December 23, 2019 update

Sunrise: 7:50 am

Sunset: 4:27 pm

The road to Climber's Bivouac is CLOSED. Climbers can climb out of Marble Mountain Sno-Park (winter route). A WA sno-park pass is required at Marble Mountain starting December 1 and must be purchased in advance (available online HERE). Oregon Sno-Park passes are not accepted at WA trailheads. There are pit toilets available at the trailhead, but no running water. Please plan accordingly. A self-issue climbing permit is available at the trailhead by registering in the log book at the climber's kiosk before climbing. Registration is required to climb.

The road to Marble Mountain Sno Park is paved and free of snow. Carry chains and a shovel in case of snow, and please drive slowly. Please carpool with your fellow climbers and follow all posted parking regulations to minimize cars and trailers at the trailhead. Woodland Park & Ride and the Cougar Rest Area are both excellent places to meet and carpool from.

The first mile of trail through the trees is snow-free, with a dusting around 1 mile up and 3" at treeline. Ridges up to the seismic station (5,800') are snow and rock mixed, with some drifts 2-3 feet deep and a risk of post-holing. Along Monitor Ridge above 5,800' the snow deepens to 2-3 feet. Towards the rim there is thick, steep, hard rime ice. A small snow cornice is beginning to build over the crater rim. Skiing is possible down to 6,500' though avalanches conditions may incur and there are many protruding rocks. An ice axe and crampons are critical, and snowshoes recommended. 

On the descent, take caution- it is easy to descend away from the climbing route. Do not just follow the "fall-line" on your descent. Route finding may be challenging in dense cloud or fog; be sure to know the route and carry navigation equipment.

Please check the forecast as conditions can change rapidly.

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. Visit Washington Smoke Information and AirNow for the latest in Air Quality and forecasting. 

WEATHER: point forecasts- Marble Mountain SnoPark (2,700ft) and mid-slope (6,200ft) 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).


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