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[TR] Mt Saint Helens - Monitor Ridge 7/4/2012

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Trip: Mt Saint Helens - Monitor Ridge


Date: 7/4/2012


Trip Report:

So I'm a newbie at this, first time ever climbing a mountain, so this is my beginners take on the climb.


Went up on July 4th, got a later start then planned. Climbers Bivouac is open, and we didn't get to the start of the trailhead until 7:30am, there is still snow on the ground from the start of the trailhead, but fairly light and patchy. You are mostly on snow the whole way up, but it was pretty firm, and easy to find your way with all the footprints, I opted to stay on the rocks for part of the climb after the treeline since I didn't have crampons, and the snow softened up just enough that my feet were sliding with each step. People in another group looked to have on some micro-spikes and were getting along just fine, and at a much faster pace, so if you've got them, bring them!


On the final ascent opted to stay on the snow, (crampons might have helped, and made things easier but wasn't necessary) - since it was such a nice day, although had it been worse weather, might not have been able to do so, unless you wanted to wade up the rock/ash pile near the top - which from all accounts, looked awful! Overall got to the summit at around 1pm, we didn't traverse the last bit to the true summit as it didn't look stable, but a more experience climber might be less deterred. Views from the top was absolutely amazing and the weather couldn't have been better! We glissaded down as much as we could... All in all, took 7ish hours roundtrip, and there were plenty of people on the trail still trying to summit when we made out descent.


the rock pile



the final ascent



view to the left towards the true summit (I think?!)



last view from the summit towards Mt. Rainier



It was an absolutely beautiful day!!




Gear Notes:

mountaineering or good quality hiking boots (crampons would have helped, especially if weather was not what it was - maybe even an ice-axe dependent on how early of a start you get, it's pretty crusty up top), and poles


Approach Notes:

Just to note, their were a few crevasses here and there, but they were small, and fairly well marked, just to be aware of

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Good first experience. The ice axe is a good idea to arrest if glissading. We have had two serious glissading accidents in the last week - including July 3.


The ash pile is safe - just tiring.

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