Mt Olympus/Blue Glacier
06/21/13 - 06/23/13
Julie A. Myer
From Glacier Meadows, hike way trail 0.8 mi. to the top of the Blue Glacier moraine. Turn left and follow way trail along the top of the moraine for 0.2 mi. or so before descending onto the Blue Glacier (watch for rockfall while descending). Rope up here. Cross the flat glacier and ascend snow slopes, through and around rock islands, to the crest of the Snow Dome (6,600'), keeping left of the biggest rock buttress. Proceed SSE through one of two passes left, or far left, of the five-fingered false summit, which is E of the summit, and approach the unseen summit from the E or SE side. Drop into the sharp saddle between the false summit and the now-visible summit. Climb a steep snow slope (good runout!) to its flat top, at the base of the 80' summit rock on its NE side. There are 3 ways to finish the climb. 1) A class 4 route (series of ramps) winds across the E face, then up to the summit (with a class 5 step). Beware of loose rock on ramps and rockfall from above. A very exposed corner should probably be protected with a fixed rope or belays. 2) Drop a few feet W onto the little rocky ridge on the W edge of the summit block. Scramble up 50'(easy class 3) to a large, secure belay ledge. Climb directly up mostly solid rock for 50' to summit (several moves are class 5.3 - 5.4, used 3-4 small-medium cams for good pro). 3) Climb 80', or so, directly up the N face, on mostly solid rock, est. as class 5.4. Climb can be done in either 3 or 4 days. Take food for 4 days. A camping permit and backpacking fee are required, obtainable at the ranger station (or at Wilderness Info Ctr, Port Angeles, 360-452-0300) In early season, the summit block may be icy and the E side ramps may be covered in snow or ice. In late season, a moat prevents safe access to the E side ledges. The glacier may break up, esp. in the passes, in late season. On popular weekends, the summit block can be very crowded; suggest an early start, like 4-5 AM. Good tent sites are found in the rocks of the lower Snow Dome, and on top of the Snow Dome, near the Panic Peak (point 6,809') weather station (these are blue bag sites).
Priority given to Tacoma students until 6/1/13.