Jeffrey H. Ryan Hiker Author Photographer Speaker Podcaster Director

Blast: My Return to Mount Saint Helens

In 1987, just seven years after the mountain’s historic eruption, I joined two friends to climb up to the rim of the crater of Mt. Saint Helens. Climbing through the ash was an arduous task, but the reward was incredible. Standing on the edge, we stared out over an enormous swath of devastation that was still happening all around us — continuous rock falls from the sides of the crater serenaded us and steam rose from a newly-forming cone in the center of the cirque below.

In January, 2017, during a snowy Maine Saturday, I was reviewing videos from old climbing adventures when I happened upon the footage from the St. Helens climb. Suddenly, I had an inspirational flash — why not gather the old crew to return to St. Helens for a thirtieth anniversary climb?

My book, Blast is a tribute to that climb and more. After briefly recapping the immediate effects of the May, 1980 eruption, I write about nature’s incredible resiliency and the importance of staying true to our dreams. Illustrated with full color maps and photographs, it also includes advice on trip planning for those inclined to visit the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument for themselves. 


My books are sold on Amazon and at many national and locally-owned bookstores (if not in store, please ask them to order by ISBN number).

Download Blast for $4.99

Ryan’s accounts of the event and his hiking experiences, both in 1987 and thirty years later, are beautifully written and made both the eruption and those hiking adventures come alive for me.
Jack Magnus
Reader's Favorite