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| | |-+  May 9, 2009. Mt St Helens (Worm Flows)
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Author Topic: May 9, 2009. Mt St Helens (Worm Flows)  (Read 2650 times)
Scole
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May 9, 2009. Mt St Helens (Worm Flows)
« on: 05/10/09, 10:16 AM »

One of the many who participated in the annual Mothers Day weekend trek up Mt St Helens. I was concerned about the avy danger due to the NWAC bulletin so I tried to get an earlier than normal start. The snow is still solid and continuous from the Marble Mtn Snowpark. At 3am, the snow was still a little soft around the snowpark but gradually firmed up as you gained elevation.

I didn't think the bootpack was as established as year's past but it's still fairly decent. Everything above timberline refroze overnight so crampons might not be a bad idea (though not required). Above 6000', the winds picked up a bit. Above 7000', there were ample signs of rime ice and wind affected snow. Skies remained sunny but a few puffy clouds developed in the late morning and one would roll over the crater rim every now & end.

I topped out about noon to some fairly blustery conditions. The views were great but the avy warning was on my mind so after some quick pictures, I clicked in and headed down. The upper 1000' had softened sufficiently but the surface was somewhat rough due to wind shaping. From 7000 to 4500', I experienced the greatest corn snow of my life. My head was on a swivel the whole way down keeping an eye on any releases but nothing happened. In fact, I saw no evidence of any slides except for on small point release in a gully down around 4000'.

From timberline, the snow was slower but still allowed for turns and sliding back to the parking lot. I made to about a 1/4 mile from the parking lot when momentum finally ended. Beautiful day!

Monitor Ridge & the Upper Worm Flows route from RD 81 below the Climbers Bivy turnoff:


Worm Flow route at 4am from timberline (Full moon was setting):


Crater:
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telemack
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Re: May 9, 2009. Mt St Helens (Worm Flows)
« Reply #1 on: 05/11/09, 05:39 AM »

Fine pix.  Where are the people?! 
Was the road open to Climbers Bivy?  I thought there was a TR from someone using that route a few weeks ago.
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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
Scole
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Re: May 9, 2009. Mt St Helens (Worm Flows)
« Reply #2 on: 05/11/09, 05:06 PM »

Thanks..

I only quickly glanced up the turnoff as I drove by & it was clear immediately off of FS-81. That said, when I left Saturday afternoon, there were several truck with snowmobile trailers parked at the stop sign so that leads me to believe that the snow isn't too far up the road.

There were still patches of snow at the clearcut just before the Climbers Bivy turnoff so it must have been a good snow year down there..
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