Absent-Minded Arete

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.65700°N / 111.77°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: I 5.3
Sign the Climber's Log


Begin from the Mount Olympus Trail trailhead and head up the main trail. Pass Tolcat Canyon and Blister Hill. After the top of Blister Hill you begin to enter some groves of pine trees. After passing through a couple of these, you will enter a brief clearing to your right as the trail switchbacks left. From here, head up the clearing - the arete should be easy to see from here (it is the far one, with a separate rocky pillar to the right). Just head to the base and pick a starting point.

Route Description

I discovered this route on one of my fores up Mt Olympus. Looking for something new, and to avoid the tedious final portion of the trail, I headed towards a rocky arete next to Forgotten Arete that led to the false summit just south of the trail.

Warning: This route is not a very good one. I'm posting it mostly to warn anyone curious about trying out the route. Forgotten Arete is a far superior route, so I can only imagine someone trying this variation if they're really wanting to try something new.

The route is roughly 700-800 vertical feet of sustained class 3 with some class 4 and low 5th class segments. The route can easily be abandoned by dropping into a chute to the north.

Head up the brushy wash that splits off from the main trail. Pass the chute heading left up to the minor summit and climb up the far rocky ridge as far to the south as possible.

The rock has a lot of loose lichen on it, and brush gets in the way often. There are also some loose rock chunks. In general, the route is not very exposed, except for a couple of key areas.

The final crux involves either a 4th to low 5th class scramble on some flakes and a face to the north (a fall would be fatal here), or a more protected 5.4 squeeze chimney to the south. Beyond this the rock eases up, and seemed to be mostly 3rd to 4th class for the last 100 ft. I got fed up with the route at this point and dropped into the chute to the north to summit, so I'm not entirely sure.

Essential Gear

Good sturdy shoes and the 10 Essentials. There is a fair amount of loose rock, so a helmet would be recommended. Long pants would also be recommended for the bushwacking.

Also, the crux sections are short and there is a lot of potential for rope drag, so the route is best if free-soloed.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


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