Join Crew Treks on this exciting outing to climb Mt Olympus
Looking for a glacier mountaineering trip that’s challenging, remote, and offers spectacular scenery? Ready to level up after climbing one of the easier routes on Mt Baker or Rainier? Well, consider climbing Mount Olympus in Washington State
This mountain may be “little” elevation-wise. But there’s nothing puny about the approach, the glaciers, the crevasses, or the icefalls you’ll encounter on the route. A few times I looked around and felt like I was back in remote areas of Nepal.
So, why should I climb Mt Olympus?
Mt. Olympus is the tallest peak in the Olympic Mountains and the fifth most prominent peak in Washington (7838′). This makes for some amazing views from the summit.
It’s also Washington’s third most isolated peak, so there are very few places you can actually view the mountain itself. The Paciffic Ocean is just 20 miles to the west-then, nothing else until Japan!
Despite its relatively low elevation and latitude, Mount Olympus is heavily glaciated. Its largest glacier is the Blue Glacier, which you will get quite intimate with when you climb.
The standard route up Mount Olympus is a great mountaineering challenge that mixes glacier travel, scrambling, snow climbing, and rock climbing.
From your base camp at Glacier Meadows, you’ll also have a chance to view the Blue Glacier, which is a true river of ice. It really blows away the little “pocket” glaciers you’ll see in places like Glacier National Park.
Day 1 Sep 7 We meet in Seattle and drive to the Hoh River Trailhead, about 5 hours of picturesque drive. Our climb starts with a comfortable walk through the surreal and flat Hoh Valley. We hike for about ten miles on this day, but will hardly notice the change in elevation. This beautiful stretch of temperate rainforest is home to old-growth giants such as Cedars, Sitka Spruce, Hemlock and Douglas Firs. Shade-tolerant plant species cover the forest floor in dense green foliage all around us, and it is said that the Northwest temperate rain forests have more biological material than any ecosystem in the world.
10 miles, 400’ gain. Overnight at Lewis Meadow
Day 2 Sep 8 Very quickly, our trail steepens, and we exit the rainforest for higher ground and sub-alpine zone. Scenery changes drastically as we climb higher, from lush mosses to wintered trees and sharp rocks. As we get higher, we’ll pass by Elk Lake and then traverse steep slopes. Our base camp at Glacier Meadows is located in the last patch of trees. We use this evening to review our skills and formulate summit plans.
7.5 miles, 3300’ gain. Overnight at Glacier Meadow
Day 3 Sep 9 We wake early continuing to the Blue Glacier. Our route crosses the Blue Glacier and ascends the Snow Dome at 6600’. The ice conditions will determine our next move, which may involve maneuvering around the false summit. The final push involves two short pitches in order to scale the summit. Standing at the highest point in the Olympic Mountains will awards us with an incredible view of the Pacific Ocean, and surrounding mountains. Once off the summit, we’ll make our way back to Glacier Meadows, where we we will regroup, rest a bit and then continue to Lewis Meadow. 16.5 miles, 3700’ gain, 7000’ loss. Overnight at Lewis Meadow.
Day 4 Sep 10 We wake up early and break camp. Today we enjoy a long walk through the dense forest to the trailhead. It may be a somber drive through the scenic countryside as we say goodbye to this incredible park. 10 miles, 400’ loss.
We rent some of the equipment; please inquire with Crew Treks for prices and availability.
Crew Treks strongly recommends that you enroll with Global Rescue prior to embarking on this trip. Please click on the link below for details and quotes.
The prices are reasonable and the signup process is simple.
We strongly encourage everyone to purchase travel insurance, which covers trip cancellation, interruption, delay, baggage loss or delay, medical expenses, etc.
Travel insurance offers the best possible protection if you have a sudden, unexpected illness or injury prior to or when traveling.
Here are some useful links:
harness, crampons, ice axe, carabiners, ATC, slings and helmet