Olympus Mons

Olympus Mons

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 18.40422°N / 134.00157°W
Additional Information Elevation: 88582 ft / 27000 m
Sign the Climber's Log


The largest volcano in the Solar System is on Mars. Olympus Mons rises 24 kilometers high and measures 550 km across. By comparison, Earth's largest volcano, Mauna Loa in Hawaii, rises 9 km high and measures 120 km across. Such large volcanoes can exist on Mars because of the low gravity and lack of surface tectonic motion. Olympus Mons is located in the northern section of the Tharsis Highlands near the northern plains. Here is a 3d topographical map of the area. Olympus Mons is in the upper left corner.

Getting There

Launch from Earth during time period when Earth and Mars are close, every 2 years. Fly to the Red Planet. Land at the base of Olympus Mons then start ascent. See the South Slopes route for more detail.

When To Climb

Anytime is good on Mars, as long as there are no dust storms or solar flares. The best time to climb would be when Mars and Earth are close in orbit, allowing for a shorter mission which would reduce your radiation exposure. The Martian winter would be the best season for a ski descent as their is no carbon dioxide snow on the northside during the summer.

Mountain Conditions

Here is a link which provides Martian Weather forecasts provided by Mars Global Surveyor. Mass Coronal Ejections, Solar Flares, Coronal Holes, and Geomagnetic Storms can be tracked at the Spaceweather. The daily Martian Weather Report is another good source. An analysis of the Seasonal Snow Depth could prove useful.

Ideas for a Mars base


Resources must conserved carefully during an ascent. A system that recycles all fluids including pee and sweat, plus a rebreather system is highly recommended. This system must be as light as possible, and be transported to each base camp.


The Crater Rim of Olympus Mons is an interesting place. Recent global mapping by the Mars Global Surveyor has not been able to find the highest point on the crater rim. Here is an animation of the crater area. Here is an overhead shot of the crater... Here is a wide angle shot...

External Links

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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chris_goulet - Dec 24, 2004 8:03 am - Voted 10/10

Martian mountaineering gear

A portable fusion reactor will be necessary to provide large amounts of energy. This is to extract oxygen from CO2, heat your spacesuit and tent, and recycle your body vapours and fluids for the month-long+ expedition. Spherical inflatable tents will need to be tied down in the howling dust storms. Very important: A bubble tent will be needed for the outhouse.

marnold92701 - Jan 18, 2006 1:40 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

No Wilderness Permits are required.

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Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.