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Mount St. Helens 8365 ft

April 13, 2013

Andrew, Loren, Anthony and I made plans to climb and ski Mt St Helens this weekend. The weather wasn't great but we decided to go anyway and see what we would find. I picked up Anthony at his place Friday afternoon then we drove over to Andrew's house where we met Loren. We loaded all our gear into Andrew's truck and headed down the road to Mt St Helens. We stopped in Cougar to pick up our permits then drove down the highway to the Mt St Helens turnoff.

We arrived at the winter trailhead in the dark and set up our tents on a snowbank under a steady rain. Anthony had brought his Big Agnes Seedhouse tent, Loren and Andrew had the REI Taj tent, and I had brought my bivy sack. Bivy sacks are fine in good weather but with the constant stream of precipitation Loren invited me to sleep in his three person tent with him and Andrew. Thanks, guys!

I invited Anthony over to our tent to join in a traditional game of "Pigs" but he was settled in and had no deside of exiting his warm coccoon so Andrew, Loren and I proceeded to play three hands with each of us winning one. Loren won the third game with an amazing 86 point roll on his last turn! Wow!

After Loren's thrilling comeback victory we crawled into our sleeping bags, turned out the headlamps and went to sleep with the sound of rain on the tent.

Sometime during the night the pitter-patter of rain softened to the light touch of snowflakes floating down onto the rainfly and we awoke to about 5 inches of new snow! After a quick breakfast we loaded up our packs and started skinning up the trail. Loren hadn't slept well and wasn't feeling good so he stayed behind at camp. With Andrew and Anthony on skis and me on my splitboard we stealthfully skinned up the trail enjoying the quiet new snow.

Having skied a mile or so we left the trees and started climbing up through small hills and eventually gained a ridge. Here we met a few other parties and chatted with them as we climbed up the ridge.

We made our way up the ridge until the winds became too much to deal with so we made the decision to drop down into a protected bowl and ski back down. The new snow was super fun and Andrew, Anthony and I thoroughly enjoyed our long power run back down to the trailhead!

Thanks guys for a great day in the mountains!