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Part of a 2 Cascade volcano road trip with CSMC and birthday ascent of Hood. Rick and I had bagged Mt St Helens in the heat on Thursday. We met the others at a roadside pull off Friday evening and bedded down for 4 hrs. I didn't sleep. Up at midnight and on our skis by 1:30am heading straight up the line of head lamps in 8C perfectly clear night. Passed endless groups of people thru 900m elevation gain in under 2 hrs and then switched to crampons as the ski cramponing was getting steep. Left the skis on the Hogsback and proceeded up Pearly Gates with the masses to summit around 6am just after sunrise. Waited for other party members to appear and enjoyed stellar bluebird morning looking north to previous summits of St Helens, Adams, and Rainier...and south to future summits Jefferson and the Sisters. Descended to Hogsback and waited in sun for an hour for snow to soften. Gave up at 9am and skied crud for 95% of the descent until hitting slush near parking lot. Laid down on thermarest for hour and a half while waiting the others to return. Hit lunch (felt like breakfast) at Charlies in Gov't Camp and then headed for Hood River. Home in Calgary Sunday evening after a mountain bike ride in Spokane. Thanks for a great trip Lisa, Gerry, Bert, Jag, Mark, and Rick!

Route name

Pearly Gates


rockfall/loose rock, snow on route, crevasse danger

Key gear

ice axe, crampons, helmet, skis