Friday, August 20, 2010

Mount St. Helens

Prior to May 18, 1980, this is what Mount St. Helens looked like. Very peaceful, huh?

Then at 8:32 that Sunday morning, the mountain blew it's side out, in the largest landslide on earth in recorded history - 3.7 billion cubic yards of material.

It lost 1300' in height, replaced by a crater more than a mile wide.

57 people were killed, but hundreds were rescued by helicopter. The death toll would have been much higher if it had not been a weekend when the loggers were not working.

This is how it looked today when I visited.

14 miles of the North Fork Toutle River Valley were buried to an average depth of 150 feet, as much as 600 feet in some places.

150,000 acres of trees were lost, many just blown off, shattered in the 700 mph winds.

Countless wildlife were killed, including 7,000 big game animals and 12 million salmon fingerlings in hatcheries. But the area has made a miraculous recovery. We saw a couple dozen elk in the valley.


  1. Very scary! Just another reminder that we actually do not control our environment.

  2. I understand the visitors center there had closed due to funding and staffing problems. I wonder if it is open again. I hope so because it is a beautiful facility.

  3. The power of Nature is amazing not just the fury of the blast but the excellent recovery that is underway. This must be amazing to see in person!!

  4. It is good to the area recovery from the blast. When we were there years ago, the area was all the same dun color of brown/grey, no green anywhere.

  5. The power of Mother Nature. Amazing.

    Excellent photos. Thanks!

    The Freely Living Life Family

  6. Great pictures as usual! We visited the site last year with our granddaughters and after driving all the up there from Astoria, it was so cloudy and foggy, we couldn't see the mountains!

    My oldest granddaughter reminds me every once in a while that I owe her another trip there because she wants to see a volcano. :c)

  7. Wow that is so sad how much damage that did to the earth around it and so sad for the lost lives, it definitely was beautiful in its day, thanks for the lesson!

  8. Great post thank you

    Dan (Bubbadan)


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