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.