The Worm Flows, Winter Climbing Route

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Winter Climb2

The Worm Flows Climbing Route is the primary route used by climbers during the winter and early spring. Climbers should be prepared for winter climbing conditions. Climbers can accesse the winter route via the Marble Mountain Sno- Park and the Swift Ski Trail # 244.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 01/29/2015: Open. Climbing Update. Check Weather and Avalanche Danger before attemping to summit Mount. St. Helens.  Self service climbing permits available at Marble Mountain Sno-Park Climber's Register until March 31st.
Reservations: Climbing Permits are available by advance reservation only between April 1st and October 31st via the Mount St. Helens Institute.  Please vist www.mshiinstitute for more information and to purchase and reserve your climbing permit.
Fees A Climbing Permit is required year round for all persons travelling above 4800ft on the slopes of Mount St Helens. Climbing Permits are $22.00 per day. April 1st thru October 31st climbing fees are in effect.
Permit Info: A Climbing Permit is required for each person, for each day, year round traveling above 4800 ft elevation on the slopes of Mount St. Helens.
  • November 1 thru March 31 permits are self issue and free of charge. Climbers can get ther permits at the Climbing Register located at the Lone Fir Resort in Cougar WA or at Marble Mountain Sno-Park.
  • April 1st thru October 31 permits are by advance reservations only through the Mount St. Helens Institute.
  • May 15th through October 31st a Climbing quota in effect and limited to 100 climbers per day.
Open Season: December
Usage: Medium
Best Season: Winter/Early Spring
Busiest Season: Winter/ Early Spring
Restrictions: Snowmobiles are restricted in the Non-motorized zone. The climbing areas between Monitor Ridge and the Worm Flows.
Closest Towns: Cougar WA
Water: No
Restroom: at Sno-Park
Passes: A Sno-Park Pass is required during the winter season.

General Information


From the Town of Cougar WA. Drive east on Lewis River Road, which turns into Forest Road 90. Continue on FR 90 until the intersection with Forest Road 83. Turn left on FR83 and continue approximitly 6 miles to the Marble Mountain Sno-Park. During the winter and early spring  FR83 is gated at the Sno-Park.

General Notes:

The Worm Flows Climbing Route, from Marble Mountain Snow-Park, is the most direct route to the summit of Mount St. Helens during the winter season. Ice axe, crampons, and avalanche awareness are recommended on this route. Skis with climbing skins or snow shoes with cleats are also highly recommended. From the Marble Mountain Sno-Park use the Swift Ski Trail, #244 to reach timberline. Cross to the west side of Swift Creek, just above Chocolate Falls (elev. 3,700'). Follow ridges and open slopes to the crater rim. Wooden route marking posts guide climbers from timberline to approximately 4,800' elevation. Round trip is approximately 12 miles, Round trip time is approximately 7 to 10 hours. To reduce your exposure to avalanche potential, stay away from snow loaded slopes and gully bottoms. Stay off the cornices at the crater rim


Weekends can be busy.



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Mountain Climbing