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Ascent of Mount Olympus on 2019-06-21

Climber: Daniel Mick

Others in Party:Duncan Hart (Asst.)
Matt Krueger
Sara Jensen
Lauren Mason
Kathleen Morrison
Thomas Mynes
Tessa Rough
Date:Friday, June 21, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Olympus
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:7969 ft / 2428 m

Ascent Trip Report

**Be sure to get your reservations ahead of time, especially if you're a group! Or on a weekend!!**

DIRECTIONS
Google to Hoh River TH. Trail begins just to right of Visitor Center.

EXPERIENCE
For as elusive and long a climb Olympus has been painted to be, we pulled it off with nary a hitch. Strong, positive, capable team with a fair weather window made for an excellent climb!

THU 26 JUN - approach to Elk Lake
Depart TH at 10:00. Long flat hike Ranger Station then some uphill to Elk Lake (group permit for Glacier Meadows already taken). Lots of time to get to know each other. Glad everyone took my advice to wear trail shoes and carry their boots! Water at Elk Lake is down trail ~100 yards; too marshy to get from lake edge. Amazingly few tents considering the popularity of the area, but TOTAL change once Sat/Sun hit.

FRI 27 JUN - summit day (3 hours to moraine; 12 hours moraine to moraine; 3 hours to camp)
Departed camp at 03:00. Fast hike to ladder washout. Super simple compared to trip reports. Helmets on! Ladder can be climbed solo or use rope as tension guide. We actually did two at a time, 1 on ladder and 1 on rope and were through in 10 minutes. Got water in GM. Steep hike to moraine. Walk all the way to end of moraine marked with large cairn topped with concrete. Scree slide first ~50 vertical feet. Currently fat rope for second ~50 vertical feet since it is completely bare washout.

Roped up and crossed glacier in 30 minutes. Took the rock ramps route rather than the Southern curl up to Snow Dome since there was still tons of snow and going around looks to be littered with crevasses. Stayed roped up to save time which actually lost time since people couldn't scramble the rock sections freely. Small crevasses at far Southern end of Snow Dome.

Snow bridge on 4th of July route was still passable but opted for Crystal Pass since the slope is steep enough to need protection and team experience was low. Larger crevasses than expected below Crystal Pass but still a large snow bridge in place. Probably have to traverse higher in later season. South of ridge had several very thin crevasses so we stayed roped all the way to base of false summit. It's hard to imagine anyone ever traversing around the South side of the false summit it's so steep thin and exposed! Just take the tiny extra time to go up and over through the obvious gap.

Ascended on snow ridge to summit block. No moat. Two other teams of two already set up on North side routes so we went to NW corner. 4th class scramble half way up then I set a handline for 5.3 to rappel station (three pieces of protection, set of nuts plenty; nothing higher than rappel station for good anchor). 2nd class scramble to true summit. 60m rope or 2x 30's is enough to get back on the snow.

Weather rolled in while on the summit. Rappelling 8 people took awhile - would do double single-rope rappels if pressed for time. Roped up at bottom of false summit and unroped after flat of Snow Dome. Roped again for glacier. Prussiked up rope on moraine.

Team was gassed but we took a long break on top of moraine to change back into trail shoes and repack gear, another long break GM for toilet and water, and then back to camp to zonk out.

--Three other teams on route: a pair of car-to-car(!) runners with lots of experience but minimal gear; pair of older highpointers; and...I don't deny anyone their interest or type of climbing, but...one totally oblivious schmuck. From Florida, no mountaineering experience, said he had a dream about Mt. Olympus so came to climb it. This guy was in hiking boots, a wool peacoat, and a schemagh (Middle Eastern scarf). Had a small aluminum ice axe and nothing else - no partner, rope, helmet, harness, crampons, even sunglasses! He followed in our tracks all the way to the summit. He scrambled to our belay ledge where I had the sad task of explicitly telling him he was not welcome to use any of our gear and that from what I had heard of his experience level strongly recommended he not attempt to climb to the true summit. We all remarked repeatedly throughout the approach that we were concerned about having to rescue him: from a crevasse, a slip, a fall, snow blindness, whatever... We saw his boot tracks all the way back to the glacier so hope and assume he made it out okay.--

SAT 28 JUN - exit to Lewis Meadows, relax
Relaxing day back to Lewis Meadows. Talk of hiking all the way out since we had the time, but in the end everyone was thrilled to have had a down day just relaxing and enjoying the wilderness.

SUN 29 JUN - ext to TH
4 hours out to TH. Debrief at a picnic table over snacks and beers. Stopped at Klaloch Lodge for late lunch.

RATING
1/1 ACCESS - major NP center
0/2 REMOTENESS (Popularity, Sight/Sound) - restricted campsites, super popular trail, popular summit
1/1 CONDITION - established trail to glacier
3/3 VARIETY (Flora and Fauna, Geological, Terrain) - just about everything possible!
4/3 VIEWS - old growth is almost holy; bonus point for Blue Glacier from the moraine
TOTAL 9/10
(does not include difficulty since hikers may prefer opposite extremes)

ALWAYS looking for partners -- don't hesitate to contact me!

Washington Ultimate CoHP/CoPP/Top100e/Top100p/Bulger

Oregon Ultimate CoHP/CoPP/Top100e/Top100p

US Ultimate WEST HP/PP/Iso/2ndLap/4kP/Top100e (doesn't include East of the plains, and WA, OR, CO, AK, HI)

US Ultimate EAST HP/PP/Iso/2ndLap/4kP/Top100e (doesn't include West of the plains)
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:8454 ft / 2576 m
    Extra Gain:500 ft / 152 m
    Round-Trip Distance:44.5 mi / 71.6 km
    Route:Crystal Pass
    Trailhead:Hoh River TH  515 ft / 156 m
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Headlamp, Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:3 nights away from roads
    Weather:Drizzle, Cool, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Daniel Mick
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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