Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Mount St. Helens/Monitor Ridge

Snow free ascent of Monitor Ridge route on Veterans Day

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Road to climber's bivouac is still in good shape.  One blown down tree on Ptarmigan Trail.  Boulder Field and final 1,000 feet were completely clear of snow.  Just a little bit of snow at the rim on the way to the true peak.  We brought ice axe and microspikes but did not need either.

We had a group of 8.  We started at the Climber's Bivouac trailhead at 7:15 am.  We moved our way up the Ptarmigan Trail to the Loowit trail intersection and took a short breather. Then we kept moving up the ridge to the boulder field staying close to the wooden poles all the way up to the final 1,000 feet.  Then we trudged up the last scree section up to the crater rim.  It was somewhat breezy, but the ash and dust was manageable.  We then crossed over to the true summit.  There a few steps that had some packed snow, but nothing too remarkable.  We then returned the way we came.  Descending down the ridge, I wish we had gone further down into the gully where there were less rocks to traverse around, but we all got back to the cars without needing our head lamps.  In the cars by 4:45pm.

4 1/2 hours to the crater rim, 30  minutes to the true summit.  3:45 minutes from the crater rim back to the car.   Sunny day.  Views of Rainier, Adams, Hood, Jefferson, and the Three Sisters despite a little bit of haze.  Breezy due to an incoming weather front from the NW. 

I estimate there were about 75 people out today.  And, why not?  With this recent dry spell, it made for a perfect day to climb MSH outside of permit season.

GPS track is here: