For those hoping to score a permit to climb Mount St. Helens when they go on sale next week, the rules are changing.
Permits to climb the 8,328-foot mountain go on sale on Feb. 1, and most of the weekend permits are expected to sell out in a matter of minutes. Only 500 permits are issued April 1-May 14 and that number drops to 100 for May 15-Oct. 31.
This year, 90 percent of those permits will be available for advance purchase. The other 10 percent won’t be available until the final day of the month preceding the permit date. “For example, 10% of all June permits would only be released at 12:01 a.m. on May 31,” states the Mount St. Helens Institute website.
Also, climbers will be encouraged to register the names of each member of their climbing party starting this year. However, the names will not need to be provided at the time permits are purchased, says the Mount St. Helens Institute. The permit confirmation email will include a link where the names of each member of the party can be added anytime in advance of the climb. The information is not required but is helpful for climbing rangers responding to emergencies on the mountain. Registering the names also discourages unauthorized permit resales, the institute said.
Permits cost $22 each. Up to 12 permits can be purchased per transaction. Each climber must display their permits when climbing above 4,800 feet.