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Olympus

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Olympus

Postby JonFinch » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:09 am

A buddy and I are planning to hike Olympus this Saturday. Neither of us have been up there before. We're thinking about traversing over from the south peak to the north peak then descending the west ridge. I've read the route report for the traverse and it sounds like fun, but it seems as if there are many chutes and ledges up into the north peaks and picking the "correct" ones might be difficult (maybe it doesn't really matter which one we pick?). I was wondering just how committed we'll be in the middle of that traverse. Is it going to be easy to bail if we decide we can't find the right route or are we pretty much committed to at least getting over to the west ridge?
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Postby lcarreau » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:44 am

By the 'West Ridge,' you are referring to Wildcat Ridge ?

There's been several accidents and fatalities on this mountain.

I heard once you get inside the couloir between the South and North peaks,
you're pretty well commited.
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Re: Olympus

Postby marauders » Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:53 pm

JonFinch wrote:A buddy and I are planning to hike Olympus this Saturday. Neither of us have been up there before. We're thinking about traversing over from the south peak to the north peak then descending the west ridge. I've read the route report for the traverse and it sounds like fun, but it seems as if there are many chutes and ledges up into the north peaks and picking the "correct" ones might be difficult (maybe it doesn't really matter which one we pick?). I was wondering just how committed we'll be in the middle of that traverse. Is it going to be easy to bail if we decide we can't find the right route or are we pretty much committed to at least getting over to the west ridge?


The traverse between North and South is fun. The route is fairly obvious. The crest of the ridge will force you to go the correct way over the pinnacles. There are three areas in the middle of the traverse with fatal exposure, so once you're in the middle of it, you are committed. You probably can drop into Tolcat Canyon with some careful routefinding, but the miles of bushwhacking would be brutal. Here a bunch of pics from our trip report last year. Hopefully they give you an idea of the terrain.
http://www.mountainalbum.com/marauders/ ... ,2008.html
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Postby JonFinch » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:20 am

Yeah, I've read your trip report Maurader. You've got an awesome website! But we're not planning to traverse over the top, but around below the intermediate summits then summit the northern peak (http://www.summitpost.org/route/163334/north-summits-traverse-bypass-.html). If it stays class 4 with an occasional low 5, we should be ok... hope you don't hear about us on the news :).
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Postby apachedino » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:24 am

I think that traversing from the north via the west slabs or the hidden coliour, then traversing and descending the trail is the way to go. Bushwacking your way downt the ridge just doesn't sound fun. The west slabs are really not that bad, I have no idea how they got a 5th class rating, moderate 4th class at the most. Harder in boots, but with approach shoes or climbing shoes it is cake. Watch out for rattlesnakes on the traverse! I have had 2 close calls there.
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Postby Scott » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:47 am

By the 'West Ridge,' you are referring to Wildcat Ridge ?

There's been several accidents and fatalities on this mountain.

I heard once you get inside the couloir between the South and North peaks,
you're pretty well commited.


Wildcat Ridge is actually the east ridge of Olympus and the route never gets close to the couloir between the South and North peaks? :?: :?: Not sure which route you are refering to? :?:

But we're not planning to traverse over the top, but around below the intermediate summits then summit the northern peak (http://www.summitpost.org/route/163334/ ... pass-.html). If it stays class 4 with an occasional low 5, we should be ok... hope you don't hear about us on the news


If you are planning on descending the west ridge of the north peak (which it sounds like you are), then once you get to the north peak from the south, it isn't so bad. It is probably class 3 in difficulty and I don't remember it to be overly exposed. One you are off the rocky ridge, the best advise is to not drop in Tolcat Canyon too soon. The best best is to try and hit Tolcat Canyon right where the main trail crosses the canyon. If you drop in too soon, the going is slower and more difficult.
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Postby byates » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:15 am

If you find the correct route there is nothing above class 3, it's also easier to find the route going from the north peak to the south peak.
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Postby lcarreau » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:51 am

The (two) summits of Olympus are about 300 yds. apart, separated by the upper reaches of
Tolcats Canyon.

The south summit is higher than the north summit by 67 feet.

It's also the only one with a good trail leading to it, and the one most frequented by hikers.

The north face of the north summit, however, is a favorite among more serious climbers.

Although it looks foreboding, there's actually a route up the north face which requires
little or no technical rock climbing skill.

There's been fatalities on the north face, in part because folks stray off the route.
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Postby byates » Sat Sep 26, 2009 5:53 pm

I'll be leading a WMC trip Oct 11 up the West ridge of the North Peak and then traversing to the south peak. I've done about a dozen variations of this route, if you can handle a fast pace and you want to join me send a PM.
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South only

Postby JonFinch » Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:24 pm

Well we had a great time on the hike yesterday. We veered off the main trail and climbed the Forgotten arete up to the saddle (http://www.summitpost.org/route/163332/forgotten-arete.html). The arete was awesome! Great fun. Unfortunately my buddy was really draggin' ass up to the top of the south summit and was too winded to make the traverse. I was kind of bummed as I was really looking forward to the traverse, but didn't wanna go solo so I came down with him. Maybe next time.

Here's some video of the arete: http://www.vimeo.com/6775430

byates, thanks for the offer but unfortunately I'll be out of town that weekend. Just how fast a pace do you guys hike (i.e. how long do you expect the hike to take)?
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