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pete_a

Olympus questions....

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It's just Olympus, no big deal, 48 mile round trip, first 12 miles flat, a little glacier travel, then class 3 scramble on the summit block, lets all beat our chests. Gotta love me.

 

rockband.gif

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Skykilo and I made the round trip from the Hoh parking lot yesterday. Left Seattle around dinnertime, got to the parking lot about 11 PM, bivvied in the next adjacent parking space until 3 AM. Weather was perfect. We kept a fast walking pace with short breaks. Hit the summit just after noon. We never did rope up, and I only used my axe to glissade down the uppermost snow slope, otherwise we used only poles the whole way. Did not bring skis, but enjoyed some standing glissades down the Snow Dome. Did not consume any Gu, unless Brie cheese counts as Gu. Saw a medium sized black bear crossing the lower Blue Glacier-- I'll post a photo.

 

Overall I feel less tired after this year than after doing it last year, but the distance took a physical toll in much the same way-- on the trail descent my feet started to hurt about 12 miles from the end, getting worse with each mile, until the last 6 or 7 miles were pure misery. It's exhilarating to get all the way to the top of Olympus in half a day, but you pay for it on the way out. The trail is just too long for it to be all fun. Until I figure out how to make my feet tougher, I think I will limit my day trip mileage to maybe 10 or 12 miles from parking lot to high camp.

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Here's the bear.

 

We also found a crumpled 55 gallon drum on the lower Blue Glacier. I figure it must have somehow made its way there from the UW glaciology station on the Snow Dome. I can't really think of any other reason for it to be there.

5a1a5595334bf_228124-thirdolympusbear.jpg.a132ad9bccd7cd93fac120c27616c1bf.jpg

Edited by Norman_Clyde

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Impressive! Dammit, Sky, you never mentioned a bear! I'm looking forward to the TR. And no skis! That's a first, too. Is that a goal for next year?

 

thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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Nice work. Those last few miles are though on the feet and those mile markers are most annoying. I found myself saying never again but after a couple weeks I can't stop thinking about Wonderland in 24. One positive is that most other approaches seem insignificant after something like this.

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That is what I liked about Olympus...lots of wildlife. Good job!!! Scourge can kiss my moon.gif "I climbed" I remember a thread about non chest beating where that was the TR. Now that would be interesting thumbs_down.gif

 

That last 10 miles kicked my butt too. I guess in order to get stronger feet you need to keep doing it. Sitting at work 5 days a week, eating tater tots, and watching TV doesn't help much either bigdrink.gif (not to mention CC.com)

 

Just curious, how was the 3rd class route? Did you go that way? Roped, unroped.

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We climbed the summit block unroped, starting from the end of the chossy traverse without ascending the last snow finger. There are only a few vertical portions, and though the small rocks are loose, the larger ones stayed in place. Having felt pretty relaxed simulclimbing this last year, as well as downclimbing it, I was surprised to find I felt pretty sketched in places. It wasn't a matter of the climbing being so difficult, but rather that on the vertical portions you have to yard out pretty hard on blocks that have a likely potential to move-- and if they did, you wouldn't just slip, you'd launch yourself. I decided to descend via the snow finger, and noticed that on the northern aspect there is a pretty easy looking chimney heading directly to the summit. This was not the route that the roped climbers were taking; I never got a good look at that one.

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Norman_Clyde said:

and noticed that on the northern aspect there is a pretty easy looking chimney heading directly to the summit. This was not the route that the roped climbers were taking; I never got a good look at that one.

 

We solo'd the northwest side. Loose rock but if you move fast, it goes quick.

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norman and/or skykilo ,

 

When did you get out? Take any significant breaks? Did y'all carry a rope - the 30m? what shoes and crampies? What was your approx pack weight? Been reading the lead up and curious as to what you actually brought etc. I thought I did it light and fast a couple years ago in about 48 hours with pack in the low 30s inclu 30m stratus (with some foot and joint pain to show for it), but this all makes me feel weak n laden with needless luxuries. Impressive work, y'all.

 

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Norman_Clyde said:

Here's the bear.

 

We also found a crumpled 55 gallon drum on the lower Blue Glacier. I figure it must have somehow made its way there from the UW glaciology station on the Snow Dome. I can't really think of any other reason for it to be there.

 

I doubt the drum came from the weather/glaciology station as I don't think it is operational anymore.

