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Mount Saint Helens, Washington


Prominence: 4573 ft, 1394 m

Elevation: 8333 feet, 2540 meters


True Isolation: 31.99 mi, 51.49 km
Elevation Info:NAVD88 Elevation: 8337 ft / 2541 m
SubpeaksLava Dome (7152 ft/2180 m)
Peak TypeFamous Peak, but not High Point (Volcanic)
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)46° 11' 29'' N; 122° 11' 44'' W
46.1914178, -122.195606 (Dec Deg)
562071E 5115630N Zone 10 (UTM)
CountryUnited States
State/ProvinceWashington
County/Second Level RegionSkamania
Links

Search Engines - search the web for "Mount Saint Helens":
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Lists that contain Mount Saint Helens:
     Mazamas Guardian Peaks Award (Rank #3)
     Mountaineers 6-Peak Pin (Rank #5)
     Famous Peaks that are not High Points (Rank #9)
     Washington County Prominence Peaks (Rank #10)
     Washington State Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence (Rank #11)
     Washington State Top 200 by Prominence (Rank #11)
     Washington State Peaks with 25 Miles of Isolation (Rank #11)
     Mazamas Sixteen Northwest Peaks Award (Rank #13)
     Chemeketan Eighteen Northwest Peaks Award (Rank #15)
     Cascade Volcanoes Peak Pin (Rank #18)
     Smoot's "Climbing Washington's Mountains" 100 Peaks (Rank #29)
     Most Ascended Peaks (Rank #38)
     USA Lower 48 Top 100 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #80)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 4000 feet of Prominence (Rank #80)
     USA Lower 48 Top 400 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #80)
     Washington State 8200-foot Peaks (Rank #90)
     Washington Bulger List (Rank #92)
     Western USA Peaks with 25 miles of Isolation (Rank #202)
     USA Lower 48 Range5 High Points (Rank #298)

Selected Guidebook(s) for this Peak:
       Climbing Washingtons Mountains (Smoot)
       Summit Routes: Washington's 100 Highest Peaks (Stephenson, Bongiovanni)
       Cascade Alpine Guide, Vol. 1 (Beckey)
       Climbing the Cascade Volcanoes (Smoot)

Selected Trip Reports from this site:
     1993-07 by Bob Bolton
     1995-05-13 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     1997-08-04 by Jan Triska
     1998-04-26 by Greg Slayden (Unsuccessful) (GPS Track)
     2001-08-18 by David Dawson
     2004-04-25 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     2009-05-09 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     2011-07-04 by Dennis Poulin (GPS Track)
     2011-07-23 by Nathaniel Stott (GPS Track)
     2011-08-18 by Wm Rogers
     2011-11-25 by Bryan Thulin
     2012-05-25 by Bri Wilson (Unsuccessful)
     2013-01-02 by Ryan Smoots (Unsuccessful)
     2013-01-20 by James Barlow (GPS Track)
     2013-02-09 by Chad Straub (Unsuccessful)
     2013-03-09 by Chad Straub (Unsuccessful)
     2013-03-23 by Michael Wanberg
     2013-07-05 by Daryn Dodge
     2013-09-05 by Mark DeCost
     2013-09-12 by Nicholas Nelson
     2013-10-11 by Chad Straub (Unsuccessful)
     2013-12-26 by Marlin Thorman (GPS Track)
     2014-03-30 by Michael Wanberg (Unsuccessful)
     2014-04-08 by Todd Bettinson
     2014-06-15 by Jon Schillios
     2014-07-02 by Rob Woodall (GPS Track)

View ascents of peak by registered Peakbagger.com members.

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Mount Saint Helens
     Elevation Ladder from Mount Saint Helens
     Prominence Ladder from Mount Saint Helens


Although it has been over a quarter-century since the massive volcanic eruption of Mount Saint Helens on May 18, 1980, the mountain (or what's left of it) remains one of the best-known and most-climbed landmarks of the northwest.

Prior to 1980, Mount Saint Helens was 9,677 ft/2950 m high. This made for an interesting arrangement of the peaks in Washington: the five highest were all volcanoes, and the lowest volcano (Saint Helens) was just higher than Bonanza Peak (9511 ft/2899 m), the highest non-volcanic peak in the state. The eruption, however, ruined this nice dichotomy by blowing the top 1344 feet of the mountain, plus a good chunk of its core and north side, out into the sky as ash. Now Saint Helens is only 8333 feet high, dropping it from #5 to about #89 in elevation for Washington State.

