Ptarmigan Trail

St. Helens Climber’s Bivouac Now Open

Climbers, gear up: Forest Road 81-830 to Climber's Bivouac is now open for the remainder of the 2014 Mount St. Helens summer climbing season. The primary trailhead for Mount St. Helens climbers will now begin at Climbers Bivouac. Use caution when driving along the road; crews are currently grading the road and repairing the guardrail, and work of this sort will be happening through June.

It may be spring down here at lower elevations, but there's still snow up on the mountain, and climbers are advised to stay back 10-15 feet from the cornices (overhanging snow) at the crater rim. More important details to note before you plan your climb: Ptarmigan Trail is covered with patchy snow, so Mount St. Helens climbing rangers recommend bringing an ice axe and crampons. Micro spikes and snowshoes are also useful for traction in snow.

To access Climber's Bivouac, head east along Forest Road 90 from Cougar, turn left on Forest Road 83 and left again on Forest Road 81, and then make a right turn on the Forest Road 81-830 to Climber's Bivouac. For more information, contact the Mount St. Helens Institute at 360-449-7883 or info@mshinstitute.org.