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yapajake

St. Helens w/ a toddler

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Just wondering if anybody has input on going up Mt. St. Helens with a toddler. Ideally I would like to go in June to have a more snow-covered route, but don't know if that would be too cold (even on a good day) or if it would be better to try in July or August. Anybody have any experience or advice to give? Thanks.

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I don't have experience on St Helens, but I did tote my kids around when they were smaller and lighter. My thought is that it's not that confortable for kids to be immobilized in a pack for a long time (>45 minutes), particularly in cold weather. Their legs/feet can go to sleep/get numb from having thighs/hips press into the pack. They are not exercising and so get cold fairly easily. They are not likely to benefit much from the outing. Then they weigh you down and slow you down, add to the gear/food/drinks you must carry, must be attended periodically based on their needs. etc.

 

My 2 cents: if your goal is the summit find someone to watch the kid. You'll both be happier. If your goal is to have quality outdoor time, then skip St Helens as they'll (are you going in spring?) have as much fun or more at any snowy trailhead as 5000ft up the side of mtn.

 

Other parents can chime in here.

 

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Beware... if you can't keep them comfortable and happy they will learn fast that a trip in the pack with daddy is not fun. Keep them warm and stop frequently and take them out of the carrier a lot. If all goes well they will sleep during a lot of the time you are hiking.

I also tried towing my daughter in a sled behind me while bc skiing, but that turned out to be too rough a ride for her.

Eventually I realized it was time to focus on being a daddy and I basically gave up a lot of things I would have otherwise done. I could not have lived with myself otherwise. Now I'm back at it.

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Other parents can chime in here.

 

I'll bite....there was a similar thread regarding Hood years back. I'd really want to check the motivations here. Are you doing this for your toddler? Will they even remember this in a year or two? Or are you doing it so you can tell your buddies you summitted St. Helens with your toddler. My guess is the latter. The best you could hope for is that you get to the top while managing to keep the toddler from being miserable, injured, or both. Accidents happen even on a mountain like St. Helens. If you are looking for notoriety, find a way of getting it without endangering your kid.

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it was more to go with the wife since we don't have any family in the area and don't want to get a sitter overnight. he did enjoy the 7 miles we did in eagle creek the other day, but i think we are going to put going for anything above 6000ft on hold as of now and see how he handles other stuff this summer and maybe see where he is at come august or september.

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Just wondering if anybody has input on going up Mt. St. Helens with a toddler. Ideally I would like to go in June to have a more snow-covered route, but don't know if that would be too cold (even on a good day) or if it would be better to try in July or August. Anybody have any experience or advice to give? Thanks.

 

Our approach (we have 3 boys) was to start the kids on easy hikes that they could do part of, then work up to harder, more ambitious hikes. When the kids were very young (2-3) they could do 1-2 miles of a trail like Lake 22 (Mountain Loop Highway) or Rattle Snake Ledge (I-90), and I'd carry them the rest of the way. Once they hit 40-45 lbs then the hikes had to be almost all done under their power - say Colchuck Lake by age 5 (I carried one son up about 500 foot vertical on that). If you work them up this way they'll be able to get up Granite Mountain, Hidden Lake Peaks, Ingalls Lake etc by age 7-9. Mount Saint Helens is not much beyond that.

 

Good luck!

 

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June would be better than July or August IMHO. I think your kid will fry in the summer where it's two steps forward and one step back in the hot, dry pumice. At least in June if it's cool you can add layers.

 

I assume your putting your toddler in a kid carrier.

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Only chiming in on rads point about both sides being happier.

 

I take my toddler bouldering, to places where she is out about of strollers and kids back pack a greater percentage than strapped up "immobolized".

 

Rads point is totally right on. I've found my near 19 month yo loving to go out, she crawls in her bob when she feels like it, points and grabs at the baby backpack when she wants to be in it and otherwise has a great time while daddy gets to boulder.

 

hard transition for me because boltless single to multi pitch trad development was my favorite form of climbing, but you make sacrifices, because they are in fact your kids... bouldering isn't too much of a compromise (':

 

just my 2 cents

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