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Trip Report    

Mount Olympus/Blue Glacier

Very much appreciated Mr. Prescott's report from July 14th. Conditions near the top of the Snow Dome continue to deteriorate. Our party used the lower route Mr. Prescott described both ascending and descending and a running belay with pickets was absolutely essential for parts of it. We left 3-4 pickets behind placed on the route because I did not want to add retrieving them to the difficulty we experienced on that section. At the intersection of what is described as the upper and lower options (somewhere between 6400 and 6600 feet) there may be a third option to explore. If time permits it may be wise for a party to explore contouring north and slightly west at the elevation of the intersection and exploring whether the north side of the snow dome offers an easier route up to the bench like area at 6,800 feet. I can't guarantee you'll find easier access to the bench at the top of the snow dome that way, but it is possible because the contour lines on topographic maps make it look like the slope angle there is less severe. If I had to do this route again I would allow time to explore this "north end" access. The two current ways up from 6400 feet require what approaches intermediate hard snow / ice level of skill.

  • Fri, Jul 21, 2023 — Mon, Jul 24, 2023
  • Mount Olympus/Blue Glacier
  • Climbing
  • Successful
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • PXL_20230723_133059810.jpg

Summary of skills used by students on this trip that not all glacier trips require:

Ascending 5.4 rock on a fixed line with a friction knot

Boot Axe / Standing Carabiner Ice Axe / Sitting Hip belay while on a rope team for a steep (about 60 degree) 50 ft. section to exit from Crystal Pass to the upper Blue glacier

Belaying a leader putting in a fixed line while in rope team configuration

Moving through a line of pickets on a running belay to access the upper snow dome

Extensive travel on very loose rock and scree in crampons up to class 3 scrambling

Extensive use of self belay technique and team belay using self belay stance

Using piolet traction, high dagger or middle dagger ice ace technique on 45 degree hard ice

Front pointing keeping heels down