May 23, 2023

Note: The climbing route is not impacted by the 504 closure.

FR-83 is now bare pavement and passable all the way to Marble Mountain Sno-Park.  The road continues to widen as the snow melts, but still narrows  for the last mile before the sno-park, making passing or turning around challenging.  The parking lot is bare pavement with estimated 50% normal vehicle capacity.

CLIMBING ROUTE:  Trail is still 100% snow covered, but is a well-defined ski and boot path all the way to the summit rim.  Route is passable in boots only, but afternoon sun will loosen Spring snow so prepare of postholing.  Spikes or crampons will help with ascent.  Be watchful for glide cracks and stay a minimum of 10 feet (3 meters) back from the edge.  

Climbing permits are required year-round. From April 1 - November 30, permits must be purchased online in advance through Visitor our permits page for more information.  From December 1 - March 31 permits are free, unlimited, and self-issued at the trailhead.


Trailhead:  Marble Mtn Sno-park.   

Route finding:   Recommend preloading offline maps of the "Worm Flows" or "Winter Route" into your device and have a paper map and compass backup.  The climbing route passes through a network of ski and snowmachine trails below treeline.  Route finding above treeline can be very challenging due to reduced visibility, frequent winds, precipitation, fog, whiteouts, etc.  Above treeline beginning the ascent, follow the route closely.  Boot tracks or postholes do NOT always follow the established or safest route.  Watch for descending skiers and snowboarders.  

Forecast: Conditions are highly variable. See the forecast links below. 

Gear:   Have your "10 essentials."  Be prepared for freezing temperatures, precipitation, high cross winds, ice and wet conditions.  Crampons and ice ax are ideal on the icy slope, especially above 6,000 feet (1839m).   Ice axes combined with basic practical self-arrest technique are required.  Some snowshoes with traction components designed for ascents may be suitable.   Appropriate eye protection (glacier glasses, ski masks, etc) are required to prevent injury.   Always carry a light source (headlamp).  

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

Additional Forecast & Condition Resources

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: 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).

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.

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