 

There are (were?) 55 gallon drums on the Blue Glacier lateral moraine for human waste blue bag deposits. I seem to remember them being secured in some kind of wire mesh cage. Perhaps someone or something (bear) thought it would be fun to roll it down onto the glacier?

 

Did you tell the ranger about the drum?

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I carried a SUPER lightweight 7.5mmX30m rope. My pack weighed a little over 20 pounds, I think, with hinged stainless steel crampons, some runners and 'biners, prussiks, and a harness. We didn't use any of the rope gear, and I could have went without the 'poons, but they were reasonable insurance. Also, I had to make up for not carrying skis.

We kept weight down by never carrying more than a liter of water, and filtering more as needed.

The 55 gallon drum was very old and rusty looking, and it was nowhere near the human waste collection at the top of the moraine. It was on the other side of the Blue Glacier below the snow dome.

 

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Good job, Norman and skykilo! Shee-it, nine hours after leaving the car you two were on the summit? Right on. Did you hit your projected time? The WT has your name written all over it. It'll be better than Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier...

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Here I wuz, hanging with my honey below the Snow Dome cantfocus.gif, when Norman and Skykilo come blazin' across the lower Blue Glacier. You could feel the wind as they passed us up. ("Who are those guys...?")

 

Nice job you guys! But why risk downclimbing that cruddy rock at the top? If you had a light rope you could rap off the usual way.

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But why risk downclimbing that cruddy rock at the top? If you had a light rope you could rap off the usual way.

Our rope was only 37 meters long, so we couldn't have rapped the whole way down. It's true that downclimbing the vertical portion carried some risk, but compared to standing on the moderately exposed summit ridge, pulling pack off to access rope, setting up rappel, rappelling, pulling rope while standing on chossy semi-exposed ledge, I don't think that a little downclimbing was objectively more risky. I prefer to rappel as little as possible in general. It would have made sense to rap the north side directly to the highest snow slope, and our rope probably would have reached, but a party of five was ascending it and we didn't want to crowd them.

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Great TR. There used to be a glacial camp across the Blue glacier from the moraine, run by Cal Tech. They used it for several years, in the 70's. Maybe that barrel came from there. Also, there is a great climb to the summit straight up the rib on the very north side. Don't people use that much anymore?

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nice work fellas. thumbs_up.gif

i plan to do this solo late next week--for those of you in the know, any chance that glacier conditions could deteriorate and necessitate more gear (than just an axe or poons)? sounds like recent parties had no worries re: collapsing snow structures...

 

how much off-trail scree/talus? or does the trail quickly yield to glacier? I ask this to decide between comfy running shoes and less comfortable/stiffer/more protective/better-on-snow approach shoes.

 

targeting approx. 16-18 hours, sky-clyde stylie. if anyone interested, pm me.

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I'd say that glacier conditions are highly unlikely to have deteriorated significantly. There is almost no crevasse negotiation required, no snow bridges at all, only end runs or the occasional zig-zag between adjoining cracks. The furthest we had to deviate from a straight line was one hundred yard end run on the back side of the peak. The lowest part of the glacier is very heavily crevassed, but this far down in the ablation zone, the crevasses have little or no depth, and the only hazard is the occasional sinkhole. Ice is hard on this portion, and crampons are helpful, otherwise you could get by without them.

 

Trail essentially extends right to the glacier. The only "off trail" is the glacier side of the lateral moraine, which is an unconsolidated pile of dirt and rocks, only about 300 vertical feet. Running shoes are fine for the trail, probably OK for the whole climb except your feet will get wet. I carried Vasque Sundowners for the snow and ice both times, and in my opinion it was worth the extra weight to be able to change shoes between trail and climb.

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What did your round trip time end up being? I take it you enjoyed your first meal after the trip! We stopped at a restaurant in Forks for breakfast (After pulling the car over and sleeping upright in the bucket seats about 15 minutes out of the parking lot - Didn't miss a snore) and thought the lumberjack portions looked juussstt right.

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16 hours 56 minutes (3:25 AM to 8:21 PM). We had our first meal in Forks at Chez Tesoro, a real high class place. Sun chips and Powerade for me, hot chocolate and cookies for Sky. My original plan was to leave baguette and Brie in the car to eat on our return, but I ate it on the trail and summit instead. I'm concluding that high fat is the way to go!

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Good job - an honest day's work.

 

High fat. . . hmm, that would describe that platter of home fried potatoes in Forks pretty well!

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