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Hokus

Climbing Mt Olympus

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Well, the plan is to head up to Washington to meet up with my Dad and 2 brothers to climb Mt. Olympus this July. I'd love to hear from anyone that has done Olympus... which summits are worth hitting, what approach you used, any particular gear that you thought was good to have, etc.

 

Thanks!

Peter

 

 

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Oh, and ps- if you know of any good websites with info on washington climbs, I'd love to hear about them.

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Pretty much everybody is going to tell you to go the Hoh River approach. It's long but easy... check out the summitpost.com page and the Olympic forum here for more beta and such.

 

 

 

 

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Hoh river approach, wear trail runners at least to elk lake. Go really light (don't carry much water, if any at all, you cross streams where you can filter/refill every mile or two until elk lake), hit the summit block before any other parties, be comfortable soloing up and down exposed 4th class.

 

Eat at the Haven or Chestnut Cottage in Port Angeles and stop at Sunny Farms in Sequim for fresh produce on your way home.

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Bring a couple nuts/tri-cams and climb the rap route on the true summit- much more solid and only low fifth class. Camp on the snow dome (by the glacier research hut- dry flat sites) if you have an extra day and go over to the middle peak. Sunsets over the pacific from the summit(s) or the dome are well worth hauling the gear up high. And build a huge fire at the Guard shack camp (9 miles in?), just to make the rangers nervous- they need some excitement.

 

Have fun, it is most certainly a NW classic.

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Bring a couple nuts/tri-cams and climb the rap route on the true summit- much more solid and only low fifth class. Camp on the snow dome (by the glacier research hut- dry flat sites) if you have an extra day and go over to the middle peak. Sunsets over the pacific from the summit(s) or the dome are well worth hauling the gear up high. And build a huge fire at the Guard shack camp (9 miles in?), just to make the rangers nervous- they need some excitement.

 

Have fun, it is most certainly a NW classic.

 

+1 for the low fifth class section at the top of the steep snow slope being the most solid. I remember the gear being a couple of hand sized cams and 2 of the biggest hexes are bomber. Nuts and tricams could supplement the rack....

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Oh, and you only need a 37m glacier rope if you don't mind climbing 5th class on a skinny. The 18m rap off the summit will get you to scrambly terrain that isn't too bad to downclimb. I didn't seem to remember needing big gear like described above, and it is a long way to haul a hand sized cam/hex . . . .

 

JG

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While I haven't done the route in question, I have found that if all I have is small gear, (4-6 bigger nuts, pink and red tri-cams) then I can get usually get ok protection and don't have to haul a bunch of cams 20 miles for 60' of low fifth class climbing. I am kind of lazy though.

 

I.E. if there are big hand cracks, there is a good chance there are smaller cracks in the vicinity. Any thoughts from Hiney or anyone else who've done the route?

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The rap route protects fine with a couple single length runners to sling stuff. Don't drag yer rack all the way up...

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I know we soloed the summit block and used the rope as a hand line/body rap to get down, but it is exposed and probably worth having a few medium pieces for anyone not as comfortable, or in case you get weird weather.

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I agree that a couple slings would probably be OK, but 3-4 med. nuts and tri-cams are pretty light and give the less bold some peace of mind. To each their own though. Bottom line is that I would highly recommend going straight up the rib under the nest of rap webbing rather than scrambling further climber's right on loose but easier rock (I've done both).

 

OK, we've really beat that short bit of 5th class to death! I'm done, I swear.

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I guided Olympus last summer, and I once climbed if from the west (but that's another story) it's a very cool mountain, I think it may be the most scenic glacier climb in the state. I highly recommend camping up on the mountain, and if you have extra time going up five fingers or middle peak is cool to, although you need to be comfortable scrambling on choss. I don't recommend using a rope on Olympic slate, as useful pro is hard to get and the rope causes dangerous rockfall. It would also be worth traversing over to the pass at the head of the Hoh glacier, and possibly camping at Camp Pan if you have time.

 

The main summit is fairly decent sandstone and will probably protect ok with whatever you brought, I've just climbed up and down the low-fifth unprotected but of course if that's not in your comfort zone than don't. Certainly you could fold a glacier rope in half for that one short pitch. Probably take some paper to leave in the summit register as it was low last time I was there.

 

It's best to leave some weather days in the plan as the weather is never completely reliable. If you do get good weather this is a really awesome mountain adventure.

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