AMBOY, Wash. -- The road to Climber's Bivouac on Mt. St. Helens has opened for the summer climbing season, though snow and debris are probably still on Forest Road 81-830, federal officials announced Tuesday.

Climbers were cautioned to come prepared for a narrow drive with the potential for debris and snow in the road. Patchy snow at Climber's Bivouac would also require climbers to come prepared for snow ascents and descents, Mt. St. Helens park management said.

"It's a great season to climb but climbers need to come prepared for climbing and descending safely on snow," said Tom Mulder, Monument manager. "Probably our greatest safety concern is the stability of the overhanging snow cornices that form much of the crater rim Climbers need to stay a safe distance back from the rim because the cornices are unstable and are actively collapsing into the crater."

Climbing permits are limited to 100 climbers per day during the summer season, which lasts from May 15 through Oct. 31. Find out more about the .

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Permits are available online, on a first-come, first-serve basis through

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