Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Mount St. Helens

Monitor Ridge PG13
Worm Flows Easy Snow

Description

Prior 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.

Getting There

The easiest way to reach Mt. St. Helens is from I-5. From exit 49 take 504 to the mountain.

2 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: Mount St. Helens Change
Type:  to 
Quality: Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at Mount St. Helens

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in Mount St. Helens »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
Empty
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D

0 Comments

More About Mount St. Helens

Printer-Friendly Guide
What's New

All Photos Within Mount St. Helens (22)

Most Popular · Newest