Mt St Helen's scraps crappy climbing permit system, new permit system to start Feb 1

posted Jan 30, 2011, 8:36 PM by Luke Hizer
Good news for any Mt St Helen's climbers: they are finally heading towards a real permit system. A recent email from the Mt St Helen's institute summarizes:

At the Mount St. Helens Institute, it is our desire to make the Mount St. Helens climb one of the best, most enjoyable climbs in the Pacific Northwest.  As a past climber, we hope you can help us with this goal.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey at the end of this letter to let us know how we're doing.  
I'm also writing to let you know of a major change for the 2011 climbing season.  The Mount St. Helens Institute has recently decided to terminate our relationship with  We've heard from many of you that the permit system is cumbersome, confusing and difficult.  We're embarking on an improved registration system, beginning on February 1, 2011, and we just want to give you a heads up!  
Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or concerns.  You can reach me by phone -- 360-891-5107-- or by email at  
Thanks for taking the time to give us your thoughts. 

Starting Tuesday at 9:00am, 2011 permits go on sale with the new system. The email continues:

We've been getting your phone calls so we know you're anxious to get your 2011 permits!  The system is scheduled to open at 9:00 am PST on February 1, 2011.  As stated above, we're offering a more climber-friendly registration system and expect it will be glitch free.  If you need assistance of any kind, please call us at 360-449-7883.  To obtain your permits, visit and click on "Climbing"
We're also offering a series of Guided Climbs and we're pleased to offer three Into the Crater Hikes in 2011.  Watch our newsletters for upcoming snowshoeing adventures and our series of field classes.

They also need Mountain Stewards:

Volunteers Support Climbers
The Mount St. Helens Institute supports climbers and visitors by training and maintaining a cadre of volunteers who spend their volunteer time on the climbing route or assisting with Institute recreational and educational programs.  These dedicated volunteers are trained in first aid/cpr as well as trail ethics. They are the Institute's eyes and ears on the trail and often the first responders for climbers.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Hailey via e-mail. 

February 1st is going to be a busy day for 2011 adventures; the Enchantments lottery opens, and now climbing permits for Helens!