Mount Olympus - February 20, 2017

scatman

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Alright, this one is for you @Jackson. :) I've posted a couple of reports of my hikes up Mount Olympus in the past, But this is the first time that I have hiked to the top in the winter, so I guess that warrants another write-up.

My daughter, Katie was crazy enough to join me and we hit the trail about 8:15 in the morning. It soon became apparent that we had too many layers on and by the time we reached the Mount Olympus Wilderness sign we had had enough and took some of our layers off. Once we reached Tolecat Canyon, we stopped for a short break to rest up for Suicide Hill and beyond.

Once we left the stream in Tolecat, we started to encounter some snow and ice on the trail. At this point though, we didn't need our micro-spikes. Once we reached the top of Suicide Hill and curved around into the next canyon, we soon encountered enough snow that we had to put on our spikes and we wore them all the way to the top of the mountain.

The stretch between Suicide Hill and the saddle is always the toughest for me and this time was no exception though hiking on the snow I found to be easier than continually stepping up on rock after rock that you find when the trail is snow free.

We finally reached the saddle and took another quick break before heading up the last 600 feet to the top. This last segment usually has some scrambling associated with it and one small section was rather tricky for us due to the ice and snow making things a little slippery. After this section, it was pretty straight forward the rest of the way.

Once on top, we enjoyed a great view and some lunch. The wind had been blowing all day and had cleared out the valley, and from the top you could see forever. We had the top of the Mountain to ourselves while we ate our lunch and after about 45 minutes, we started back down. Heading down was a little trickier than going up, especially just off the top where I slipped and slid quite a ways down before catching myself. Other than that, the hike down was fairly uneventful. When we got back to the trailhead, we headed to the Porcupine to celebrate with some nachos.

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Goofball at the trailhead

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Katie, making her way up the stairs at the beginning of the hike. I really hate these stairs, both going up and coming down! :devil:

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Katie, at the wilderness sign

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Trail is in good condition

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A glimpse of where we are heading

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Heading through some scrub oak

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Juniper full of berries

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Stream in Tolecat Canyon - it usually dries up by summers end

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Katie enjoying a quick rest in Tolecat Canyon

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No comment

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My day pack with all the essentials

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Katie hiking up Suicide Hill, hitting the first snow/ice on the trail

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Just beyond this point we stopped to put on our micro-spikes

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We there yet?

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Katie, with Salt Lake Valley in the background

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First view of the west ridge

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Almost to the saddle

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Triangle Peak

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A look along the Wasatch with clouds over Lone Peak - viewed from the saddle

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This is the last 600 feet to the top - viewed from the saddle

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heading up the draw

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Katie, with Broads Fork Twin Peaks and cloud covered Lone Peak in the distance

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Katie, making her final push to the top

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Almost to the summit

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The north summit of Mount Olympus which we both hiked up back in November. It is a tougher slog than hiking up the south summit

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Twin Peaks to the south

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Closer look at Twin Peaks

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Cloud covered Lone Peak to the south

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Grandeur Peak to the north

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Deseret Peak to the west in sunlight beyond the Oquirrh Mountains

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Our lunch pad

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Katie, taking her time coming down just off the top. I slipped where she is and slid down to where I took this shot.

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Another shot of Twin Peaks with a touch of blue sky

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More blue sky but clouds still engulf Lone Peak

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Trail sign - quite a few people actually get lost on there way down from Olympus. This sign was erected to keep people on the right course.

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A view of Suicide Hill on our way down

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Katie with a nice view of where we had hiked in the background

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Don't know why, but I liked this shot. A juniper trying to survive among all the scrub oak.






 

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Jackson

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Right on! Looks like it was a good outing. Amazing how much snow has melted off recently. I had considered doing it in snowshoes back when the snow was fresh, but never went. Assuming the weather isn't overly bad tomorrow, I think I'll be giving it a shot. Thanks very much for sharing! :thumbsup:
 

regehr

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Cool! Check out the contrast to inversion weather a few years ago:
http://blog.regehr.org/archives/653
On that day the trail was so icy I must have slipped and fallen 25 times, I was a collection of bruises for a few days. I decided to not do this again w/o crampons.
 

scatman

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Right on! Looks like it was a good outing. Amazing how much snow has melted off recently. I had considered doing it in snowshoes back when the snow was fresh, but never went. Assuming the weather isn't overly bad tomorrow, I think I'll be giving it a shot. Thanks very much for sharing! :thumbsup:

I hope the weather takes a turn for you tomorrow. Looking out my window right now, it looks pretty bad. If you decide to do it, let me know how it goes. I don't think that I could break a trail up Olympus with snowshoes.
 

scatman

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Cool! Check out the contrast to inversion weather a few years ago:
http://blog.regehr.org/archives/653
On that day the trail was so icy I must have slipped and fallen 25 times, I was a collection of bruises for a few days. I decided to not do this again w/o crampons.

I enjoyed your shots. The inversion does look pretty cool hanging over the valley. I'll bet you were glad that you were above it for at least a little while. There doesn't appear to be as much snow up top back in 2011 - hardly any on the north summit. I'm glad someone else takes pictures of Triangle Peak besides me. It always fascinates me when I'm looking at it.
 

Jackson

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I hope the weather takes a turn for you tomorrow. Looking out my window right now, it looks pretty bad. If you decide to do it, let me know how it goes. I don't think that I could break a trail up Olympus with snowshoes.
Yeah, it's not looking so good, especially considering the forecasts I've seen for tomorrow. I may have to sit on this one a while longer.
 
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