Mt St Helens 2008

This year the troop again climbed Mt St Helen's. We selected Labor day weekend because by the time we went for permits it was the last summer weekend available and we had quite a time!

Friday before we headed down to base camp the forecast was for snow around 5000'+ and thus calls went out to gear up for cold weather and a possible turnaround on the mountain. Saturday when we arrived, base camp was almost empty and NOAA issued an extreme weather warning for winter weather conditions, particularly for those climbing the local mountain peaks.

Sunday we awoke to cold temperatures but not freezing and no snow in camp. A quick look at the mountain showed a dusting around 7000'+ and the forecast had not been updated so we decided to head out and make the decision at the tree line on whether to climb or turn back.

Long climb short... the weather did deteriorate but never to the point it was no longer safe to climb. At the summit conditions were mildly extreme, below freezing temps, freezing fog, and 10-15 mph winds. So, we didn't stay long. Fortunately on the way down the ceiling had risen quite a bit and we had good views out to 10 miles.

All around, a successful trip!


For those of you wondering how to stay in the know about the weather at basecamp and on the mountain, read on. I carry and highly suggest the Midland weather radio below. Several times it has helped me make the right decision on a mountain and is probably the best investment I've ever made.

YIS, Jeff