skied out the Sno Park and hitched a ride back to our car (thanks guys!). No need for a permit at the sno-park now, says the Ranger station.

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So if I permits are only available at Jack's store during open hours (7-7PM) what does everyone typically do if they are going to be legal and get a permit? Drive up early the night before, get one, then sleep at the trailhead? Start late morning?


If anyone else has gone up this weekend, I'd be interested in beta.

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Well, unless you want to ski absolute slop in the afternoon, you need a reasonably early start. It's also most of the way to Portland, so that makes for a early morning from seattle. You can however have Jack's leave you a permit in their "Lock box" (wouldn't gore be proud?) to pickup after hours (after 10pm).

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