PRICE

$1345

SCHEDULE

July 26 – July 30, 2021
August 16 – August 20, 2021

DETAILS

Grade: Beginner
5 Day Summit Climb

 
 
 
 
 
 

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OVERVIEW

At 7,980 feet, Mount Olympus is the highest peak on the Olympic Peninsula. Set entirely within Olympic National Park, this trip offers a uniquely beautiful wilderness mountaineering experience. An 18-mile approach leads through old-growth rainforest in the Hoh River Valley to the toe of the Blue Glacier, part of the third largest glacial system in the Lower 48. We climb past spectacular ice falls and crevasses to an enjoyable pitch of moderate alpine rock climbing up the summit pyramid. From the top, we revel in our solitude with panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains, the Cascade Range, Seattle and the Pacific Ocean.

Mount Olympus • 5 Day Ascent

Northwest Alpine Guides’ Mount Olympus Climb leads from the towering spruce, hemlock, fir and cedar groves of the Hoh Rainforest to the west peak of Mount Olympus, the highest point of the Olympus Massif, a remote and peaceful collection of rock spires draped in roughly 10 square miles of glacial ice.

On Day One, we drive through Forks, WA, where the popular “Twilight” T.V. series was filmed. Then we hike to our first camp midway up the Hoh River Valley. On Day Two, we arrive in our high camp among the avalanche lilies in Glacier Meadows near the toe of the Blue Glacier. We summit on Day Three and then retrace our steps down the Hoh River. Our five-day itinerary provides ample time for a summit climb and for our professional guides to teach the basic mountaineering skills necessary for a safe and successful ascent.

Hoh Rainforest Approach

  • Time to Olympus Guard Station Camp: 6-8 hours
  • Distance: 9.3 miles, 400 ft. gain
  • Trailhead: Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center, 600 ft.
  • Olympus Guard Station: 1,000 ft.
  • Time to Glacier Meadows High Camp: 6-8 hours
  • Distance: 8.2 miles, 3,400 ft. gain
  • Glacier Meadows Camp: 4,200 ft.
  • Camp to Summit: 4-5 hours, 3,800 ft. gain
  • Trail synopsis: Hike 9.3 miles and 400 feet of elevation gain to Camp 1 at Olympus Guard Station at 600 feet. Hike 8.2 miles and 3,400 feet of elevation gain to Glacier Meadows High Camp at 4,200 feet.

Why Choose Northwest Alpine Guides

Since 2008, we have offered world-class climbs and courses throughout the Pacific Northwest. We make safety our foremost priority. We employ some of the most talented guides in the industry, and we maintain low client-to-guide ratios to ensure that you enjoy the best possible experience. We also offer a wide selection of rental equipment and other services from our Guide Hut in the town of Sedro-Woolley, Washington, the “Gateway to the North Cascades.” No other company operates a dedicated full-service facility so close to Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan and nearby peaks. To learn more about our services, history and philosophy please visit: Why Choose Northwest Alpine Guides.

Need help choosing a trip?
Read our Four-Legged Stool blog post for tips on finding the right adventure for you.

Climb Highlights

  • Enjoy a Northwest Alpine Guides adventure up a beautiful peak in the heart of Olympic National Park.
  • Climb spectacular glaciers and alpine rock to the summit of Mount Olympus.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Hike to Camp
Day 2 • Hike to High Camp
Day 3 • Summit Day
Day 4 • Hike to Camp
Day 5 • Hike to Trailhead

Qualifications

This ascent is an entry level summit climb and is suitable for climbers in excellent physical condition with no prior mountaineering experience. No extra acclimatization is necessary for this program. Read our Goals and Fitness page for recommendations on how to best physically prepare for this adventure.

3 to 1 Climber to Guide Ratio

We lead the Mount Olympus Climb at a 3 to 1 climber to guide ratio to ensure that you receive personal attention and hands-on instruction throughout the climb.

Northwest Alpine Guides is an authorized outfitter guide service within Olympic National Park

ITINERARY

Climbs begins and ends in Olympic National Park

Plan to arrive the day before the climb begins.

Day 1 • Hoh Rainforest • Olympus Guard Station Camp • 1,000 feet

Meet in Port Angeles, WA.

Northwest Alpine Guides will provide you with a detailed PreClimb departure book upon registration including personal gear list, meeting location and driving directions.

Our alpine guides will meet you for team introductions, gear check and group gear distribution. The drive from Port Angeles to the Hoh River Valley Trailhead takes 2 hours and leads through the tiny town of Forks, setting for the “Twilight” television series.

