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| | |-+  Mt St Helen's winter climbing route Jan 16
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Author Topic: Mt St Helen's winter climbing route Jan 16  (Read 4445 times)

Posts: 38

Mt St Helen's winter climbing route Jan 16
« on: 01/17/14, 05:12 PM »

With the warm weather and not wanting to fight crowds at the resorts, I decided to head up to Mt St Helen's to ski the winter route. Plus I had to work the night before so I would be getting a late start and St Helen's isn't far away from me. Saw the posting for partners for St Helen's but they were planning on starting too early for me.

So at Marble Mtn snowpark (2700') at 0900hrs and on the trail at 0930hrs, temp in the parking lot was mid 30's and cool. The 244 Tr was intermittently snow covered for about 0.5mi then could have skinned up but the snow was fairly firm so I choose to hike. At Swift Creek falls its was warm however the snow was still firm. The lower elevation isn't well covered so I turned off the regular climbing route and headed straight toward the eastern lava flow to skin up. As the day warmed rime ice was coming off the eastern rocks but wasn't a threat just fun to watch. I saw a couple of other party's above and eventually met up with them, as they decided to come down.

They skied the east of the climbing route which we had all chosen to head up. After some beta from each and other hello's, I continued heading up and traversing west. At 7500' I realized I was getting very low on water due to how hot and thirsty I had become. I melted snow and had lunch then decided the summit wasn't a big deal and I what I wanted was a good ski.

After a quick survey of the area I realized that no one had skied or better yet no snowshoe trench had been made almost directly down the entire western side of the winter climbing route.

So the decent started at about 7500' @ 1415hrs, little to no wind, warm sun and yes soft snow. The snow conditions were OUTSTANDING for turns all the way down to 4300' at which time I had to get back over to the winter climbing ridge. Felt like late spring snow, easy to turn in, not grabby or sticky, just smooth and fast.

I did get a little greedy and tried to traverse over to another slope west of me around 5500' but found a large area (about 100'x50') of real nasty frozen ice so I just back tracked and enjoyed my route down.

From 4300' to the 3000' wasn't very special, just skiing on the lumpy trail but better then hiking. The lower area was in the shade, trail in the tree's and both were starting to firm up. A quick check of my bases at the truck showed only a couple of minor nick's from rocks. I was done @ 1550hrs.

Sorry no pic's as my phone was in my pocket and the camera fogged up. I didn't realize it till I was home looking at them. Bummer as it was a really great day.

Posts: 380

Re: Mt St Helen's winter climbing route Jan 16
« Reply #1 on: 01/17/14, 06:04 PM »

Nice to see someone got some good snow.   Way to go.

Posts: 692

Re: Mt St Helen's winter climbing route Jan 16
« Reply #2 on: 01/18/14, 07:43 PM »

Thanks for the report, great to hear that you had good skiing.
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