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After System Crash, Mount St. Helens Reopens Climbing Permits Site


Climbing above the clouds a group of climbers, including Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument scientist Peter Frenzen, second from right, climbs one of the final approaches to the crater rim of Mount St. Helens Thursday, July 13, 2006.

Climbing above the clouds a group of climbers, including Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument scientist Peter Frenzen, second from right, climbs one of the final approaches to the crater rim of Mount St. Helens Thursday, July 13, 2006.

Ted S. Warren/AP

It’s been nearly a month since a barrage of hikers overwhelmed the Mount St. Helens online permit system. But starting Monday, those hoping to nab a coveted climbing permit have a second chance.

When permit sales first opened on Feb. 1, it took just 20 minutes for the Mount St. Helens Institute server to malfunction. That’s because nearly 15,000 people — more than three times as many as last year — overloaded the system. 

Mount St. Helens Institute Executive Director Ray Yurkewycz said they are working with a new processing vendor, RecAccess, and are ready to accommodate higher traffic.

“I know a lot of people were really disappointed and I understand that,” Yurkewycz said. “But in this redo it’s our opportunity to give everyone a good experience and to handle the rest of the permit transactions.”

Climbing permits cost $22 each and can be used from April 1 to Oct. 1. The Mount St. Helens Institute will release the remaining 80 percent of available permits starting Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, at 9 a.m. on their website.

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