The 6-to-8-hour hike to high camp follows the Hoh River through gently rolling rainforest on the west flank of Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus’ position on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, directly in the path of prevailing storms, causes it to receive the equivalent of more than 240 inches of rain every year. The abundant precipitation nurtures the mountain’s massive glaciers and the rainforest below them.

The team sets camp in a meadow at the Olympus Guard Station at 1,000 feet. Before dinner, we begin to practice climbing skills we will need for the summit ascent on Day 3.

Vertical Gain Hiking: 400 feet
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Dinner (D)

Day 2 • Glacier Meadows High Camp • 4,200 feet

After breakfast, we follow the river’s north bank for several more miles and then cross the Hoh River Bridge, which spans a dramatic gorge high above rapids tinted turquoise with glacial silt. The trail steepens as we switchback up a canyon toward the Blue Glacier. As we approach Glacier Meadows High Camp we pass Elk Lake and gain beautiful views of the icefields on nearby Mount Tom.

We set up our tents and finish practicing climbing skills. We eat dinner and go to bed early.

Vertical Gain Hiking: 3,400 feet
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 3 • Mount Olympus West Peak • 7,980 feet

We wake early for a pre-dawn alpine start. From camp, we hike over the crest of a high lateral moraine and descend loose slopes to the edge of the Blue Glacier. We rope up and cross roughly a mile of ice, then ascend scree and snow to top of the Snow Dome at 7,000 feet. From here, we turn due east, weaving through impressive crevasses across Crystal Pass at 7,250 feet to the final pinnacle of Olympus’ West Peak. A rope length of low-5th class rock climbing takes us to the summit, where we celebrate our success surrounded by views of the Puget Sound and the mountains of Washington and British Columbia. We rappel from the summit and retrace our route back to Glacier Meadows High Camp.

Vertical Gain Climbing: 3,700 feet
Climbing Time: 10-12 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 4 • Hoh River Valley • 1,000 feet

We enjoy breakfast and the beautiful alpine scenery of our high camp. We often see deer grazing among the avalanche lilies here in Glacier Meadows. Then we shoulder our packs and descend back into the Hoh River Valley where we make camp in one of a number of sites that line the river.

Vertical Descent Hiking : 3,200 feet
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 5 • Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center • 600 feet

Following the same route we used on the way in, we complete our hike back through the lush Hoh Rainforest to our trailhead at the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center. We generally arrive back at our cars by mid-afternoon and conclude our adventure before leaving Olympic National Park.

Vertical Descent Hiking : 400 feet
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast (B)

Plan to depart the day after the climb ends.

Itinerary Notes
Northwest Alpine Guides makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

DETAILS

Where to Meet

8:00 am, the morning of the climb, we meet in Port Angeles for equipment check before heading to the trailhead. We will email you PreClimb info including gear list and departure details upon registration.

Deposit and Payments

  • $300.00 deposit includes a $200.00 non-refundable registration fee, due with application.
  • Balance due 90 days prior to start date.
  • The balance can be paid by check, or credit card.

Price Includes

  • Guided climb and instruction
  • Scheduled meals on the mountain (breakfast, dinner, hot drinks)
  • Professional mountain guide
  • Group equipment (including tents, ropes, stoves, etc.)
  • Wilderness Permits

Price Does Not Include

  • Transportation
  • National Park entrance fee
  • Lunch and snack food
  • Personal gear
  • Hotels or lodging
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Staff gratuities

Guides

Our instructors are highly skilled professional guides who have been selected based on their technical proficiency, proven safety records, careful judgment, patience, and supportive teaching styles. They are dedicated to a climbing lifestyle, and collectively have climbed throughout the earth’s major mountain ranges. Our guides are friendly, very willing to share their own experiences, and can help you develop a plan to achieve your own climbing ambitions. All our guides carry current certification in wilderness first aid.

Tipping

Our guides are dedicated mountain professionals who work hard to ensure your success and wellbeing on the mountain. If you have a positive experience, gratuities are an excellent way to show your appreciation. An average tip is 10 – 20% percent of the cost of the program, usually $100 – $200. Your guide team will pool all tips. If you prefer to transfer funds electronically, please send gratuities through paypal.me/mountaingurus

Summit Attempt

Northwest Alpine Guides cannot guarantee that you will reach the summit. Weather, route conditions, your own abilities, or the abilities of other climbers may create circumstances that make an ascent unsafe. You or your entire party may have to turn around without reaching the summit. Failure to reach the summit due to a team member’s own lack of fitness or to any of the events associated with mountaineering (such as weather, route, avalanche hazard, team dynamics, etc.), are not NWAG responsibility and will not result in refund or reschedule.

