Outdoors

Mount St. Helens climbing permits go on sale Feb. 2

Mount St. Helens climbing permits for the 2015 season go on sale Monday at 9 a.m.

A permit is required to travel above the 4,800-foot elevation level on the volcano year round. If you are climbing April 1-Oct. 31, climbing permits are $22 per climber.

If you are climbing between Nov. 1-March 31, you must self register at either Climber’s Bivouac or Marble Mountain Sno-Park. There is no fee for permits during this period.

Climbers should note there are some changes to the permit process for this year, said Susan Ripp, spokeswoman for the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

Along the changes, climbers must now print their permits tt time of purchase, fill in climber’s name on each permit and bring them to the trailhead. Climber registers are located at both Climbers Bivouac and Marble Mountain Sno-Park trailheads. Climbers also are required to sign the register at the trailhead when they begin their climb. Plastic permit holders are available at climber registers for climbers to display each permit in a visible manner while climbing Mount St. Helens.

Permits are valid for 24 hours starting at midnight for the date of climb and are nontransferable. The maximum party size is 12 climbers.

Climbing permits for weekends and summer dates typically sell out first. Climbers can purchase available permits online up to 24-hours before the day of the climb.

National Forest day pass parking permits are no longer provided with climbing permits at time of purchase. Funds from pass sales will be used to maintain the toilets, parking and campsites at Climbers Bivouac. Climbers will need to display a National Forest Recreation day pass ($5 a day), annual Northwest Forest Pass or an interagency annual pass on each car parked at Climbers Bivouac.

Ripp also reminded climbers the area of Mount St. Helens above the treeline is a traditional cultural property of Cowlitz and Yakama tribes. For thousands of years, the 8,328-foot mountain has been a central place in the culture and mythology of the tribes, where resources were gathered and young people were sent to test themselves, Ripp said. When climbers cross above the Loowit Trail into the region where the climbing permit is required, they are asked to conduct themselves in a respectful manner.

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