Mount St. Helens/Worm Flows


Backcountry Ski/Snowboard - Mount St. Helens/Worm Flows

Backcountry ski ascent/descent of Mt St Helens

  • Strenuous 5, Technical 4
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 7.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,500 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 8,365 ft
  • Pace: 800 ft/h

Meeting place and time

Marble Mountain Sno-park -- 5:00AM

A sno-park permit will be required

Trip leader plans on driving down the day before and car camping in the sno-park.

Due to COVID-19, I reccommend carpooling only with people with whom you already share close contact. 

We will leave the Marble Mountain sno-park before sunrise with the goal of reaching the crater rim around noon (average of a 800 ft/hour ascent rate). 

Fitness level equal to basic climbing class entry expected (Mt Si Haystack basin time of under two hours)  

Participants should also have confidence in their ability to self-arrest using self-arrest grips or  ski pole arrest techniques.    Slopes aren't super steep, but they are long and well practiced self-arrest skills are needed to prevent long slides in the event of a slip or fall.

Be prepared to take longish lunch break near the crater rim (i.e. bring a very warm jacket, etc).  If conditions are unfavorable to taking a long break, we will likely stop ascending prior to reaching the rim.   Also because cornice collapse incidents on the Mt St Helens crater rim has killed several people, we will stay well back from the crater rim -- so don't expect to be able to take photographs peering deep down into the crater.

Date chosen to be prior to the "permit" season for Mt St Helens, simplifying logistics and reducing expense.

Note:  A Winter Storm Warning from the WSDOT, Extreme Avalanche Forecast from NWAC, Freezing Rain or winds forecast above 30mph at 5000 ft will cancel the trip.


Mount St. Helens/Worm Flows

  • USGS Mt St Helens

    Green Trails Mount St Helens NVM No. 332S

    Green Trails Mt St Helens NW No. 364S
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Boots, skis/splitboard, poles (snowshoes not acceptable for uphill travel)
  • Climbing skins
  • Avalanche shovel (metal blade)
  • Avalanche beacon -- digital  only
  • Avalanche probe
  • Ski crampons
  • Self-arrest grip ski pole (recommended)
  • Ice axe (optional)
  • Boot crampons (optional)
Trip Reports