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Mar 31 / Dave Schumaker

Climbing Mt. Saint Helens

A few years ago, I started planning a trip to hike around and climb up Mt. Saint Helens. Then in October of 2004, the volcano rumbled back to life and the Forest Service closed access to the volcano.

Despite the ongoing rumblings beneath the mountain, the Forest Service reopened access in 2006. Hugo Martin of the Chicago Tribune recently took a trip to the summit of Mt. Saint Helens and looked inside the massive crater.

Mt. Saint Helens
Image credit: Forest Service

The first climber of our party clears the boulder field about 11 a.m. Now we start up a steep gravel path to the crater’s edge about a quarter of a mile ahead. Up here, the air is bitter cold and the wind whips fine rocks and sand in my face.

“Oh, yeah!” The shout comes from the first hiker of our group to reach the top.

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