Mount Olympus - Washington - Not Greece

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Re: Mount Olympus - Washington - Not Greece

Postby spiderman » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:20 pm

My understanding from reading trip reports is that it is a major undertaking that is well beyond your stated difficulty level. It is class 4 or 5 on the summit and you have to deal with a glacier with crevasses. I took a look at the route from Hurricane Ridge and the climb is an expedition... certainly by no means a hike that you are hoping for. The 17 mile approach up the Hoh river valley, though, looked quite enjoyable.

People have mentioned that Olympus is one of the toughest, if not the toughest CONUS Ultraprominence peaks. They have rated it to be harder than Gannett and Rainier, but easier than Olympus Mons. I am curious about other people's ranking of Olympus relative to the other Ultras.
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Re: Mount Olympus - Washington - Not Greece

Postby Fisching » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:31 pm

spiderman wrote:You have to deal with a glacier with crevasses.

Second that. The glacier/crevasse danger alone is a major determent against trying Olympus solo.

spiderman wrote:They have rated it to be harder than Gannett and Rainier, but easier than Olympus Mons.

Ha! Who's your source for this analysis? I'm not buying it.

EDIT: I put that in Pink. The inclusion of Olympus Mons was the butt of my poorly executed "joke"
Last edited by Fisching on Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mount Olympus - Washington - Not Greece

Postby ChrisinAZ » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:58 pm

Olympus is indeed a tough nut to crack...on the list of Lower 48 Ultras, I'd place only the Grand Teton, Mt. Jefferson in Oregon, Gannett, and maaaybe Cleveland as being in even the same ballpark in difficulty. Doug, I would not disagree with your assessment of it being tougher than all of the above. It's probably the toughest 7er I will ever climb, and I won't make it there for the better part of a decade at the does look incredible though!

That said, Dex, don't completely write it off unless you have health issues that would prevent you from doing any sort of technical climbing or longer distances. I think it'd be a (relatively) manageable climb if you had someone to lead the summit block, appropriate glacier skills, four or five days, and a lucky stretch of good weather. Something like 34 of those 42-odd miles are pretty close to flat, and most of the glacier travel until the last few tenths of a mile doesn't look all that steep. I climbed Gannett with a partner who was 70 years old, and heard of someone in their 80s doing so, so it's not impossible...
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Re: Mount Olympus - Washington - Not Greece

Postby Matt Lemke » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:34 pm

Olympus is certainly a fantastic climb giving you a real mountain feel. The glaciers on that thing are huge and I believe the only peaks in the CONUS with more glacial mass are Rainier and Baker. Just about every inch of Mount Olympus is covered with the exception of the highest aretes and horns.

If you are looking for a really great long day hike look at the High Divide Loop starting and ending at the Sol Duc Trailhead. The High Divide gives you excellent views of Mount Olympus and all the surrounding Olympic Peaks. See my TR from awhile ago if you're interested.
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Re: Mount Olympus - Washington - Not Greece

Postby Gene913 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:14 pm

If you are not limited to the north side of the park, the Dosewallips trailhead on the east side of ONP has a couple options that may be of interest to you.

From there you can take a trail to Anderson Pass, and then a short side trail takes you up toward Mount Anderson, which holds a permanent glacier and a lake which forms the headwaters of the Quinault River. My dad and I were there in 1996 and did not see another person for two days. Probably about 19 miles roundtrip but it's doable in a day.

A shorter but steeper option is a trail to Constantine Pass and Mount Constantine. It's a leg burner.

ONP is one of my favorite national parks, and one of the least visited. You cannot have a bad time there.
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Re: Mount Olympus - Washington - Not Greece

Postby Cool Hand Luke » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:39 pm

High Divide Loop is a great choice. 18 miles RT, about 5K elevation gain. Best thing about the loop is you have great views of Olympus, and see both the alpine and rainforest. Seven Lakes near the top are awesome, clearest lakes I have seen. Personally, I wish I would have spent more time in the Sol-Duc/Hoh rainforest than in the alpine. The campsites in the forested area were really nice.

The gift shop at the Sol Duc lodge sells good beer by the bottle and will let you drink at the picnic table behind the pool. Nice way to relax before or after the hike (or both). There is also a trail from the Sol Duc Lodge to the TH, 1.5 miles through pristine forest.

Rialto and Ruby Beaches were one of my favorite areas, definitely stop by if you get the chance. Backpacking the beach is a less-frequented option, too.

PM if you won't have a car, I used the bus system extensively to get all over the peninsula, supplemented by hitchhiking.
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Re: Mount Olympus - Washington - Not Greece

Postby cougar » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:20 pm

the rainforest was my favorite part - very different and what Olympic is most known for. The Hoh is a glacial river and a lot of the water there has that teal color from glacial sill. Either it's that color, or green like everything else. I'd second the recs on hiking more in that area and going through the transition zones. The Hurricane Ridge area has great views and a lot of alpine terrain, but will look similar to CO - just wetter. And it can hold a lot of snow well into June - at just a mile high. I was there in June and it was still raw weather up high, but pleasant in the rainforest. Lots of clouds can obscure the views.

also, the original Mt Olympus in Greece is supposed to be a much easier climb and it's higher. But apparently the one in WA still has a guardian since there's an Olympus Guard Station at mile 9.

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