Age Guidelines

Participants age 16 & 17: May participate in fixed-date group itineraries if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Participants age 15 and younger: May only participate in private climbs and must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

All minor climbers must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian throughout the entirety of the program. If either the minor climber or the guardian needs to descend at any time during the program, both climbers must descend together.

Minimum Participants

Please note that a minimum of two participants is required to guarantee each departure at the advertised price.

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend that all participants consider travel and trip cancellation insurance after making a deposit. Travel insurance offers the best protection in the event of a sudden, unexpected illness, an injury prior to or while traveling, or a possible family emergency.

If you choose not to purchase insurance, you assume full responsibility for any expenses incurred in the event of a medical emergency and/or evacuation, as well as for trip cancellation, interruption, lost luggage, etc. Northwest Alpine Guides does not insure you against these risks. We ask that you consult your travel insurance carrier directly with questions.

For more info about current coverage plans and quotes please visit.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance

Travel, evacuation and rescue coverage designed for adventure travelers.

For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™

  • Waiv­er for pre-exist­ing con­di­tions (must be pur­chased with­in 14 days of trip deposit)
  • Option­al ​“Can­cel for Any Rea­son” cov­er­age (must be pur­chased with­in 14 days of trip deposit)

Global Rescue

We recommend Signature Travel Insurance. For travel insurance or Global Rescue membership.

For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Global Rescue

Date Changes

Date changes may be requested at any time up to 45 days prior to your departure date for a $100.00 fee per person. Date changes are subject to availability and apply only to the current climbing season. No date changes allowed less than 45 days before departure.

Cancellations

Since departures require a minimum number of participants, Northwest Alpine Guides must adhere to a stringent refund policy. The policy is intended to protect participants who have otherwise committed time and resources to the departure. Please read our Online Reservation for Terms and Conditions.

MEALS

During the Mount Olympus Climb, Northwest Alpine Guides will provide group meals consisting of four (4) breakfasts and four (4) dinners. You will need to provide your own lunch and snack food on the mountain.

Mountain Lunches

We recommend that you bring a variety of snack food to eat while moving. On each day, we will encourage you to eat at regular, short maintenance breaks, roughly once every hour. These snacks can be critical for maintaining a steady supply of energy while moving up and down the mountain. We will not stop for a big lunch break.

Some examples of snack foods include dried meats (salami), jerky (turkey, beef, fish), tuna fish, cheese, crackers, bagels, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, candy bars, gummy candy, cookies, energy bars and trail mix.

We cannot overstate how critical it is for you to bring foods that you enjoy eating. Eating properly is the key to maintaining strength in the mountains. We recommend a selection of sweet, sour and salty food.

When preparing lunches, please do not bring food items that require cooking or extensive preparation.

Day 1: Lunch & snacks for hike from trailhead to camp

Three 15-minute lunch & snack breaks

Day 2: Lunch & snacks for hike to high camp
Three or four 15-minute lunch & snack breaks

Day 3: Lunch & snacks for climb to summit and descent
Four 15-minute snack breaks on the ascent from high camp to summit, two or three 15-minute snack breaks on the descent from summit to camp

Day 4: Lunch & snacks for hike to camp
Two 15-minute lunch & snack breaks

Day 5: Remaining snacks for the descent to trailhead

Group Meals

Northwest Alpine Guides may provide and prepare the following items for group breakfasts and dinners:

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Toasted Bagels with Cream Cheese, Pop Tarts, Granola Bars

Dinner: Chicken, Beef, Pork, Cheese, Noodles, Spaghetti, Tortellini, Rice, Beans, Fresh Vegetables, Tasty Bite Indian Meals, Freeze-Dried Meals

Hot Drinks: Coffee, Caffeinated Tea, Herbal Tea

Meal Concerns

We can accommodate most common food allergies. We do not serve fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, milk or eggs. For vegetarian diets, we are easily able to leave out the meat before serving group meals. For those with other dietary concerns, we recommend bringing food to supplement the pre-planned meals we provide. The Guide Hut offers a wide variety of freeze-dried meals for purchase, including vegan and gluten free options.

TRAVEL

Getting There

8:00 am, the morning of the climb, we meet in Port Angeles for equipment check before heading to the trailhead. We will email you PreClimb info including gear list and departure details upon registration.

