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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington
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    221

    The Olympic Traverse, West (Sol Duc to the Quinault), May 29-June 5th

    I put together a story of my traverse across the Olympic Mountains. It's been a few years since I've shared a story on here. Nevertheless, I thought folks would enjoy this adventure.

    MAY 29 – JUNE 5, 2019 – SOL DUC HOT SPRINGS TO QUINAULT RIVER

    Charles A. Barnes, a member of the Press Expedition of 1889-90, understood the complexity of the Olympic Mountains I was entering. Near the end of his six month trans-Olympic traverse and my proposed adventure, he felt immeasurable satisfaction when, as he later wrote, “Down the gap of the Quinault a second range appeared, and beyond it another range, crossing our proposed pathway like lions in the path. Beyond them, sky–thank heaven, there was an end to them (Wood, Page 152, Across the Olympic Mountains).”

    The Olympic Mountains aren’t so much a range, as they are an intersecting web of mountains. Often overlooked, even by those that live near them, they are rugged and scrappy, much like the North Cascades. Where they differ is in temperament; they are the much older and smaller sibling who’s both meaner and more ornery.

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    I called my first grand ski traverse of the Olympic Mountains The Olympic Traverse East. It crossed the eastern half of Olympic National Park, north to south, from Hurricane Ridge to Lake Cushman. Soon after I completed that traverse in 2016, I began to plan another, a twin to the first. The Olympic Traverse West would cross the western half of Olympic National Park from Sol Duc Hotsprings to the Quinault River.

    In the ensuing two years, from maps and Google Earth, I teased out a feasible path beyond every obstacle. I debated those endless route decisions, trying to imagine unforeseen difficulties and their possible bypasses. At one point I even drew a happy face on my maps, indicating I had reached a happy place beyond challenges deemed “questionable.”

    If this Olympic adventure went according to plan, it would sink its roots into the soil of the Sol Duc Rainforest and 8 days later into the soil of the Quinault Rainforest. “Why, you may ask?” Because, in my bullheaded opinion, the best ski adventures should begin and end in jungles.

    Full Story and pics here since it's really, really long: https://www.jasonhummelphotography.c...traverse-west/
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    SLC
    Posts
    1,013
    Spectacular as usual. Thank you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    BZN
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    743
    This is seriously impressive, thanks for posting it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Driggs
    Posts
    189
    Strong work and great photography.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    4,667
    I sat on a sunny platform at Muir yesterday with Carl, talking about this very thing.

    Man, I've been mapping and planning this same traverse since seeing your 2016 TR of the eastern line... hoping one day to find the time.

    Congrats! And thanks for sharing.
    PE, Mechanical Engineering
    University of Bridger Bowl Alumnus
    Alpental Creeper

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,559
    Well done. The Olympics sure are a special place.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    221
    Thanks Norseman. If you ever give it a go, let me know. I'm always happy to help out with beta. It was a wild area!

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