Now that Mount St. Helens is calm‚ try climbing it. It was May 18‚ 1980‚ when the volcano had its famous eruption‚ spewing volcanic ash and lava for nine hours. In 1982‚ President Ronald Reagan established the 110‚000-acre National Volcanic Monument‚ and the environment has responded naturally from that point forward. Fresh‚ green and newly ready to explore‚ the mountain is again open for climbers. Those interested must apply for a climbing permit before scaling the renowned volcano. Mount St. Helens is less than a two-hour drive from Vancouver‚ and is visible from Clark County. Also visible from the county is Mount Hood‚ its sharp and snowy peaks on the Oregon side of the Columbia River.