November 25, 2023
CLIMBING UPDATES: Climber's Bivouac (Summer route) and Marble Mountain Sno-Park (Winter route) are currently both open, per USFS. The Bivouac may remain open until the next heavy snowfall or December 1.
ROUTE: Both access roads and trailheads are snow-free. Scattered ice patches from 5000' (1524m) to 5800' (1767m) and then hard ice-covered snow to the summit. No adequate ski conditions observed. Ridges are melted out, but ice travel cannot be avoided. Rim has 3' (1m) of snow and and an 10' (3m) cornice. Recent heavy precipitation and melt have carved new washes and channels in the access road and climbing route, so exercise caution.
In general during Fall, expect heavy rains, snow, meltwater, ice, periods of dense fog, mixed precipitation, sub-freezing temperatures and moderate to high winds. Know the forecast at all elevations before your climb, have cold/wet weather layers and redundant navigational aides (map, compass and GPS) for low-visibility conditions. Due to snow and ice accumulation at all elevations, the route may not be well defined. Always keep the wooden pole cairns (trail markers) in sight as you climb.
PERMITTING: Refer to the recreation and permitting site for current permit dates, prices and limitations.
Route finding: Recommend preloading offline maps of the current route, either "Monitor Ridge, Summer Route" or "Worm Flows, Winter Route" into your device and have a paper map and compass backup. Route finding above tree line can be very challenging on days with reduced visibility, frequent winds, precipitation, fog, whiteouts, etc. Above tree line beginning the ascent, follow the route marked by wooden poles. As gullies melt out, more boot trails will be exposed.
Leave No Trace: Climbers are required to utilize blue bags to pack out all human or pet waste, including toilet paper.
Camping: There is dispersed camping and pit toilets available at the trailheads, but no running water, and bathroom services may be limited so please bring your own toilet paper, soap, water, or hand sanitizer. Please plan accordingly.
Photos courtesy of Andy Goodwin.
See the U.S. Forest Service Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument website for more information.
FIRE: Incident Information System has the most up to date info on all fires (prescribed or wild) around the country, or Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. Visit Washington Smoke Information, Washington's Air Monitoring Network and AirNow for the latest in Air Quality and forecasting.
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 during winter months.
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 for winter climbing.
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.
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