CURRENT CONDITIONS

Looking across the crater towards Dog Head, with Spirit Lake to the left.

Photo by Marcie Fernandes

July 20, 2017 update

Sunrise: 5:39am

Sunset: 8:52pm

The road to Climber's Bivouac is NOW OPEN. The summer climbing route (Monitor Ridge) out of Climber's Bivouac is the preferred climbing route for summer. A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at Climber's Bivouac and can be purchased online, at local vendors or Forest Service office, or with cash/check at the parking lot (daily permit only, no annual available at parking lot). Dispersed camping is available around the parking lot and along the gravel road leading up to the Bivouac. There are pit toilets available, but no running water or trash service. Please plan accordingly.

From the trailhead (3,700 ft) to Kiwi Camp (4,800 ft) the snow is melting fast and the wildflowers are in full bloom!  Above treeline, climbers can choose between snow travel or the melted out Monitor Ridge through the boulders. Though this is the "summer" route, expect winter conditions higher on the route and be prepared with appropriate equipment (ice axe, crampons/microspikes, trekking poles, etc.) Icy, windblown conditions may exist on upper slopes and require route-finding for softer snow. There is still snow on the summit rim, some of which is overhanging into the crater in the form of a cornice. Be aware that cornices can slough off at an angle 35 degrees from it's base on the crater side. It is advised to stay back at least 30' from the snow edge of the summit rim. The rocks along the summit rim are melted out , and large cracks show the separation between the rim and the free-hanging snow. On the way down, it is advised to scout glissade routes before descending. It is easy to get off route and travel too far east or west of your intended route, so pay close attention to your landmarks. Some chutes are melting out and may have holes, glide cracks, and rocks exposed. With some care, 3,000 ft of glissading can be done on the Monitor Ridge summer route, and down to 6,000 ft on Worm Flows winter route.

Please check the forecast as weather conditions are very variable at this time of year. Be prepared for cold, wet, winter conditions by having appropriate winter climbing gear and strong winter navigational/orienteering/mountaineering skills.

This conditions report is provided in conjunction with the US Forest Service, and is intended for personal and recreational purposes only.  Safe backcountry travel requires preparation and planning, and this information may be used for planning purposes but does not provide all the information necessary for backcountry travel.  Advanced mountaineering education is strongly encouraged.  

The user acknowledges that it is impossible to accurately predict natural events in every instance, and the accuracy or reliability of the information provided here is not guaranteed in any way. This report describes general conditions and local variations will always occur. This report expires 24 hours after the posted time unless noted otherwise.

See the U.S. Forest Service Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument website for more information.

WEATHER: Weather.gov point forecasts- Marble Mountain SnoPark (2,700ft) and mid-slope (6,200ft)Mountain-Forecast.com provides forecasts at three different elevations: summit 8,328ft, mid-slope 6,500ft and just above the trailhead 3,200ft.

AVALANCHE: Visit the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center for the most up to date avalanche forecast information.

SNOWPACK: Visit these SNOTEL sites for recent snow pack readings on the south side of Mount St. Helens- June Lake (3,400ft) and Swift Creek (4,400ft).