Flight Travel

Most climbers will fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) the evening before the program and rent a car for the hour and forty-five minute drive to Sedro Woolley, Washington. Please note that Seattle traffic is worsening and driving times from Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport may be significantly longer.

Our Northwest programs begin at the date, time and meeting location listed in the itinerary in your PreClimb Information. Meeting locations may vary depending on program destination. Climbers flying to Washington State must arrive the day before their program begins in order the meet the group for an early morning gear check and orientation. Return times on the final day of the program are difficult to predict. We strongly recommend that climbers book a hotel night following the final day of their itinerary and schedule departure flights on the following day. If departing on the last day of the program, we recommend booking a flight later than 10 pm.

Transportation

Transportation between the meeting location and the trailhead is not included in the price of the trip. Guides are not responsible for providing transportation to team members. We serve both local and out-of-town climbers in our Northwest programs, and many of our guests prefer to use their own vehicles. Team members are free to organize rideshares with other team members. With your permission, our office staff can share your name and contact information with other team members so that you can organize ridesharing. The NWAG office does not coordinate ridesharing or carpooling and we are unable to share customer or guide contact information due to privacy concerns.

Mountain Weather

For updated North Cascades weather forecasts, click here.

GEAR LIST

These items are required for our Mount Olympus climb.

The Guide Hut offers a selection of mountaineering equipment and clothing for purchase and rent. Gear may be purchased from the Guide Hut in advance via our Online Gear Shop. Rental gear must be reserved in advance using our quick rental form. Please read our Guide Picks blog post for gear recommendations by specific brands.

Shop the Guide Hut »Quick Rental Reservation »Gear Recommendations »

Head and Face

  • Warm Hat: Wool or synthetic. Must cover the ears.
  • Buff or Balaclava
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Glacier Glasses: Essential eye protection at altitude. Wrap around style or side shields. A category 4 lens is required.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+
  • Climbing LED Headlamp: Bring one extra set of batteries.

Upper Body

  • Baselayer Tops: Two synthetic long-sleeve shirts. Hoods for sun protection are strongly recommended.
  • Mid-layer Top: A synthetic or fleece top.
  • Softshell Jacket: This is a breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Hardshell Jacket: A fully waterproof shell. GORE-TEX© or equivalent. Hoods are required.
  • Insulated Jacket: Medium weight down. 700+ fill or higher required.

Note: Proper hardshell rain gear is required on all trips.

Handwear

  • Lightweight Softshell Gloves: One pair. Leather palms offer durability and grip.
  • Heavyweight Gloves: Insulated glove or mitten with GORE-TEX© or waterproof outer.

Lower Body

  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton.
  • Softshell Pants: One pair. Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated.
  • Hardshell Pants: One pair of GORE-TEX© pants. Full-length side zips are required; you may need to take off your hardshell pants without removing your boots.
  • Gaiters: Full-sized waterproof gaiters that must fit snugly over your mountaineering boots.

Footwear

  • Mountaineering Boots: Full shank crampon compatible double plastic, leather, synthetic, or hybrid boot depending on the season.

Note: Please read our Mountaineering Boots and Crampons guides for recommendations.

● Single-weight synthetic/leather mountaineering boots are adequate for mid- and late-summer climbs on Mount Olympus.
● We strongly recommend that you bring an alternate set of footwear for the 18-mile approach to our high camp on Mount Olympus. You may choose to bring a heavier pair of mountaineering boots and wear a lightweight, supportive pair of approach shoes during the hike in, or you may prefer to wear your mountaineering boots on the approach hike, and bring a pair of sandals to give your feet a rest around camp.
Please call the NWAG Office if you are unsure which footwear choice is right for you.

X – NO backpacking or trekking boots are allowed above high camp on any trip. Climbing boots must be full shank and crampon compatible.

  • Approach Shoes (Optional): Light hiking boots or sturdy trail running shoes for the 18-mile approach to high camp. Must be sturdy enough to support your ankles while carrying a 45- to 55-pound pack.
  • Camp Sandals: Lightweight Teva-style sandals for use in camp (optional)
  • Mediumweight Socks: Two pair of wool or synthetic socks.
  • Heavyweight Socks: One pair of wool or synthetic socks for sleeping in and for summit day.

Sleeping

  • Sleeping Bag: A warm bag rated 0ᵒ to 20ᵒ Fahrenheit depending on season.
  • Sleeping Pad: A full-length closed-cell foam and/or inflatable pad. Foam AND inflatable pads are recommended for camping on snow during early-season climbs.

