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    Mount St. Helens

    Cougar, Washington

    Mount St Helens

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    Queen Anne, WA
    Explorer | 40 pts
    5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
    12/3/2011
    We arrived to Marble Mount shortly after 7:00 a.m. The road was not plowed but there was hardly any snow on it.

    Quick gear up and we were on our way. We started on snow right from the trailhead but with several groups ahead of us, the trail was packed and had good traction.

    The first part of the winter route leading on gentle ski trails was a nice warm up. Once we broke from the trees, that's where the work started. Luckily there were good steps kicked in making the steepest part much easier.

    Admiring the beauty of the snow capped mountain, we proceeded up in a steady moderate pace with occasional breaks for photo ops and hydration.

    Most of the route was in a great condition with no traction needed to about 6200 ft. That's where the slope got wind blasted and at spots covered with a sheet of ice of which the rays of sunshine reflected and sparkled.

    The ice became more serious as we climbed higher, and majority of the upper 800 feet was covered by it. The summit could safely and easily gained with crampons and ice axe, the sound of the ice layer crushing under our feel was a sweet music to our ears.

    Needless to say it was scary to see people tiptoeing their way up in Yak Trax supporting themselves by ski poles.

    As usually the summit was windy, and man, when the wind picked up, it was strong but despite the wind it was by far the best conditions I ever experienced on this mountain. Unlike the other times I was up here, this time the wind would take an occasional break, and even when wheezing by, it did not blast the typical sandy ash grains into our faces which was very nice and gave us an opportunity to stay at the summit for decent amount of time.

    The snow was much softer on our way down. We chose mot to glisade considering the icy sections, and when we got lower, we postholed our way the last mile or so of the ridge back to the ski trails. From there it was a long, but easy stretch back to the snow park.



    GPS stats: 10.4 miles, 5746 ft el. gain
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    Kent, WA
    Explorer | 20 pts
    4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
    9/2/2010
    Great hike, completed in 8 hrs roundtrip. Plenty of people throughout trail. Camped the night before and headed out about 8am. Even in good weather it's really important to wear sunscreen, wear long pants (lots of windy areas that blow stinging sand!), wear gators to keep rocks out (last mile of hike is in dusty sand/rocks), bring gloves with grip/traction for climbing over sharp, scratchy lava rocks, hiking poles are not necessary but will save you some pain if your knees hurt going down steep hikes.

    Trail is marked by large, visible wooden poles, however there is no REAL trail over the rocky area. You just have to climb over rocks that you can manage in order to reach the next wooden pole on the trail.
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    Springdale, OR
    Adventurer | 361 pts
    5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
    9/1/2007
    Great climb! The ridge is well marked with posts but stay to the left of the posts, as this is the easiest route and is closer to the actual summit. Try to buy permits as close to the hike as possible. Hiking to the top and not having a view slightly sucks. Bring poles for the way down, and lots of water, seriously you'll need it.
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    Portland, OR
    Adventurer | 250 pts
    5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
    9/27/2006
    Great hike! It was a nice sunny day, and the sun was beating down hard. Have lots of water because this is a grueling hike, very deceiving. We backpacked to the timberline and started there in the morning.
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    Trail Information

    Cougar
    Nearby City
    Dog-friendly
    Accessibility
    12
    Distance
    5,800 feet
    Elevation Gain
    Difficult
    Skill Level
    12 hours
    Duration
    April to June
    Season
    Camping
    Additional Use
    Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters, and Visitor Centers
    Local Contacts
    USGS Mount St. Helens; Green Trails Mount St. Helens NW 364S, Mount St. Helens 364
    Local Maps

    4 Members Completed

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    Trail Log