Ascent of Mount Saint Helens on 2014-02-06

Climber: Michael Phoenix

Date:Thursday, February 6, 2014
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Mount Saint Helens
    Elevation:5000 ft / 1524 m

Ascent Trip Report

After flying into Seattle and spending a night in a hotel in Kelso, we drove to the Marble Mountain Sno-Park and started our ascent of the Worm Flows Trail. We were set back a day due to Delta falling to get all of our gear from Minneapolis to Seattle. The day we arrived was cold (upper teens), but bright sunshine. We stopped to set up camp a little below Chocolate Falls.

Upon waking the next morning, we realized that it was snowing. The temperatures had dropped to about 5 degrees overnight, with winds of about 25-30 mph, creating windchills of around 15-20 below. We started late up the trail, but the increasingly deteriorating weather conditions prevented us from ascending all that much above the permit zone at 4800 feet. Visibility was approximately 1/2 mile with increasing snow and winds of approximately 35-45 mph (with gusts around 50-60 mph). Since the weather was poor and some of our gear was affected by the cold, and since we were the only registered climbers that day, we decided it might be best to descend. We drove back toward I-5, where we discovered that the region was being hit with a snowstorm that was causing havoc on the roads. We returned to the same hotel in Kelso for the evening, then drove back to Seattle. A beautiful place, but just not our day.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2350 ft / 717 m
    Route:Worm Flows Trail
    Trailhead:Marble Mountain Sno-Park  2650 ft / 807 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes

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