Mt. Saint Helens Skills and Climb

Overview

Climbing Mount St. Helens is a very unique opportunity considering its historical 1980 eruption.  The flanks of this Southern Cascade Volcano offer fantastic beginner level ascents while climbing past volcanic debris and lava tube.  Mount Saint Helens is considered an ideal peak for those who would like a solid introduction to snow climbing and general mountaineering skills while enjoying stunning views of the surrounding country.

This introductory course will provide participants with a variety of camping, mountaineering, and snow climbing skills. Those who complete the course should be able to climb similar snow routes in the Cascades, the Sierra, the Rockies and the Wind River Ranges.

Mt. Saint Helens Skills and Climb

Curriculum

Climbing Skills:

  • Selection & use of personal equipment
  • Selection & use of ropes, knots, & harnesses
  • Selection & use of rock, snow, & ice anchors for belays & intermediate protection
  • Belaying techniques on snow
  • Principles of off trail travel & route finding
  • Use of an ice axe in a variety of positions
  • The concept & application of the self-belay
  • Leave No Trace travel, camping, & climbing
  • An introduction to alpine camping techniques
  • An introduction to alpine ecology
  • Map and compass: reading, intersection, & triangulation
  • Evaluation & prediction of mountain weather patterns
  • Introduction to alpine cooking

Mt. Saint Helens Skills and Climb

Itinerary

On day one, we will meet at a hotel in Seattle early in the morning. After a thorough gear check we will make the drive down to the trailhead at Mount Adams. From the parking lot we will make the approach hike up to our camp at 9,400 feet.

Once we have established camp, we will cook a delicious group dinner. Breakfasts and dinners on the mountain will be provided by AAI, but will be cooked together by the group.

On the second day of the program we will review snow skills, with a focus on the use of the ice axe and crampons. And though the route is not glaciated, we will also introduce basic roped snow climbing techniques.

On day three we will ascend Mount Saint Helens via the Monitor Ridge. The 8,365 foot summit is actually a corniced ridge that hangs high above an active caldera and lava dome. After we return to the car, we will make our way back to the hotel in Seattle.

Mt. Saint Helens Skills and Climb

Details

Max. ratio - 5:1 (climber:guide)

Capacity - 10

Prerequisites - Good physical fitness

Inclusions - Included in the course cost is group food (breakfasts and dinners while on the mountain) group technical climbing equipment (personal climbing equipment is available for rent at a nominal charge), transportation to the climbing areas from AAI headquarters, all permits and camping fees, and the guide fee.

Exclusions - Not included in the course cost is all personal clothing and climbing gear (including crampons, ice axe, harness, helmet, tent, etc), gratuities to guide, restaurant meals while on the course, snacks, lunches, or travel insurance.

Mt. Saint Helens Skills and Climb

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