CURRENT CONDITIONS

 

April 15, 2021 update

Sunrise: 6:22 am

Sunset: 7:57 pm

The road to Climber's Bivouac is CLOSED. Climbers should depart from Marble Mountain Sno-Park (winter route), which requires a Washington Sno-Park Pass after December 1.

Permits are required year-round. From April 1 - October 31, permits must be purchased online in advance through recration.gov. Visitor our permits page for more information. From November 1 - March 31 permits are free, unlimited, and self-issue at the trailhead.

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. 

Please climb with your quarantine household, and maintain at least 6 feet of space between yourself and other hikers. Please review our Mount St. Helens and COVID-19 page to learn about open trailheads and sites, expected services, and how to recreate responsibly. Please bring a mask to put on when you pass others on the trail.


WINTER ROUTE, Worm Flows out of Marble Mountain Sno Park:

Road 83 to Marble Mountain is clear and snow-free. A Washington State Sno-Park Pass, purchased in advance, is required to park at Marble Mountain between December 1 - March 31, or as posted. Climbers are required to utilize blue bags to pack out all human or pet waste, including toilet paper. 

Woods to tree line snow is 3' deep at Marble Mountain, and hard-packed through the forest. Above tree line, snow is firm and packed in the morning, but becoming slushy in afternoon spring sunshine. Snow still fills many of the valleys, concealing much of the topography, but sunshine and warm weather could melt out some rocks in the coming days. Crampons or skis currently recommended.

A large cornice has formed along the summit rim - PLEASE STAY BACK 15-20 feet to avoid cornice collapse. DO NOT assume that an area is safe just because you see footprints in the snow. There is no safe view into the crater. The true summit is 1/4 mi west of where the route tops out.

Route finding: Do not just follow the "fall-line" on your descent ("fall line" is if you were to roll a ball down the hill, it would travel with gravity and that would take you off-route). Route finding may be challenging, especially in dense cloud or fog; be sure to know the route and carry navigation equipment.

Glissading: many glissade paths crisscross the mountain and can easily take descending climbers far away from the route. Getting lost is easy. Be sure that you follow the glissade trails that take you back to your car. Glissading is also the number one source of serious injuries. Remove crampons, securely stow any loose gear, and glissade only when the snow is soft. Beware of glissade trails that end in rocks, ice, or cliffs.

Forecast: Warm and sunny weather with mild winds expected for the coming week

Avalanche danger remains moderate even with spring conditions. A large slab avalanche big enough to be lethal was witness last week, and cornice failures along ridgelines are common this time of year. Check the NW Avalanche Center for the latest forecast.

Mountaineering boots with gaiters, crampons, snowshoes or skis, and ice axes are recommended. With more snow accumulation, backcountry travel becomes increasingly risky and avalanche-prone. Be prepared with avalanche knowledge and equipment, and do not assume other visitors have the same training.

Please check the forecast as conditions can change rapidly.


Have a more recent report? We would love to hear from you! Email your conditions update to climb@mshinstitute.org, photos welcome.


Latest updates and information can be found online: https://www.fs.usda.gov/giffordpinchot/

The Gifford Pinchot National Forest continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and evaluate potential impacts.  Please remember to review current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and focus on protecting yourself, your family, and your community.

 

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.

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 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.

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).