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Ascent of Olo Mountain on 2013-05-11

Climber: Craig Willis

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, May 11, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Olo Mountain
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:3480 ft / 1060 m

Ascent Trip Report

I did Olo solo. I just like saying that phrase.
But I really did that.

I figured this would be a lame peak, and I already knew it was a lot of road-walking/road-biking miles. I really did not want to waste this peak on a good weather day, nor did I want to travel a bunch of miles on a rainy day. I chose a happy compromise.

I started at 4:00 AM, with the intention of getting to the upper approach road system and/or snowpack by daylight. My plan worked. I was able to do a mostly walking/sometimes biking combination until approximately 3250' elevation where the road bent southward. This was further than I had anticipated, as another peakbagging acquaintance had reached constant snowpack at 2800' elevation only four days earlier. Thankfully for me, there were multiple days of abnormal 80+ degree weather in-between... in early May!!! Otherwise, this peak would have had more snow on it, which is probably typical until mid-to-late May during most years.

I parked my bike and hiked up through snowy logged-off terrain until reaching the upper ridge nearby. This went smoothly until soon before I entered the summit hill forest (~3350' elevation). My left leg suddenly plunged through the snowpack and some of the the skin on my shin shaved off upon impact with a branch below. I was apparently in the middle of logging debris where branches were all that held up the snowpack. Whoops.

In some pain, I padded the wound with some snow and continued forth. I entered the snowy forest (not taking any step for granted) and it did not take too long to reach the summit. Oh, the views! What I wouldn't give to have some views from the summit! Unfortunately for me, there were no views from the summit due to the thick forest. Fortunately for the forest, the loggers had left it alone (for now). I reached the summit at 6:40 AM, but due to my bleeding shin I spent little time enjoying the moment.

When I got back to my bike, I used an old technique I had learned from my backwoods upbringing. I dug into some nearby dirt, took some of its underlayer out, and padded my wound with it. That made an excellent clot for the wound. I then hopped on my bike and coasted back down to the car. From the summit, it took me a little more than an hour, but it definitely would have been less than an hour if I had not made multiple photo-op stops, or stop to pad my wound with dirt, or if I had been willing to be a speedster bicyclist down the steep hills. But with a roundtrip time of 3h45m, I was very satisfied with my overall trip.

For those prominence-baggers and local peakbaggers who plan to do this peak in the future, I have several suggestions:
1) Go in late Spring or late Autumn, when the temperature is not too cold or too hot. The snow is not too bad, either.
2) Don't waste an entire day for this peak. Sure, there are a lot of miles, but bringing a bicycle really helps speed things up.
3) The first 2/3 of the road ascent is mostly gentle-sloped, but after heading east of Point 1987 and then uphill southward the road definitely steepens. But the quality of the logging road was surprisingly excellent.
4) The landowner (Longfibre) allows non-motorized public access on the route... but only during weekends and when logging operations are not happening along the route. The sign currently at the entrance gate says this.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3020 ft / 920 m
    Elevation Loss:3020 ft / 920 m
    Distance:16.5 mi / 26.6 km
    Quality:2 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Bicycle
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2950 ft / 899 m
    Extra Loss:70 ft / 21 m
    Distance:8.3 mi / 13.3 km
    Route:Standard Approach: Roads Then Forest
    Trailhead:Gate near Masonic Family Park  600 ft / 182 m
    Time Up:0 Days 2 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:2950 ft / 899 m
    Extra Gain:70 ft / 21 m
    Distance:8.3 mi / 13.3 km
    Route:Standard Approach: Forest Then Roads
    Trailhead:Gate near Masonic Family Park  600 ft / 182 m
    Time Down:0 Days 1 Hours 5 Minutes



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