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Mount St. Helens Institute eNews
July is here, but winter conditions linger on the roads. As of this writing, the road to Climbers Bivouac remains closed. Regardless, it's going to be a glorious summer and a great time to climb! Guided programs and events are taking off, so sign up for Base Camp, a Glacier Overlook Hike or summit the Volcano with us. This issue contains details on our most popular events, some great articles from our seasonal educators, and the Mount St. Helens Science Digest from retired USFS employee, Amy Wison!
Base Camp is an exciting opportunity for folks to camp on the north side of Mount St. Helens. Bring your camping gear, set up for the weekend, and participate in all the mountain has to offer. Gaze into the blast zone and enjoy grand views in all directions, go on a self-guided adventure, or join us for a guided hike on the hummocks. You can launch all your adventures from Base Camp Mount St. Helens, located at the Science and Learning Center above Coldwater Lake. In the evenings, enjoy dinner with us, then visit our decadent smores bar, before winding down at the community campfire with your fellow campers.
Heading up Highway 504 for the first time on May 22, I felt more confident. I know I’m a talented educator and I’m starting to know more about the volcano I’m going to call home for the next few months. But I wasn’t ready for the Elk Rock viewpoint. My boss chuckled to herself and pulled the car over as I stared, slack-jawed. Seeing the North side of Mount St. Helens for the first time gave me that indescribable feeling of sensing the raw beauty and power of nature
Climb to the rim of Mount St. Helens offers an amazing opportunity to reach the top of the Pacific Northwest’s most spectacular volcano and learn about the area’s natural and cultural history in the comfort of a guided group. Designed for first-time climbers or those wishing to learn from our experienced and knowledgeable mountain guides, the Summit Climb provides an unforgettable adventure to those bold enough to climb an active Cascade volcano!
Witness the transformation and rebirth of the Blast Zone, from Spirit Lake to the crater edge. This unique adventure travels off-trail to a view that is eye to eye with one of the fastest-growing glaciers in the world, Crater Glacier. This is as close as you can get without hiking into the crater! A staff favorite.
A common fruticose lichen of Mount St. Helens is Cladonia rangiferina, or more commonly known as reindeer moss (it is a lichen, not a moss!). This lichen can often be found on trees, or even in patches atop plains of ground cover moss, and can be identified by its fluffy appearance with “antler-like” branches. This lichen, in particular, was my first real observation of the lichens that thrive throughout the volcanic landscape.
Curious about what scientists are learning at Mount St. Helens? This booklet is packed full of recently published research from several brilliant scientists. Their research covers areas such as lessons we've learned about the volcano since the 1980 eruption, details about the make-up of the volcano's lava, a look at the flora and fauna in the area, and more!
Mount St. Helens Institute operates under a special use permit from the US Forest Service and is honored to work on the Traditional Cultural Property, ancestral and present-day lands of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.
Mount St. Helens Institute is an equal opportunity provider.