The Top is Halfway

The amount of snow on Mt. St. Helens is closer to what we normally see mid-winter. Chatting with a Mt. St. Helens Institute ambassador(?) at the summit, he said there is about 60 feet of snow on the Swift Glacier (at about 7,000 feet). Fun fact I learned from the very same guy: The glacier in the crater is the only glacier in the US that is growing. Wind blown snow and collapsing cornices accumulate in the shaded north facing crater. Super cool.

T and I left Marble Mount Sno Park around 4:45 and got to Chocolate Falls just before 6. We stayed on the rocks of Worm Flows route and picked our way up. Apparently after the last snow the first person to climb set a boot pack far left of the normal route. Everyone then followed that boot pack and that’s the current spring route. It’s far climber’s left of the regular route. If someone were to go skiers right from the summit, you would be in very sketch terrain (cornices and wet slides) and be 2 drainages over from the Chocolate Falls drainage. It was a long day but we had warm temps, sunshine, soft snow and very little wind. Perfect Sunday dad/daughter outing. Her request after we got back to the car was for a large Dairy Queen Blizzard. Done and done 🙂

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