Saint Helens is a relatively easy climb. There is a strict quota system that limits the number of hikers allowed in summer, and except in winter you must make reservations to get your permit. Before setting out for this peak, it is important to check the regulations with the National Forest Service. The ascent is best made in spring, since at high elevations the mountain is a giant heap of ash and loose rock that makes for miserable hiking unless it is snow-covered. Besides, the gentle slopes make an awesome backcountry ski run, and there is no quota for permits before May 15th.

From 2004 to 2007, the mountain came to life with minor eruptions, building a new area of lava in the crater, between the "Lava Dome" and the tall crater walls. At the peak rate this lava was flowing, it would have taken about twelve years before St.Helens would have regained its old height. But this minor mountain-building episode is now pretty much over, and the peak has reopened to climbers.

Notes on Summit Elevation and Location

Thanks to Eric Noel for pointing out that there is a new USGS map that supersedes the old one surveyed in 1982/1983, just a couple of years after the eruption. The new map shows a high point of 8333 feet, 32 feet lower that the standard elevation of 8365 from the old map. A recent trip to the crater rim with GPS devices shows that old summit location is now out over the crater, likely having eroded away after the 1983 map was made. The new map agrees exactly with what the GPS showed, in both location and elevation of the new summit. See the MyTopo.com map window on this page for a view of the new map (zoom in to see the summit area).

The popular climbing routes end on the crater rim about a quarter mile east of the true summit, and only a minority of climbers trek over to the true summit from the 8284' spot where the crowds congregate. Anyone who spends time on the rim in the spring needs to take care near the huge snowy cornices that overhang the steep cliffs down into the crater--it is very smart to stay back from the edge, and longstanding climbing tradition is that you don't have to venture on to a cornice to have claimed the summit.

Note

Currently, the Peakbagger.com database can only store the elevation of a summit as it is at the present time. There is no handling of historic peak elevations or list additions/deletions. So the pre-eruption peak is not an official peak and does not show up in any lists.

There is a "provisional" Mount Saint Helens (9677') in the database, and climbers who were there before 1980 can log an ascent of that peak, but for now it will not be promoted to the main database and will not appear on any lists. A possible future enhancement is finding a way to handle this in the database code.


Skiers slog up the endless south slopes of Mount Saint Helens to get a 5000-foot run in the spring corn snow (1998-05).
Web Map LinksAcme Mapper   MyTopo   Gmap4   MS-Research
TopoQuest   Bing Maps   MSN/Encarta   Google Maps
ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 4573 ft/1394 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 4613 ft/1406 m
  Line Parent: The Pinnacle
  Key Col: Metta Lake    3760 ft/1146 m
Isolation31.99 mi/51.49 km
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Mount Adams-West Slope  (E)
Isolation Limit Point: 46° 12' 10'' N; 121° 31' 44'' W
    ILP Map Links:
Bing Maps   MSN/Encarta   Google Maps
RangesContinent: North America
Range2: Pacific Ranges
Range3: Cascade Range
Range4: South Washington Cascades
Range5: Mount Saint Helens Area (Highest Point)
Drainage Basins
Columbia
Pacific Ocean

Cowlitz
Columbia
Pacific Ocean
OwnershipLand: Gifford Pinchot National Forest/Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (Highest Point)
Wilderness/Special Area: Mount Saint Helens NVM
Topo MapMount Saint Helens O46122b2 1:24,000
Route #1 Snow Climb: Monitor Ridge
Route #2 Snow Climb: Worm Flows
Trailhead: Marble Mtn. Sno-Park 2620 ft/799 m
Vertical Gain: 5713 ft/1741 m
Distance (one way): 4.6 mi/7.4 km
Google Maps Dynamic Map

 Mount Saint Helens    Other Peaks
Click Here for a Full Screen Map



Other Photos


The cornices on the crater rim can be very dangerous.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
This is me on the summit of Mount Saint Helens (2014-05-11). Photo by Ken Akerman.
Click here for larger-size photo.


Click on photo for original larger-size version.
On the summit ridge (2007-08-01). Photo by Ronald Land.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Me and Jonathan at the summit (2014-06-29). Photo by Mike Bowen.
Click here for larger-size photo.





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