March 29, 2020

Levity in these challenging times provided by MSHI volunteer, Andy Goodwin. See below for additional closure info.

Weather: Despite a forecast for high winds and heavy snow, climbing conditions were lovely with a temp of 67 degrees F and gentle breezes out of the east from the ceiling fan. Views of the VCR, and the entire back yard, were excellent.

Equipment needed: Deluxe elliptical (-10 to +20 degrees), movie, shorts, and sneakers. No crampons or microspikes (contraindicated by hardwood floors) 

Route Conditions: Driveway, halls, and extra room floor free of ice and snow. Per Caltopo and my GPS traces, 5.2 miles and 5625' elevation gain to true summit from Marble Mountain. Slope angles 10-20 degrees with the elliptical machine resistance setting maxed at 26 out of 26. (That's about 550 flights of stairs.)

Avalanche Danger: The tall bookshelves in the exercise room (loaded with paperbacks) looked a bit iffy, but no slides were seen. NWAC closed for pandemic. 

Future Forecast: Virtual climbing expected to last through April 30.

To align with state and local measures directing people to stay home to save lives, all Gifford Pinchot National Forest campgrounds, day-use sites, trailheads, Sno-Parks, cabin rentals and other developed recreation sites will be temporarily closed. These closures have been deemed necessary to address social distancing guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and the State of Washington to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, and to avoid putting undue pressure on emergency services in local communities. Certain roads leading to heavily-used dispersed camping areas have also been temporarily closed. These roads include Forest Service roads 81, 83, and 90 with limited exceptions for local residents, fire and other emergency response, and permit holders.

As we work through an unpredictable and rapidly changing situation, health and safety is our number one priority.  We are committed to continuing to support our communities, local emergency services, state governor’s orders, and fulfill our mission as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19. 

This information provided by the US Forest Service and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

Latest updates and information can be found online:


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. 


For questions or concerns, please write to