Winter Scramble - Mount St. Helens/Worm Flows


Winter Scramble - Mount St. Helens/Worm Flows

Snow camping, and on the summit for sunrise.

  • Sat, Apr 13, 2024 — Sun, Apr 14, 2024
  • Seattle Alpine Scrambling Subcommittee - Winter Scrambling
  • Scrambling
  • Adults
  • Winter Scramble
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 11.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,600 ft

See "Leader's Notes" "More+" below.


-- Crampons (it might be extra icy since we're leaving at midnight)
-- Snowshoes (aggressive MSR ones work great)

-- Helmet
-- Ice axe
-- Mountaineering boots
-- Sno-Park permit will probably be needed for each car
-- Overnight gear (tent/bivy, sleeping bag, pad, etc.)
-- Headlamp w/ good batteries (and extra batteries)
-- Tent deadman anchors and extra cord (see below)
-- Metal shovel
-- Avalanche gear (probe & beacon)
-- Microspikes
-- Eye cover to help sleep before the sun sets

Summit Sunrise:
The plan is a SUPER EARLY start Sunday "morning" so that we can be on the summit for sunrise! It might take roughly 6 hours to get to the summit, so we'll leave camp at 11:45pm (Saturday night)!
Sunset at 7:55pm, sunrise at 6:25am (slightly different at elevation).

Tentative trip date:
We'll only do this trip if the weather forecasts are great (so that we can see the sunrise) and the avalanche conditions are safe. If they aren't then we'll move this trip 1 week later and try again.
On Tuesday before our trip we'll decide if we should move it a week based on weather. Thursday evening we'll decide if we should move it based on the avy forecast (if they're still issuing it).

This is a 2-day 1-night scramble camping on snow.
We'll camp at treeline, and it might take about 3.5+ hours to snowshoe there.
I'm guessing we'll go to bed around 3:30pm or 4pm, and get about 7 hours of sleep.
It will be a half-moon so we'll have some moonlight.
Our pace will be slightly faster than average, so on a scale of 1-10 the average is 5.5 and our pace will be 6.
Our group will stay together the entire time, so no fast people way ahead.
For safety reason the minimum group size is 5 people, if less than 5 then the trip will be canceled.
Please arrange your own carpooling.
Caltopo map of our can export the track to your device.
On Wed evening before our trip we'll send an email with more info.

3-season tents with mesh work well since they have good ventilation, as condensation is normally an issue in the winter. A 4-season tent is needed in high winds and to support lots of heavy falling snow, but we'll cancel our trip in those cases. You'll need to deadman/bury all your tent anchors, so buy extra cord and also something to deadman. Thin summer tent stakes don't work at all. I recommend girth hitching a small stuff sack filled with snow then burying that. Here's a video with wide snow stakes instead of stuff sacks.

When to meet:
Saturday before 9:30am - we'll leave the cars and start hiking at 9:30am so arrive before that to get ready.
It's a 3+ hour drive from Seattle to our trailhead.
Where to meet:
Marble Mountain Sno-Park
Lat/Long = 46.13071, -122.17149


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

See "Leader's Notes" "More+" above.

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