Mt. St. Helens Summit Rim Climb

  • Skill level : 2


  • Fitness level : 4


This classic climb to the rim of Mount St. Helens offers an amazing opportunity to reach the top of one of the Pacific Northwest's most spectacular volcanoes. Designed for first time climbers or those wishing to learn from our experienced and knowledgeable mountain guides from REI and the Mount St. Helens Institute. Departing from the Climber's Bivouac (3,700'), we will follow the Ptarmigan Trail (216A) to Kiwi Camp (4,800'). Once at Kiwi Camp, we ascend above tree line and begin following Monitor Ridge up to the rim (8,300'). The majority of the elevation gain (3,500') is in the last 3 miles where the climb is most strenuous. Ascending the rock fields, scrambling over boulders, hiking through scree and ash, as well as snow travel (depending on time of year) are all components of the climb. Descending through the volcanic terrain can be equally as trying. Along the route, the geologist from the Mount St. Helens Institute will give short presentations. Typically the round trip climb takes approximately 8-11 hours depending on the group and the weather conditions. Round trip distance is 10 miles with 4500' of elevation gain. Transportation provided.

Gear provided by REI

  • Climbing Harness
  • Climbing Helmet
  • Crampons
  • Gaiters
  • Group First Aid Kit - Contents include wound care items and over the counter medications for minor injuries and illnesses
  • Ice Axe
  • Mountaineering Hardware - All necessary.
  • Snow Anchors
  • Static Rope - Minimum of 100 feet for anchors and fixed lines.
  • Trekking Poles

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