Trip Report    

Mount Olympus/Blue Glacier

Great weather despite iffy weather reports. Turned around due to bergshrund right underneath summit block. Beautiful day regardless and will definitely come back again

  • Fri, Jul 3, 2020 — Mon, Jul 6, 2020
  • Mount Olympus/Blue Glacier
  • Climbing
  • Turned Around
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
    • Day 1: Elk Lake
    • Day 2: Glacier Meadows and scout lateral moraine and terminal moraine
    • Day 3: Summit attempt and Lewis Meadows
    • Day 4: Hike out

    Route to lateral moraine, blue glacier, snow dome, crystal pass is in good condition with one notable snowbridge right before crystal pass. 

    Several small moats/crevasses right underneath the false summit

    Large bergshrund underneath summit block and another bergshrund opening up on the north side. 

Day 1:

6am departure from Seattle. Drive there was pretty drizzly. Got to Hoh River Trailhead around 11 and 30 minutes later the day parking lot was mostly full. 

11 am departure. Saw another group of 12 climbers heading up which we passed on the way to Elk Lake. Only rained for the first 10 minutes of the hike and nothing else the rest of the trip. 

Pretty pleasant forest walk. Took a short break at 5 mile island and olympus guard station. Got to elk lake in 6.3h. Setup camp. Bugs were a nuisance but not too bad with a bug net. 

Day 2:
Woken up at 2:30 by the group of 12 doing a summit bid from elk lake. We later learn that due to group drama the group split up and also wasted time  trying to get to blue glacier from the terminal moraine. That route is gone for good. 

Slept in till 8, left the campground at 9, getting down the avy chute was made simple with the help of the rope. Got to glacier meadows in 1.5 h. Set up camp and went up to the lateral moraine to scout the route. We could see people descending from blue glacier, all the way up to crystal pass. For the scree field, try to be on the orange colored rock not the dark rock band. 


Talked to some climbers who said they did it without crampons (hmmm). Then took a detour to the terminal moraine. We found some nice cracks to boulder.

Went back to camp to rendevous with our other party members who had a slightly different itinerary. Barely any bugs at camp. 

Gathered more beta from climbers. The first group up there was a client and a guide who said the route is completely out. Talked to another group who said that it might be possible with a lot of pickets. Another group of 2 was heading up there really late (3pm) to wait for the snow to harden but it was getting really cloudly so it didn't seem like they summited. 

Day 3: 
Left camp at 3 am. Clear day. 8 people were ahead of us and we could see them struggle through the lateral moraine. Ascent to snow dome in dawn was nice. Fourth of July route seemed to be out but if you have a tolerance for steep snow that ends in a crevasse at the bottom, it's a god


Someone was camping in the snow field right underneath the false summit and between middle peak. We get up to the false summit and meet up with another group of 3. They were watching a group of 2 scramble and pitch out the east side of the summit block. Reminded me of Boston peak with the loose rock. After seeing that group struggle with the downclimb of the same route, we decided to turn around. I think the middle peak would have been a doable objective if we had more beta. 


Pleasant trip down to blue glacier. I was thinking of unroping at the base of snow dome but luckily we did not as one party member actually plunged to her waist in a crevasse about 100 ft from where we unroped near the lateral moraine. 

Back to camp, then a trot down to lewis meadows. I didn't see any warning in other trip reports so posting it here. Don't leave your shoes/anything damp outside. I had a black slug on my sock and another party member had a slug in their boot they were drying out.

Day 4:
Fast 11 mile walk back to the cars which we did in 3.5 hrs. I ran out of food last night but it turned out to be fine. We stopped by the tree of life on the way back which I recommend since it's so close but obviously not worth the drive from Seattle to just see that tree. 

Next time would either do this in 2 days or 3 and in June. The bergshrund is new and wasn't in any of the other reports I viewed previously. That or be prepared to scramble up and down loose class 4. Or tag the middle peak which is 10 ft lower than the west.