CURRENT CONDITIONS

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

June 23, 2020 update

Sunrise: 5:18 am

Sunset: 9:04 pm

The road to Climber's Bivouac is OPEN as of June 18. The road to Climber's Bivouac will be in poor condition after winter storms, and drivers should take extra caution and drive slowly. Climbers may also choose climb out of Marble Mountain Sno-Park (winter route).

There are pit toilets available at both 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. A pre-purchase climbing permit is required and climbers must register in the log book at the climber's kiosk before climbing.

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. Consider bringing a mask to put on when you pass others on the trail.


SUMMER ROUTE, MONITOR RIDGE out of Climber's Bivouac:

The road to Climber's Bivouac is recently compacted and drivers should take extra caution and drive at a slow, consistent speed. Consider down shifting when heading downhill to avoid braking, which causes washboarding. A NW Forest Pass, America the Beautiful Pass, or day-use pass (available at the trailhead for $5 cash or check), is required to park at Climber's Bivouac. There are a few patches of snow through the woods until the crossing of the Loowit Trail #216 at Last Chance Bathroom. The bathroom is OUT OF SERVICE and climber's are required to utilize blue bags to pack out all human or pet waste. Above treeline, the ridges are melted out entirely, and climbers can ascend almost the entire route on rock. The last 100 feet to the summit is required snow travel. A cornice is overhanging on the rim 30-40 feet, please stay back! The true summit is 1/4 mi west of where the route tops out. There is exposed rock on the rim a few hundred feet east of where the route tops out, and offers a view of the crater. On the descent, soft snow persists in the gullies with a few icy patches. Glissade chutes are intact down to 5,000, but 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.

Ice axes recommended for glissading, and microspikes are useful in colder temps or if you prefer to travel on the snow, where ice may be present. Hiking boots with gaiters are fine. Snowshoes, crampons, and mountaineering boots are not necessary at this time.

 

WINTER ROUTE, WORM FLOWS out of Marble Mountain Sno-Park:

The road to Marble Mountain Sno Park is paved and free of snow. No parking pass is required at Marble Mountain at this time. There is no snow in the woods at the parking lot of Marble Mountain Sno Park. The first two miles of trail through the trees has no snow all the way to Chocolate Falls. Those who wish to camp at Chocolate Falls will not need snow equipment to do so. Ridges up to the seismic station (5,800') are snow-free. Along Monitor Ridge above 5,800' there is required snow travel to the summit, and there is risk of post holing near rocks, and icy patches along the route.  On June 5, rangers reported recent avalanche activity in the steep gullies to the east of the climbing route. Be aware of glide cracks that may still have snow bridges and be hidden from view, climbers reported unknowingly stepping into a crack and falling up to their waist. A snow cornice is hanging over the crater rim, please stay back 30-40 feet. Skiing is possible down to 5,000'.  An ice axe, and crampons/microspikes are still advised for early morning travel. Snowshoes are not necessary at this time.

On the descent, glissade chutes are present but take caution- it is easy to descend away from the climbing route, especially between the monitoring station (5,800') and treeline (4,500'). 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. The steepest and deepest chutes require precision, and self-arresting out of the chute is not an option. Use these chutes with extreme caution.

Please check the forecast as conditions can change rapidly.


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. 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).