Turning 100 On Mount Olympus

Turning 100 On Mount Olympus

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Nov 30, 0000
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter


I first came up with the idea for 100 ascents of Mount Olympus in late 2008. Finishing up the year with 76 ascents, I figured it wouldn't be much more difficult to add 24 to make it an even 100. Living exactly 3 miles from the trailhead makes the climb that much simpler. During the summer I can pack, climb the peak, and be home in time for lunch.


I got off to a good start with 11 ascents in the month of January, and managed a Thursday ascent in the dark after a 10-hour work day on 1/15. February was another good month with 9 ascents, including another after work ascent on 2/5. The good pace continued through the month of March with 9 more ascents, once again including another after work ascent on 3/19. With the snow beginning to melt in earnest, the trail became quite sloppy during the month of April. Portions of the trail above the upper stream crossing became very wet, with a small stream flowing down the trail in some spots.

By May the majority of the trail had dried out, and I was able to move from hiking boots to trail runners. I was still able to log 6 ascents despite a vacation and a couple of other weekend activities which prevented additional climbs. My first ascent of June was a quad effort, which took a bit over 14 hours to complete. Summitpost members Robert Koch and Matt Van Horn had originally planned to join me on this sufferfest, but Robert was ill and Matt had other obligations, so it ended up being a solo effort. On 6/19 Olympus was the first ascent of the Wildcat Ridge traverse, which ended with a summit of Gobblers Knob.

My good pace began to suffer during the months of July, August, and September, with the heat and summer vacations taking their toll. I very nearly ran out of water during an impromptu double ascent on 8/28. Two hikers above the second (dry) stream crossing shared a bit of their water and prevented what would have otherwise been a very hot and dry descent.

October proved to be the turning point for my stunt. With a trip to Hawaii coming up I knew I had to bag as many ascents as possible during this month. With the help of 3 double ascents I was able to rack up 15 ascents during the month. This gave me a total of 82 ascents, and I knew that barring a disaster I had this one in the bag.

During the second half of November I began my quest to summit on 9 consecutive days, which eclipsed my mark of 8 consecutive days last year. I began this stretch the day before Thanksgiving, and concluded on December 3. This left me with just 2 more ascents to complete a 100-summit year.

For my 99th summit on 12/10 I hauled up an overnight pack and spent the night on the summit. I measured a temperature of 7° in my tent, but the overnight low in the valley was 3°, so I'm pretty certain the temperature was below zero. I'd expected a lot more snow on the summit, so I had to do a significant amount of shoveling to create a suitable platform for my tent. The smart thing to do would have been to descend back to the saddle, but after hauling my pack up there I didn't feel like descending in the dark.

My 100th ascent on 12/12 was anticlimactic. The summit was socked in with clouds so I had no view, but there was no snow coming down. Just a brief stop for a summit photo, then it was back down for a celebratory Thai dinner.

I managed four more ascents the remainder of the year, but my pace dropped off noticeably after completing 100. It felt good to complete this goal, but it's not something I'll seek to repeat.

The Ascents

January - 11 ascents
1/2, 1/4, 1/9, 1/11, 1/15, 1/16, 1/19, 1/23, 1/25, 1/30, 1/31

February - 9 ascents
2/5, 2/6, 2/8, 2/13, 2/16, 2/20, 2/22, 2/27, 2/28

March - 9 ascents
3/1, 3/6, 3/8, 3/13, 3/19, 3/20, 3/21, 3/28, 3/29

April - 8 ascents
4/3, 4/5, 4/10, 4/11, 4/17, 4/18, 4/24, 4/25

May - 6 ascents
5/1, 5/3, 5/8, 5/16, 5/28, 5/29

June - 9 ascents
6/5(x4), 6/12, 6/14, 6/19, 6/21, 6/26

July - 3 ascents
7/2, 7/3, 7/26

August - 6 ascents
8/7, 8/22, 8/23, 8/28(x2), 8/29

September - 6 ascents
9/4, 9/7, 9/11, 9/13, 9/18, 9/20

October - 15 ascents
10/2, 10/3, 10/9(x2), 10/10, 10/11, 10/12, 10/16(x2), 10/17, 10/18, 10/23(x2), 10/24, 10/25

November - 13 ascents
11/11, 11/13, 11/14, 11/15, 11/20, 11/21, 11/22, 11/25, 11/26, 11/27, 11/28, 11/29, 11/30

December - 5 ascents
12/1, 12/2, 12/3, 12/10, 12/12

Bonus ascents - 4
12/19, 12/20, 12/24, 12/29


Ascents: 104
Distance: 728 miles
Elevation Gain: 435,344 ft.


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-7 of 7

Kadee - Jan 4, 2010 3:44 pm - Voted 10/10


Congratulations on achieving your goal! I always wonder if I will see you when I go for an after work hike on Olympus. Let me just add - my after work hikes don't even get me anywhere close to the summit. Awesome achievement. Do you take a summit shot each time you summit?

Joseph Bullough

Joseph Bullough - Jan 4, 2010 4:26 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Congrats!

Thanks, and thanks for the vote! I very rarely carry a camera up there, so I don't have many summit shots. Most of the time I just tag the summit register then turn around and head down.


ZeeJay - Jan 4, 2010 4:24 pm - Voted 10/10

Way to go!

Way to go Joe! I think the quad climb is the most impressive of the whole thing, 4 round trips totalling 28 miles and 16,000 vertical feet in 14 hours!!!! Also, it is commendable that you put in some trail maintenance time.

Joseph Bullough

Joseph Bullough - Jan 4, 2010 4:28 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Way to go!

Thanks Judy. And yes, the quad was by far the most difficult portion of the whole year. I did a triple in 2008 and a quad in 2009. I'm planning to try for 5 in 2010.

Matthew Van Horn

Matthew Van Horn - Jan 4, 2010 5:45 pm - Voted 10/10


Congratulations, Joe. I knew you would do this. I'm sorry I missed your quad. Looking forward to see what you do this year.


craghag - Jan 4, 2010 8:22 pm - Hasn't voted

100 is not so old!

Hip Hop Horray! Just another day on the mountain...it's kind of like a habit ay!


EastcoastMike - Jan 6, 2010 4:49 pm - Voted 10/10


Really cool idea, and congrats on doing it. You must be really strong after this year!

Viewing: 1-7 of 7



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