Mount Olympus Abode of the Gods Summit Climb
- Dates: Custom-contact for availability
- Duration: 4 Days
- Level: Beginner
- Client Ratio: 3:1
- – $795
- Included: All meals while on the mountain, permits, tents, stoves, cook kits, group climbing equipment, and guide services.
- Not Included: Ground transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant meals, gratuities for guides, and all personal items. A detailed equipment list will be sent to all participants.
Mount Olympus was sighted in 1774 by the Spanish explorer Juan Perez, who named it “El Cerro de la Santa Rosalia”. This is said to be the first time a European named a geographic feature in what is now Washington State. In 1778, on July 4, the British explorer John Meares gave the mountain its present name. when he said it was so beautiful it had to be the ‘Abode of the Gods.’
This is an incredible adventure that takes you into the Olympic Mountains through one of the last remaining true old growth rainforests in the continental United States up into the alpine zone of the heavily glaciated summit of Mount Olympus. The valley approach along the Hoh River allows us to appreciate the abundance and diversity of natural beauty of the most complete and rewarding mountain experience in the Northwest. We explore the 3.8 mile-long Blue Glacier and learn the necessary glacier travel skills for our ascent. Our climbing route takes us to the top of the Snow Dome, then on to the summit pyramid where we scramble up rock of moderate difficulty.
Day 1: Drive from Seattle to the trailhead on the Hoh River (600′). Including the ferry ride, it is about 5 hours to the trailhead. The trail through the Hoh Valley gains elevation very slowly and we usually cover 9-11 miles this day. As we hike, Giant Cedars, Sitka Spruce, Hemlock and Douglas fir tower above us. The lushness of the Hoh Rain Forest is rather overwhelming. It boasts a thousand shades of green and is home to several thousand plant species. The Northwest’s temperate rain forests are believed to have more biological material than any ecosystem in the world: as much as 1 million pounds per acre! The trail ahead steepens as we pass out of the rain forest and into a temperate forest.
Day 2: We begin to climb out of the rainforest and by mid afternoon reach our base camp near timberline at Glacier Meadows (4,500′ and 16 miles in from the road). Small streams, mosses, wild flowers, and stands of Silver Fir give way to the rock and ice of the nearby alpine zones. As visitors to these most fragile zones, our group will strive to practice good wilderness etiquette and environmental responsibility. A brief climbing school will be held nearby after setting up camp covering:
- Selection and use of personal equipment, ropes, knots & harnesses
- Crampon use & snow climbing techniques, ice axe positioning, and self arrest techniques
- Roped glacier travel and crevasse navigation
- Discussions will include proper clothing and climbing gear for survival in the high mountains, mountain weather, alpine ecology, avalanche hazard assessment, and Leave No Trace ethics.
Day 3: Today is our summit day. Following an early start the route follows the Blue Glacier to the Snow Dome. The final summit pyramid involves two short sections of moderate but exposed rock climbing. From the summit we should be able to see the Pacific Ocean and the jagged complex of the Olympic Mountains. Exploration of the Glacier Meadows ecosystem and the lower Blue Glacier area are priorities for this morning.
Day 4: Pack up and begin the trek back through the rain forest and try to arrive back in Seattle by early evening. On the way back to the city, we can stop for a soak in the Sol Duc Hot, certainly a treat to consider!