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Trip Report

Mount St. Helens - Monitor Ridge

South Cascades

Trip Report By



Hiked May 30, 2016

Type of Hike

Day hike

Trail Conditions

Trail in good condition


Road suitable for all vehicles


Bugs were not too bad


Snowfields to cross - could be difficult
The road to Climber's Bivouac is clear and free of snow. The last 2.5 miles to the trailhead is gravely and unpaved, but my compact made it up just fine. We started at 3:45 a.m. to catch the sunrise over Mount Adams. There are patches of snow running through the trail from the trailhead to the treeline. We were able to make it with poles, but when we got to monitor ridge, put on our microspikes and alternated between taking them on and off as we crossed the boulder field and went up the snowfields to the summit. The boulder field is mostly snow-free, so you can climb up that route or take the side route up the snow--we chose the snow. Two of us had packed crampons but found we didn't need them. Due to our early start, the snow was firm and we didn't encounter slush until we started coming down. We reached the crater rim at about 8:15 a.m., hung out for an hour and started glissading down at about 9:15 a.m. By then the snow had softened up and we could glissade just fine. There are some blind areas, rocks, and steep drop-offs where the chutes end, and at one point it seemed like the chutes went over to the worm flows route. Back to the trailhead at about 12:30.