Mt. Saint Helens Skills and Climb COVID-19 UPDATE: AAI is open and operating with new policies and procedures for COVID-19. Click the following links to learn more about AAI's COVID-19 Operating Plans and cancellation policy. Note that participants may be asked to provide their own transportation while the COVID pandemic continues. 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
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
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
Permitting notes - Due to its status as a National Monument, there are a limited number of permits available to climb Mt. Saint Helens. Registrations for climbs must be received more than a month before you wish to climb in order to give us enough time to secure the permit. That being said, there is still a chance that there may not be availability on your desired dates. Weekends typically fill up faster than weekdays, so please keep this in mind when planning your trip.
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.
*We run this program on a private basis, please call for more details.
Mt. Saint Helens Skills and Climb Related Courses
United States - Alaska
United States - Washington
United States - California
United States - Nevada
United States - Colorado
United States - Utah
Canada - British Columbia
South America - Argentina
South America - Bolivia
South America - Ecuador
South America - Patagonia
South America - Peru
Europe - Alps and Caucasus
Asia - Nepal and Tibet
Asia - China
Asia - Japan
Africa - Tanzania
Pacific and Antarctica
By Program Type
Group Summit Climbs
Private Guided Programs
Treks, Tours, & Backpacking
Corporate Outings & Services
Government & Military
Trekking and Backpacking
Skiing & Snowboarding
Guide Training & Rescue