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 65- to 75-liter pack for personal and group gear. Should have an effective waist belt, fit properly and provide good support while carrying 45+ pounds.
  • Liner Bags: 2 large plastic contractor bags.

Note: An adequately sized backpack is required. You are responsible to carry all of your personal gear and food, as well as a portion of group gear (tents, ropes, stoves, fuel, etc.). We do not recommend an additional pack for summit day.

Climbing Gear

  • Ice Axe: 55-75 cm mountaineering axe.
  • Crampons: 12-point steel with anti-balling plates.
  • Climbing Helmet: Lightweight
  • Alpine Harness: Lightweight alpine harness with adjustable leg loops.
  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible with snow baskets.
  • Locking Carabiners: (2) Large pear-shaped, screw gate locking carabiners.
  • Non-Locking Carabiners: (1) Wire gate non-locking carabiners.

Hydration

  • Water Bottles: (2) 1-liter, wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©

Note: CamelBaks and other bladder-style hydration systems may be used in addition to two water bottles, but are not sufficient. Bladders may pop and hydration hoses freeze in the cold.

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit with medications and blister kit
  • Plastic bowl, insulated mug, and spoon
  • Toilet paper, blue bag or wag bag
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Earplugs

FITNESS

Physical fitness is the foundation of every mountain adventure. A strong cardiovascular systemendurance, core strength, flexibility and balance let us safely enjoy the spectacular terrain and close camaraderie we find in the planet’s highest places. 

Mountaineering is a strenuous activity that imposes unique demands on our bodies. Running, swimming, cycling and other sports may help you prepare for your climb, but they are usually not sufficient. Even strong runners may struggle to carry a heavy pack over steep, uneven terrain for hours at a time. Do not underestimate the importance of climbing-specific training.

The following fitness guidelines will help you prepare for your climb. For your safety and the safety of your rope team, you must be able to maintain the pace set by our guides while maintaining reserves of strength. Moving more slowly can be dangerous. As the climbing day lengthens, we become fatigued and dehydrated. We lose precious daylight hours and we expose ourselves to quickly shifting mountain conditions and weather. 

Fitness Benchmarks

To safely enjoy this climb, you must be able to meet these benchmark times while maintaining reserves of strength. Our guides may turn around climbers who are unable to do so. We recommend training for Mount Olympus at least 3-6 months in advance.

  • You should be able to hike/climb for 1 to 2 hours at a time, punctuated by 10 minute breaks, for up to 12 hours.
  • You should be able to ascend 4,000 feet per day while carrying 20-25 pounds on your back, and 4,000 feet per day while carrying 45 pounds or more on your back.

Mount Olympus: Blue Glacier Route

To ascend the Blue Glacier Route, we must cover nearly 45 miles while hiking and climbing from trailhead to summit and back again, and ascend more than 7,000 vertical feet. Below the summit we climb a pitch of moderate rock climbing. Participants should possess solid backpacking skills, excellent endurance and aerobic fitness, and solid footwork.

Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center Trailhead to Olympus Guard Station:

  • Distance: 9.3 miles
  • Ascent: 400 feet
  • Pack Weight: 45+ pounds
  • Time: 6-8 hours

Olympus Guard Station to Glacier Meadows High Camp:

  • Distance: 8.2 miles
  • Ascent: 3,400 feet
  • Pack Weight: 45+ pounds
  • Time: 6-8 hours

Glacier Meadows to Summit:

  • Distance: 3.5 miles
  • Ascent: 3,800 feet
  • Pack Weight: 20-25 pounds
  • Time: 5-7 hours

Training Resources:

Please read our Goals & Fitness guide for strategies to help you train for your climb.

Many climbers, particularly those who are new to the sport, will benefit from a workout plan designed to prepare you for the rigors of mountaineering. We recommend the following training resources:

Uphill Athlete
Mountain Tactical Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

What about safety?

No matter if you have never climbed before, our instructors are prepared to help you learn mountaineering from the ground up. In addition to professional instruction in climbing skills, most importantly, you will learn skills that will keep you safe in the mountains. With an adventure sport like mountaineering, safety is paramount.

All our instructors have advanced avalanche training, wilderness medical training, and will instruct you how to be self-reliant in the mountains. Mountain climbing can be unpredictable – weather conditions can change in a moment and one wrong step can lead to an injury. Northwest Alpine Guides will instruct you how to climb safely and successfully.

Peaks of the North Cascades

Click to read more about the Peaks of the North Cascades in Washington State.

SUMMIT CLIMBS

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Mount Baker 2 Day