Volcano climbers crash Mount St. Helens permit website

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — A website for Mount St. Helens climbers crashed when more than 10,500 people attempted to buy one of the $22 climbing permits.

Mount St. Helens Institute Executive Director Ray Yurkewycz says the website crashed Thursday morning due to overwhelming demand.

He says two and a half times more people tried getting permits this year in the first hour compared to 2017.

He says more people are heading outdoors and are being made more aware of opportunities through Facebook groups.

The institute says it expects to have the permitting problems fixed by late Monday.

The permits are needed for anyone planning to ascend above 4,800 feet on the 8,363-foot volcano.