I'm talking about Mount Olympus of Olympic National Park in Washington State, not the Greek Mount Olympus. The spectacular scenery and remoteness of the Olympus in WA makes it the "home of the gods" in my book. This is one mountain that is high on my list of climbs this summer. See the photo below to get a feel for the immense volume of ice that covers this peak (photo from the United States National Park Service).
Mount Olympus is more of a massif than a mountain with several sub peaks and other named mountains clustered in the same area. The West Peak is the highest rising 7,965 feet above sea level. There are eight named glacier on Mount Olympus. For its relatively modest height, these glaciers are very large due to the close proximity of Olympus to the largest water source in the world – the Pacific Ocean.
One of the aspects of this climb that make it so appealing is its remoteness. On top of the 5 hour drive and ferry ride, the climber must walk over 17 miles of trail to reach the start of the climb! The approach starts at 573 feet at the world famous Hoh River Rainforest. Multitudes of tourists walk the "Hall of Mosses" interpretive trail to learn about the one of the wettest temperate rainforests in the world. Instead of a 1 mile walk, the climber gets 15 miles of rainforest hiking before the scenery changes 🙂 Total mileage covered for the trip is over 42 miles and involves over 7500 feet of elevation gain.
The climb itself is a standard glacier climb with a short 4th class to low fifth class rock pitch on the summit block. I plan on spending a night or two to do this climb sometime in late June or early July to enjoy the scenery and capture some dusk photography. It is imperative that the weather forecast is crystal clear because if there is one place it will rain, it is the Hoh river valley!
I am getting pumped already!