Explore Mount St. Helens through field seminars

Staff reportMay 5, 2013 

Plumes of steam rise from hot vents in the crater of Mount St. Helens. The Johnston Ridge Observatory, a little more than 5 miles from the crater, opens Saturday.


The Mount St. Helens Institute is offering seven field seminars that will allow participants to explore the volcano in different ways.

Since 2000, the institute’s field seminars have helped to educate hundreds of people about the wild wonders of Mount St. Helens, said Travis Southworth-Neumeyer.

“We’ve taken people exploring on the Pumice Plain, led them to the volcano’s summit, showed them the stars and shared with them the history of the eruption and how it changed the land,” Southworth-Neumeyer said in a prepared statement.

Here is the schedule for this year’s seminars:

June 22-23: “Wildlife Track and Sign Certification” with David Moskowitz.

July 26-27: “Into the Crater No. 1: A Guided Science Hike to Crater Glacier” with Andy Barsotti.

Aug. 3: Mountain biking in the blast zone.

Aug. 16-17: “Into the Crater No. 2: A Guided Science Hike to Crater Glacier” with Barsotti.

Sept. 6-7: “Into the Crater No. 3: A Guided Science Hike to Crater Glacier” with Willie Scott.

Oct. 19: “Foraging for Edible Mushrooms” with Reinhard Bhme and Kate Hobbie.

Oct. 26: “Foraging for Edible Mushrooms” with Maggie Rogers.

The seminars are open to all ages, but youth younger than 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

The cost of each seminar differs. The wildlife tracking session, for example is $300 and includes lunch and dinner on Saturday, breakfast and lunch on Sunday and lodging Saturday night.

There is a size limit for each group, so early registration is encouraged.

For details on each seminar and to register, go to mshinstitute.org.

Guided hikes

The Mount St. Helens Institute offers a series of guided hikes from the spring through the fall. The first guided hike will be May 19 on the Siouxon Trail Hike.

Bob and Katherine Appling will lead this 8-mile hike that is listed as easy-moderate with a 300-foot elevation gain.

The trek has views of five major waterfalls and their plunge pools and ends at Chinook Falls.

The cost of this hike is $45 and the group is limited to 10 people.

Future hikes include the Coldwater and Windy Ridge areas, Butte Camp Trail, Loowit Trail and Blue Lake Trail.

For details, a full schedule and to register, go to mshinstitute.org.

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