Ascent of Mount Saint Helens on 2018-04-29

Climber: KD (Krishna Dase)

Date:Sunday, April 29, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Saint Helens
    Elevation:8333 ft / 2539 m

Ascent Trip Report

Given the sunny week (freezing levels at 12,000) and a couple of cold nights (a freezing level at 5,600) prior to our climb date made it tricky to decide go or no-go. NWAC did help us to give it a shot as the avy danger was low below and near treeline and moderate above treeline with loose wet and wind slabs in all aspects.

In order to avoid loose wet avalanches, we decided to start early at 4 am and so did we. The snow near the trailhead was 1/2" slushy over compact snow in the morning for the first mile and turned to crusty layer thereafter.

The hike to Chocolate falls was straightforward, after which we decided to put on crampons on the way up. We were breaking up the crusty layer to expose somewhat soft but consolidated snow below it. The sunny week possibly exposed most of the rocks from 4000' up on the mountain. While some chose to snowshoe/hike in the valley to the climbers left. We opted to scramble/hike along the rocks founded on the ridgeline next to the Swift creek leading to the chocolate falls. After we reach the tower at 5600', we ditched our snowshoes near the tower and climbed up the mountain on the wind-scoured surface. Interestingly, the slopes of the mountain demanded all of the climbers to step onto the Swift Glacier due to huge slopes to the climber's left (which could have been used on another day if the slope was shallower to merge with Monitor Ridge). We continued up with gusts of north-westerly winds hitting us but was calmer and clearer at the summit.

On the way down, the snow was getting softer but not too bad for plunge stepping. Due to rocks getting exposed, some patches of snow was hard covering the rocks hard to see and stiff for plunge stepping. So, we avoided glissading most of the way but was doable at middle elevations above 5600'.

A good day spent on the mountain.
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Scoured surface on the mountain (2018-04-29). Photo by KD (Krishna Dase).
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Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles, Snowshoes
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Worms Flow Route
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by KD (Krishna Dase)
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

Other Photos

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View of the mountain from about 3800' (2018-04-29). Photo by KD (Krishna Dase).
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Click on photo for original larger-size version.
View at the top (2018-04-29). Photo by KD (Krishna Dase).
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Hike along the ridgeline between ~4500' until ~5200' (2018-04-29). Photo by KD (Krishna Dase).
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