Vicariously summit Mount St. Helens; an active stratovolcano located in Washington that stands at 8,363 ft.
HISTORY OF MOUNT ST. HELENS
Mount St. Helens was named after the British diplomat Lord St. Helens by his explorer friend George Vancouver after spending time in the 18th century surveying Pacific Northwest. However, the mountain was given other names as well by the native population, such as Lawetlat’la or Loowit.
This active stratovolcano is part of the Cascade Range and the Pacific Ring of Fire that consists of an additional 160 volcanoes.
Mount St. Helens now stands at 8,363 ft, but it was previously 9,677 ft before the famous eruption that happened May 18, 1980. The eruption blew the top off of the mountain and created a one mile wide caldera which can be seen from the summit.
FUN FACTS ABOUT ST. HELENS
- Other mountains in the Cascade Range can be seen from the Mount St. Helens summit, such as: Mount Rainer, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood.
- Mount St. Helens was the 5th highest peak in Washington before the eruption of 1980.
- The mountain consists of pumice, layers of lava rock (dacite), basalt, andecite, and ash.
- The eruption of 1980 released a large amount of thermal energy; 24 megatons. It also created the largest debris avalanche in recorded history.
INFORMATION ABOUT REACHING THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT ST. HELENS
- There are two main routes to get to the summit; Worm Flows (winter route with snow; 12 miles roundtrip and a 5,699 ft elevation gain) and the Monitor Ridge route (summer route with boulder hopping; 10 miles round trip and a 4,500 ft elevation gain).
- A permit is usually required to climb past the treeline at Mount St. Helens. (https://www.recreation.gov/permits/4675309).
- The trail head for the Monitor Ridge route is called Climbers Bivouac (location on map above). A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park here. (https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=fsbdev2_027010).
- The Monitor Ridge route to the St. Helens summit can be done in a day if starting early enough in the day, however it is difficult.
- The winter route via Worm Flows requires snowshoes and crampons and is better done in a two day climb than in just one day.