Mount St. Helens Climbing
|GPS:||46.204, -122.192 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Shared By:||Blitzo on Dec 8, 2010|
|Admins:||Scott Coldiron, Nate Ball, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick|
DescriptionPrior to May 18, 1980, 9,677 ft. Mount St. Helens was Washington's fifth-highest peak. Towering above Spirit Lake, this beautiful volcanic cone rose over 5,000 feet above its base.
Known to Native Americans as "Louwala-Clough", which means "smoking mountain". St. Helens was also nicknamed "Fuji-san of America" for it's resemblence to Japan's famous Mt. Fuji.
Formed within the last 40,000 years, Mount St. Helens is geologically young compared to the other major volcanoes of the Cascade Range and is considered the most active volcano in the range for the past 10,000 years or so.
Mount St. Helens was quite popular with mountaineers and had many routes on its snowy slopes and glaciers.
On March 20, 1980 a 4.2 earthquake was experienced on the mountain. On March 27, steam began to vent. By the end of April, the north side began to bulge. A second earthquake, of magnitude 5.1, triggered a collapse of the North Face causing the largest known debris avalanch in recorded history.
The magma burst into a large-scale pyroclastic flow, flattening forest and buildings over 230 square miles. More than 1.5 million metric tons of sulpher dioxide was released into the atmosphere. A plume of ash erupted for over nine hours, rising 12-16 miles above sea level and moving eastward at 60 mph, reaching Idaho by noon.
By 5:30 p.m. the ash column declined and less severe outbursts continued over the next several days.
The May 18, 1980 eruption released 24 megatons of thermal energy, and ejected over 0.67 cubic miles of material. The mountain was reduced in heigth by approx. 1,300 feet, leaving a one to two mile wide crater, 0.5 miles deep with it's north side open. 57 people died, nearly 7,000 big game animals and an estimated 12 million fish, from a hatchery also died in the eruption. 200 homes were destroyed or severly damaged. 185 miles of highway and 15 miles of roadways were also destroyed.
In progress, more to come.
Classic Climbing Routes at Mount St. Helens
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season