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photos » 2021 » Mt Staint Helens

Photo Set: Mt Staint Helens


Summit hike in early April. Forcast conditions for the day were poor (cold, windy, precipitation), but permit season had started and we only had a Sunday permit, so we went for it.

Camped in the trailhead parking lot, hit the trail at 6:50am. Conditions were low-visibility most of the way up, and a lot of climbers (who had started earlier, around 4am) had turned around in the morning and were passing us headed down. We thought we might have to stop, but as we got close to the summit the weather changed to be clear and we could look down on the full route we had climbed. It was still quite windy and snowblown on the final pitch or two ("winter conditions"?), but we pushed through and it was beautiful and not too windy at the summit rim (apparently it is usually extremely windy there).

Was not a crowded day and most people were skiing, stopping at about 7,000ft to do a run down. Beautiful day to ski.

At medium elevations we got in some long glissade runs, but below 4,000ft or so the snow had gotten really soft and it was a slow posthole slog in boots. At that point skis or snowshoes would have been wonderful! Also confused why there was not a clear single boot path, which would firm up the snow and make travel easier. Was a sunny mostly-clear day by treeline, and could see Mt Jefferson in the distance. Made it back to the trailhead at 5:20pm.

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