St. Helens Institute sets guided climbs



The Mount St. Helens Institute will be leading multiple guided hiking trips in late summer to an up-close vantage point of the Crater Glacier. The 8-mile hike to the north side of Mount St. Helens will begin at Windy Ridge and cross the Pumice Plain — ground zero of the 1980 eruption and an area teeming with new vegetation.

Hikers will climb to a vantage point at 5,300 feet above sea level that offers panoramic views of Crater Glacier, the lava domes formed during the 1980-1986 and 2004-2008 eruptive periods and the Loowit Falls, which cascades from the crater.

Expedition guides will offer bits of knowledge on the natural history of the landscape. Participants will also enjoy views of surrounding mountain ranges.

“The Crater Glacier View Climb offers a perspective from the opening of the horseshoe-shaped crater and an experience like no other on Mount St. Helens. The view of glacier, lava domes and crater walls and will take your breath away,” said Peter Frenzen, Mount St. Helens Monument scientist. “Other than by helicopter, there is no better view of what’s happening inside the Mount St. Helens crater than this one.”

The guided trips will be offered on the weekends from July 25 until Sept. 12. The climbs are available by guided trip only under a special use permit from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest at the cost of $195 ($145 is a tax-deductible donation).

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