Forum Index > Trail Talk > Love Loowit? Ever wanted to go inside the crater?
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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostThu Nov 17, 2022 11:03 am 
Me too. Which is why I was absolutely STOKED to receive an email from the MSHI this morning saying there were guided trips. I was under the impression it was only possible for scientists and employees. I signed up for the 7/28-7/30 slot next year. Anyone coming with me? Will probably sell out quickly I imagine. https://www.mshinstitute.org/explore/guided-adventures/into-the-crater.html
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Ready for a unique and powerful adventure into the crater of an active volcano? With astounding views of Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, and Spirit Lake, this is a true Pacific Northwest bucket-list experience. Hike alongside a knowledgeable geologist past domes and canyons, pumice fields and lava beds, waterfalls and wildflowers, to the terminus of one of the fastest-growing glaciers in the world. The trip begins Friday at our Mount St. Helens Ridge Camp where you can expect a delicious dinner catered to your needs from our kitchen al fresco, followed by a fireside lecture by the geologist. After Saturday’s hike, guests stay for another night’s rest in the shadow of the volcano.

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sarbar
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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Posts: 783 | TRs | Pics
Location: Newcastle
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostThu Nov 17, 2022 11:42 am 
Hm, not as cool as I imagined unfortunately. I just called MSHI and I guess the glacier has grown more-or-less to the breach now (Which is a good thing) but that has greatly limited how close the expeditions go to the Lava Dome. I guess trips don't go much further than Loowit Falls now. They suggested I instead book the Glacier Overlook trip which is far less expensive because it's just a day trip (No geologist, catered meals, overnight parking). I believe this climbs the flank of the breach off to the left side, giving perhaps an even better view of the crater. Makes me want to just buy a ghillie suit.

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sarbar
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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
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Location: Newcastle
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostThu Nov 17, 2022 12:02 pm 
The northern end of the blue line here represents the current terminus of Crater Glacier. Which is as far as the "Into the Crater" trek goes.

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thunderhead
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PostThu Nov 17, 2022 12:30 pm 
Rumor has it theres a couple ski lines in the high end double-diamond range from the south crater rim down into the crater... no promises on crevasse avoidance or getting fined.

zimmertr
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thunderhead
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PostThu Nov 17, 2022 12:32 pm 
The one obvious gully heading down/northwest from the southeast corner actually looks halfway reasonable...

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jaysway
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PostThu Nov 17, 2022 2:33 pm 
Getting to hike into the crater would be a unique and awesome experience, although I don't love how they bundle what would just be an amazing day hike with a geologist into a multiday experience with camping and meals that comes out to almost $900. The first image from the glacier overlook hike looks super cool! I would love to check that out. The trip description for that mentions "this is as close as you can get without hiking into the crater," so I assume that this hike would be one that any of us could do without special permission to enter the crater since this area overlooks but doesn't enter the crater? I'm looking at where this overlook might be on Caltopo and I believe it's the ridge if you keep going past Loowit Falls so I assume you would need a MSH climbing permit since you would be traveling above 4,800 feet?

zimmertr
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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Posts: 783 | TRs | Pics
Location: Newcastle
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostThu Nov 17, 2022 2:45 pm 
I don't think the restricted area is defined by the circumference of the crater. I think more-or-less everything South of Loowit Falls is off limits without a guide or other special permission. Including the terminal moraine of Crater Glacier and the "Glacier Overlook". When Neek and I were at Loowit Falls in July we saw a pretty obvious boot path going up the ashy ridge from the end of the Loowit Falls trail though. I assume that's the "Into the Crater" route. As per this document not even a climbing permit will allow access to the restricted zone. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev3_004860.pdf

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jaysway
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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Posts: 783 | TRs | Pics
Location: Newcastle
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostThu Nov 17, 2022 2:53 pm 
If you look at the Strava heatmap you can see what is likely the end of both the "Into the Crater" and "Glacier Overlook" trips. Both go well into the Restricted Zone.

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jaysway
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