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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    219

    TR: Mt. Olympus, Tour of the Gods, 8 days

    I used to post my TR's here, but it's been a number of years. Too long! Anyhow, for those that know, I like to spin a good yarn with lots of pics. The entire story looks better here: http://www.myadventurecrusade.com/20...r-of-the-gods/ I'd put the whole dang thing on this page if it were easier to right click and paste 100 pics and 5k words without limits and multiple posts. As such, if you love Washington State and it's lesser known corners then an extra step is worth it. If not, call me lazy I enjoy the stories I see on here, so I thought I'd come out from lurker status and give back

    --

    Mount Olympus: Athena II, Mercury and the hubert, hoh, blue, black, white, university, Jeffers glaciers, etc.
    5-25 to 6-1, 2018

    "Hey, did you go to the top of a mountain and ski it," a six year old boy blurts as I exit the Olympic Mountains after 8 days. When I tell him we most certainly did, he thrusts his chest out and loudly declares, "I'm going to do that!" Looking up to his mom a moment later, he seeks affirmation, "Can I do that?"

    Herding her boy, the mother fans his dreams by saying, "Yes, you can ski mountains when you grow up." As he looks about to ask more questions, she shoes him off. "Now leave the skiers alone."



    During the remaining few feet to the car, the kid disappears into forest with family, and my memories join him, reversing back through days of sweat and shoulder-crushing packs, as heavy as a bear and twice as mean, to relive an adventure of a lifetime. Fortunately, recollection is like an LP record that skips past suffering and focuses purely on the best soul-soothing, mind-bending and awe-melting summits and descents. I suspect the most successful mountain adventurers rewrite their exploits to the point where suffering is only an asterisk and joy an orchestra.   

    According to Gods and Goblins: a field guide to Place Names of Olympic National Park, the name "Mount Olympus" comes from John Meares, an English captain who viewed the peak from the deck of his ship, the Felice Adventurer, in 1778. Alternatively, to the Quileute Indians, the Olympic Mountains were known as O-Sky, but unlike Olympus, the meaning of that word has been lost, as so much native culture, to the ravages of time and White Man's conquest of the Americas.

    Modern day exploration of Mount Olympus by climbers took another century to begin. The first parties to attempt a summit failed to surmount the highest point and, presumably, mistook sub-summits as their ultimate destination. Only in 1907 did a team of 11 Seattle Mountaineers summit the West Peak, the tallest point on the massif, and become the first to stand atop Mount Olympus.  



    For skiers, another half century passed before IGY (International Geophysical Year) scientists built a research station near the Blue Glacier in 1957. In the 1959 Mountaineer's Journal is an entry that reads, "During the winter months the heavy snowfall required the use of skis as several trips were made each month to the [Blue Glacier] cirque to survey movement stakes in the accumulation area." This was the first time skiing on the peak in known to have occurred.

    Decades more would pass before skiers approached the peak again with skiing for recreation in mind. The earliest mention comes from Lowell Skoog's ski-history website, alpenglow.org where he lists a July, 1979 ski trip via the Hoh River. Skiers in years to come rarely deviated from this party’s route. Lowell himself was likely the first to come at Olympus from somewhere other than the Hoh Valley with skis. His route extended the Bailey Traverse from Bear Pass to Blizzard Pass via the Humes Glacier and Camp Pan to Olympus in 1989. I retraced his route from the Bailey's in 2011, but included the Olympus Traverse (a 1938 climber's route that tags all 3 summits of Olympus) and descent of the East Peak of Olympus. Much of the terrain of that adventure retraced what I'd visited two years earlier. At that time, in the spring of 2009, I spent 7 days camping atop the Snow Dome, during which I skied the North Face of Athena, North Face of the Middle Peak, SW Face of the West Peak, and West Face of Hugin, located in the mythical Valhallas (STORY: 7 Days of Wonder). No other information on skiing any of these areas before these trips is known.



    After these adventures, I was content to never carry boards to Olympus again, but my Washington Glacier Ski Project piqued my interest once more. At first I studied the glaciers trying to learn the best ways to get to them. Eventually, I discovered more about the peak than I'd known before. That its 7,939' stature, while considered short by some, is actually the 26th most prominent peak in the country. Or that it's the third most glaciated peak besides Mount Rainier and Baker outside Alaska! This latter fact was the most relevant to me, as I'd set a goal of 20 new glaciers visited a year (with a hoped for project completion date of 2020). Given that there's around 250 official and unofficially named glaciers on my list so far, I'm beginning to run out of locations where I can tag more than a couple per excursion. Olympus is among the few exceptions remaining. Even though I'd been to it several times with skis, I'd still missed six glaciers. However, proximity doesn't equate to easy. Convoluted terrain, large bergschrunds and conditions were only a few of the difficulties. No matter how I cut it, inclement weather was the biggest factor. Per year, over 200 inches of moisture accumulates on Olympus, mostly as snow. Another fun fact: if measurements were taken, it'd likely rank as the snowiest place on Earth.  



