Have you ever thought about climbing Mt St Helens, but you are not sure how to go about doing it? This guide will show you how to do it!
Mt St Helens is a volcano, located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, in the South-west Washington (south Cascades). It is a very popular climbing destination in the summer, and some people also climb it in the winter.
Attention! In 2015, the climbing permit procedure changed: Now you have to print out your permit after the purchase. You don’t stop to pick it up on the way to the climb anymore.
Climbing Mt St Helens in the summer is a very doable endeavor for anyone in decent shape. It doesn’t require any technical skills or expensive equipment. The climb is a one-day hike. Depending on your fitness level, you may have to start the hike early in the morning in order to make it back before dark.
The climb can be physically very hard, but once you reach the top, the crater rim, you won’t regret it! You will have the greatest feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment! And on a clear day, you will enjoy the breath-taking, panoramic views!
You do need to prepare for the hike, attaining proper clothing and gear, and getting in good cardiovascular shape. You also need to reserve your climbing permit in time, since there is a daily limit of 100 hikers, and those permits sell out fast!
If you haven’t climbed Mt St Helens before, I recommend that you go with someone who has done it before, since the route, although marked, can be confusing above the tree-line. The Mt St Helens Institute also offers guided climbs for a fee.
So you want to do it? Then first, get the climbing permit! The sooner the better, since they tend to sell out fast.
This article is based on my experience climbing the volcano. As of this writing, I have been up there five times. I strongly recommend reading up on the other resources too, found in the links on the last page of this guide.