Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Mount St. Helens/Worm Flows

Great trip but disappointing that avy conditioned forced a turnaround. Nice weather for climb day and nice group of people.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Hard packed snow all the way to camp - no snow shoes necessary unless you went off the trail. Icy and wind blown rime on upper slopes. Crampons were needed. Unfortunately, two individuals had crampon strap malfunctions and had to boot up cautiously. Since we were only going part way, it was not too impactful. 

    Snow on the road to the trailhead was a bit tricky so needed to drive slow. 

Left Kitsap County at 7am and arrived at the Sno Park at about 11am. Met the team in the warming hut for gear sorting, avy orientation, lunch and relaxing.  Left the hut about 1pm and made it to camp above Chocolate Falls about 330 pm (about 4300 ft - at the last trees). Snowed along the way. Some used snowshoes but not necessary with the hard packed trail. Made camp and dug a kitchen and did some avy beacon training then dinner and off to the tents at dusk. Our second group finished their Intermediate training course back in Seattle area and headlamped up to the camp about 8pm to join us. 



We had the avy and weather forecast sent to the InReach but phones worked to pick up the forecast which unexpectantly increased due to warm sun that was expected Sunday. We woke at 4am and were ready to go at 5am. The group huddled and discussed the avy forecast and decided to only go up to the weather station a few hours climb to enjoy the sunrise. 

Good climbing up to weather station with strong winds blowing on that prominence. We could see the upper slopes had new snow from Friday's storm and wind loading, but some people were climbing. We headed down and enjoyed relaxing in camp before heading down to the cars. A nice lunch and debrief in Cougar was enjoyable. 

Great trip and great team. We will get the summit next time.