Celebrating 50 Years of Climbing Mount St. Helens

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022, on the 50th anniversary of his first climb of Mount St. Helens in 1972, Mount St. Helens Institute (MSHI) volunteer Gary Stewart reached the summit once again! He was accompanied by his children and grandchildren on a privately guided climb with MSHI staff.

Gary has been a part of the Mount St. Helens community his whole life, since first attending the Boy Scout camp on Spirit Lake in the 1950s and '60s, and he climbed Mount St. Helens many times both before and after the 1980 eruption. This anniversary climb has been a goal of his for years, and he said, "The climb was everything I hoped for and more."

Gary began volunteering with us in 2014, with the hope to share his love of the Mount St.Helens area with other visitors.  He went on his first backpacking trip at age 11.  During the summers of 1964-65 he enjoyed working on the camp staff and leading troops on trips into the back-country.  He joined a climbing club in 1972 and climbed the north and south slopes multiple times. 

Gary, thank you for letting us participate in this momentous achievement with you!

"The mountain and surrounding areas will always have a special place in my heart and mind." - Gary Stewart