Mount Saint Helens via Worm Flows Route
based on 566 tracks & routes Gifford Pinchot National Forest #1 hike out of 92 in
1 hrs 37 min
This is a difficult one way trail in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
This trail goes by Swift Glacier.
Sights to See
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We camped at the Marble Mountain Sno-Park parking lot the night before and started our ascent on the Worm Flows Winter trail at 4:15 AM. We began the hike with micro spikes and did not take them off for the duration of the trip. The moon was bright but we still used our headlamps until about 5:45 when the sunrise was bright enough to light the path. After timberline, we were above the clouds and the sunrise was absolutely stunning. After reaching the "permit required" at about 3 miles up, it was a stair stepping climb of 5,500 feet to the summit. There is a false summit and only 650 feet more of elevation gain until the true summit. We were lucky to go on a sunny day with footholds in a majority of the snow pack up. Wear sunscreen! We reached the summit at 9:30 AM. The views were well worth the climb and there was a cornice that we needed to be careful of but otherwise, there were views of Adams, Hoood, and Rainier in addition the astounding layer of clouds and peeping holes of the mountains/lakes below. We had never tried glissading but once we got the hang of it, it was by far the easiest way down. Be sure to bring waterproof pants and an ice axe but due to the steep grade of the trail on snow/ice, walking would have been much more dangerous. There were TONS of hikers/skiers ascending as the snow started to soften during our descent and we were grateful to have started early enough where the snow was hard and easy to trek across. After glissading down 6,000 feet or so, we walked the additional 2 miles back to the parking lot and returned at 1:45 PM.★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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2016-05-08 - Mt Saint Helens (mother's day - snowboarding)
Mt. Saint Helens on Mother's day is a yearly tradition. Up to 500 climbers make their way up the mountain wearing dresses and carrying flowers. Conditions started off foggy and overcast for the first 1/3 of the way up. The sun broke out shortly after the weather station, coincidentally. The rest of the ascent was perfectly clear, bluebird visibility. Summit was windy, with forecast predicting gusts of around 25mph. The high spirits the climbers warm and fuzzy inside. The descent on a snowboard was incredible. Snow condition was prime, but we had to stay alert for dangerous conditions. Crevasses, cornices, and possible rockfall and avalanche danger were all in the radar. I've snowboarded over my first crevasse, albeit, accidentally. We made our way down safely, celebrating life, the mountains, and the elders who have lived before us.
3 volcanos in 3 days: #1 St Helens (ascent)
Very easy ascent. Camped at Car Park and departed at 530AM for Summit. Arrived at Summit at 11am. Back to car at Noon