2018 GOAL: Summit a mountain and meet new friends

22 Dec 2017

The Mountain is Calling...Let's Answer the Call!
A 2018 goal to get outdoors and meet new friends

(Naval Air Station Whidbey Island & Naval Station Everett) Mt. Saint Helens is a popular climb for both beginning and experienced mountaineers. The crater rim is at 8,365-feet elevation so it offers an exciting and challenging climb for all. Although strenuous, this not-technical climb is suitable for people in good physical condition who are comfortable scrambling on steep, rugged terrain.  It can be summited year-round, but MWR Community Recreation invites you on their annual summit attempt on Saturday, May 5-Sunday, May 6! This is one of the most popular seasons to experience the majesty of the mountain. Although strenuous, this not-technical climb is suitable for people in good physical condition who are comfortable scrambling on steep, rugged terrain.

To register for Mt. Saint Helens, you must have completed an Avalanche Awareness Class and an Ice Axe Skills Workshop prior to registering for the climb. If you have not completed the January or February sessions, you must be registered and committed to the March sessions in order to register for St. Helens.

Avalanche Awareness Workshop
Learn about winter back-country dangers, avalanche avoidance techniques, use of safety equipment, proper winter wear, and how to use an avalanche transceiver. This class may be taken alone, or as a prerequisite for a mountaineering trip, or ice axe arrest class. This is an informational class and not a certification class. Classes are planned for Thursday, January 11; Thursday, February 8; and Thursday, March 9.  Classes are 6-9 pm, Convergence Zone, $6, ages 10 and up. Register two days prior.

Ice Axe Skills Workshop
In preparation for our spring and summer summit trips, two classes are required: Avalanche Awareness Class and Ice Axe Skills. Ice Axe skills are used in a mountaineering environment to allow you to travel safely to your destination. Should you slip or fall, you will learn how to arrest (stop) yourself and come to a safe and efficient stop without the aid of ropes or other devices. Register two days prior. Classes are planned for Saturday, January 27; Saturday, February 17; and Saturday, March 17. 7 am to 7 pm, $34, ages 14 and up (minors must have a parent/guardian present). Ice Axe Skills partners with the MWR Ski Shuttle for this trip. 

Mount St. Helens Summit Trip Information
DEPARTS: Saturday May 5 at 8 am from the Nor'Wester
RETURNS: Sunday May 6 at approximately 11 pm
COST: $134 per person

You must have completed Avalanche Awareness Clinic and Ice Axe Arrest Class PRIOR to registering for this class. Hold Harmless & Medical Screening forms will need to be completed prior to trip departure as well.

On Saturday, when we arrive we will pitch our tents, start a fire and enjoy dinner as we get to know our fellow climbers while we relax and rest in preparation for the big climb to reach the summit. On Sunday. After breakfast Sunday morning we'll make our attempt on the summit and then enjoy lunch on the mountain. Most climbers will be back to the campsite mid to late afternoon. After the summit on Sunday we will catch dinner in Woodland, Wa., before we start our drive back for a late evening return. A mandatory pre-trip meeting will be held at the Convergence Zone classroom where we will review the details of the climb and gear to bring. Avalanche Awareness and Ice Axe Arrest are Prerequisites for this trip.

Experienced guide/instructor, round trip transportation and all Mountaineering/Camping Equipment needed for class as well as three meals

Don't forget the camera! Sunglasses, sunscreen, waterproof gloves, hat, etc. To be better prepared, please pick up a mountaineering trip checklist from Outdoor Recreation located at the Convergence Zone. 

Lightweight ski pants, rain pants with long underwear, snowboarding pants lined with a little fleece layer or regular trekking pants will work well. The spring snow on the mountain can be quite wet, so you'll want something water resistant. Layer your upper body with a quick-dry piece close to your body then a fleece jacket that can be unzipped for ventilation. You want to be a little cold when you start because you will warm up quickly. You'll want warm, waterproof boots as well. Do NOT wear cotton or jeans.

Launch into 2018 with plans to conquer a mountain, meet new friends, and experience one of the many joys of being outdoors in the Pacific Northwest! For more information call (360) 257-2432 or visit 'Mt. Saint Helens Climb'.