Mt. St. Helens 2011

MSH 2011-031

I was in SW Washington for the week and brought my skis with the hopes of clear weather for a trip to Mt. St. Helens. On Tuesday, the weather cooperated and I was able to climb and ski from the summit!

I’ve skied Mt. St. Helens 4 times now, usually following Mother’s Day, and I prefer to take 2 days to do it. I’ve done it in one day (not too difficult) but found that I want to stay up there because it is beautiful. The view to Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams from camp is a great way to end and begin a day! Plus, hiking up in the evening to camp is a great experience with beautiful light.

I parked at Marble Mountain Sno-park where there is 3-5 feet of snow still! Skinning up to treeline is easy and about 1 1/2 hours with a heavy pack. From there, you just have to find a good view and set up camp! There is A LOT of snow up there this year and nearly all the ridges are snow covered still.

The night was cloudy and the summit was not visible. I could only see the red glow from Portland in the distance. The morning brought more clouds, filling in the valley and obstructing the view to the summit. I enjoyed some coffee and oatmeal as the clouds began to break. Go time!

Skinning to the summit was fairly easy, about 3 1/2 hours from camp including breaks. I spent about an hour on the summit enjoying the view and chatting with some others.

The snow had already turned slushy with 1-2″ of wet snow the first 1000′ then 2-4″ deep sticky corn the rest of the way. At camp level, it was mush.

I opened the Cascade Margarita Bar for the season and traded my ski boots for the slippers! Nice move E. There are plenty of sand ridges up there so bring those flip flops for the chillin’! Tasty margarita with a view:)

The ski to the car was easy along a mostly downhill trail. Fantastic way to wrap up a week in the SW! Get some. EE

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