    My ultimate goal in going to Mount Olympus again was to nibble at the corners, to ply away at the glaciers that nestle between cliff and icefall, waterfall and jungle. It was to go to the farthest place out there, and ski off the backside!

    The rest here: http://www.myadventurecrusade.com/20...r-of-the-gods/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    tahoe
    Posts
    2,552
    Fuck yeah man!!!!!
    Welcome back
    You’ve been missed
    Stoked to do the extra click after work tonight
    Love your style in adventuring and writing
    ++++++



    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    The Garden State
    Posts
    2,852
    And all is right in the world again. Pure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    17,543
    Stunnerz.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    3,745
    Yeehaw

    Thanks for the share and congrats.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Wet and Mild
    Posts
    4,095
    Breathtaking. Fan-fucking-tastic.
    Be good, or be good at it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Eburg
    Posts
    12,481
    Wow, what a cool route. Well done! Good write up and great pics (which I always expect from you.) I would imagine those S side glacier haven't seen too many humans.

    It's always cool to read about explorations of the Mt. Olympus massif other than the standard Blue/Snow Dome stuff, but this takes the cake. You guys handled some bad ass remote terrain. So cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Unemployed View Post
    His [Lowell's] route extended the Bailey Traverse from Bear Pass to Blizzard Pass via the Humes Glacier and Camp Pan to Olympus in 1989.]
    FWIW, we did the reverse on foot in 2002, then did the BRT northward to High Divide. On that trip, while camped at Camp Pan (a lifetime top 3 camp) we talked about someday packing in skis, but we were working stiffs back then and didn't make it happen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,844
    Dang. Nice work.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    1,936
    Incredible.

    You should contact penteraide.com, in France, to show your videos.

    BTW, in coastal Spain, on the Atlantic, there is an area that reminds me of the Olympic peninsula.
    Pico de Europa.

    Haven't been, but it's on my list


    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using TGR Forums mobile app

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Missoula DMV
    Posts
    156
    Impressive work!

    You are truly a gifted photographer. Some shots with amazing composition and lighting in there. Particularly liked the B&W of the runneled snow patterns.

    Inspiring, to say the least.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    921
    Awesome T.R. Great pov ski footage in 'mercury rising'...nice lil runnel hit and run at 4:10. Beautiful ski lines!
    What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,429

    TR: Mt. Olympus, Tour of the Gods, 8 days

    Ski Pic of the year? Spring at least..Nice f’in form
    Last edited by Self Jupiter; 06-13-2018 at 02:25 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    400
    Dude, well done! Write another book with more stuff like this!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    north aspect
    Posts
    37,465
    bF
    Alpental Indigenous

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    27,297
    Well written.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    idaho panhandle!
    Posts
    5,279
    Bravo, well done!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    219

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    219
    Quote Originally Posted by thefortrees View Post
    Dude, well done! Write another book with more stuff like this!
    I'm working on a glacier project book for when I finish that project, but realistically 3-4 years off. I may work on something else in the interim, but books are expensive to print, somewhere around 50k for hardcover, even for a small run of 2-3k books. If softcover like last time, and lower quality, it's still 20k. If I do it again, I want to do something that I put more elbow grease into and make really special.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    X=Z-BO
    Posts
    3,212
    Amazing. Easily my favorite trip report you've done. Cheers!
    god created man. winchester and baseball bats made them equal - evel kenievel

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    das heights
    Posts
    2,548
    That was awesome & inspiring. Cheers.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    1,101
    That was great. Reports like this make up for all the other crap posted here.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    219
    Thanks! I wish I could get another trip this season but the snow went fast!

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aspen
    Posts
    429
    Took me till this morning to sit down and read your full story. Awesome trip and great write up. My wife's from Quilcene and TR's like this only fuel our desire to dedicate some time in the PNW and do a proper ski on Olympus (in a much more mortal fashion that you three). Thanks Jason!

    IGY - I do love me some Donald Fagen

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Sweepers
    Posts
    3,057
    Really inspiring work, thanks for sharing OP.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    851
    Excellent. I've shared this with many pals. Really enjoyed the mixed format - I thought the little videos tied in nicely with the words and photos.

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