Mount St. Helens: Then & Now
For the 30th anniversary of Mount St. Helens’ eruption, Spokesman-Review photographer Christopher Anderson re-creates some of the images he captured May 18, 1980.
Related story: A look at Mount St. Helens 35 years after eruption
Approaching Mount St. Helens from the southwest on May 18, 1980, gave you a sense of the size and scope of the eruption.
Mount St. Helens rises above lush evergreen forests that have sprung to life in the 30 years since the eruption. At rear is Mount Rainier.
Mount St. Helens erupts, blanketing the region with ash and debris.
Today snow, not ash, covers Mount St. Helens, and signs of regrowth appear on the surrounding land.
Chuck Nole is framed in a helicopter windshield as the plume spreads during a search and rescue mission in May 1980.
An aerial view of present-day Mount St. Helens shows ground fog covering Spirit Lake, at right.
Shattered timber and a deep layer of ash and mud cover the landscape one year after the eruption.
Thirty years of weather has bleached the remains of 200 square miles of old-growth timber blown down by the eruption.
The eruption unleashed a wave of gas and energy, destroying an estimated 200 square miles of forestland.
Today, some old growth still stands, while some of the blown-down timber has been harvested.
Mud and debris choke the Toutle River Basin into a mass of mud holes and erosion streams in this 1981 photo.
Mud and debris from the eruption choked everything in its path. Today, erosion still cuts through the debris.
The roadway at upper left was swallowed by mud and debris in the Toutle River.
In May 2010, the mud and debris that destroyed the Toutle River drainage retain a firm grip on dead trees.
The land downstream and downhill from the crater of the mountain shows the widespread devastation a year after the eruption.
Thirty years later, small ponds populated by frogs and tadpoles have formed in the debris plain.
There are no signs of life a year after the eruption among pumice and debris, which was thrown miles from the crater.
In May 2010, U.S. Forest Service ecologist Charlie Crisafulli hikes the hummocks that were formed when the mountain blew.
A year after the eruption, runoff water cuts channels in the mud, estimated to be hundreds of feet deep in places.
Today, small animals have returned to the area, along with beavers, amphibians and birds that nest in the blown-down forest.