Today, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and decent snow conditions and headed up Mt St Helens. There's a bunch of information out about the Worm Flows route so I'm not going to go into too much detail, but here's a basic trip report:
Mt St Helens
~5,800 ft of elevation in ~12 miles
6:20 am - leave car
7:40 am - pass treeline and start up steeper slopes
8:40 am - bootpack up ridge
11:30 am - reach crater rim
12:00 - summit
1:45 pm - back at the parking lot after a pretty relaxed descent
We slept in Olympia, and tried to get an early start, but apparently daylight savings skips from 2 am to 3 am, so none of our phones' alarms worked. We woke up 45 minutes late, drove down, and left the car at 6:20 am. After gently climbing through the dark forest for 2 miles (along a trenched trail), we started leaving the trees behind, just as dawn hit the mountain. The trail is impossible to miss, as hundreds of boot/snowshoe prints mark the way.
While it didn't get below freezing at the lower elevations, the snow above treeline was bullet proof, and we had a lot of slips and slides on our skis. If you've got ski crampons, definitely bring them. We ended up bootpacking up the middle, as all the tracks made it difficult to get traction. We chose not to bring crampons or ice axes, but they wouldn't have been a bad idea.
After that, it was just a long slog to the top as the snow slowly warmed up. Once you get to the crater rim, the true summit is a bit of a hike to the west. It only looked like two or three folks got up there before us, but it seems like most people just stop at the rim. Be careful of the cornice, we saw a bunch of people standing on the edge for photos.
The top was pretty windswept and chilly, and we drank a quick summit beer before bailing off to find warmer temperatures. Once we transitioned, it was a beautiful slushy run all the way to the base.
Once we got back down to treeline, we cruised along the trenched trail back to the car, and in the slush it wasn't even so bad.
Once we got down, we crashed in the parking lot until we could rally enough for the drive home.