Mount Olympus - March 18, 2023


Dec 23, 2013
Well, my hike up Mount Olympus got off to a bad start on Saturday morning. I arrived at the trailhead a few minutes before 7:00 am, and with it still being dark, I went to take a picture of the city lights. When I turned my camera on it flashed the warning, "No SD Card!" WTF! I had left the sd card in my laptop when I was loading my Saint Patrick's Day shots onto Flickr. So back to the house I went. :mad: I drove home, retrieved the card and drove back to the trailhead and shoved off about seven minutes before eight in the morning. That lost hour just might have cost me. :thinking: That being said, it was a balmy 25 degrees at the trailhead.

Shot of Mount Olympus on my way to the trailhead, for the second time - taken from Foothill Blvd.

Getting closer - taken from the 3300 south exit ramp off of 215

Now we're talking - taken from Wasatch Blvd. It looks cold up top.

The new trail and stairs at the beginning

The infamous Pete's Rock, above Wasatch Blvd.

A group of deer further up the ridge, checking me out.

Sunrise on Lone Peak. The southern switchbacks on the Mount Olympus Trail have great views of Lone Peak, and I believe I took
one at each switchback, while visible, on the way up. I always think of @Ugly now when I see Lone Peak, since he lives in the Mount
Jordan area. Just after this shot was taken, the trip got Interesting.

And not in a good way. After taking the previous shot, I started to walk away on up the trail while at the same time clipping my
camera back into the shoulder strap clip on my day pack. While attempting these two feats of major concentration, my right foot
struck a rock in the trail and I stumbled. I tried to hop on my left leg, to right myself, but alas to no avail and I fell. My left hand
kept me from doing a face plant, but my finger took the brunt of the damage. And man did it hurt. I couldn't get it to stop bleeding
and eventually ended up with blood all over the lens hood on my camera. I know what you're thinking, "Don't chew gum and walk
at the same time." :)

Finally running into some snow on the trail which was icy this time of day

I figured I needed a shot of the footwear for this hike. These mid-high Merrells are shot, but I can't seem to build up the resolve to
throw them away. :) I first wore this pair on my Theodore Solomon's Trail in the Sierras with my son six years ago.

The maroon color of the Oregon grape was beautiful along the trail. This shot un-
fortunately doesn't do them justice. Or maybe it is just the photographer? :D

Getting close to rounding the bend into Tolcats Canyon, with a partial view of what lies ahead

Suicide or Blister Hill (snow covered hill to the left) awaits after crossing Tolcats Stream

Tolcats stream - dries up in the summertime. This is where I put on my micro-spikes

Sun hitting the western ridge of Mount Olympus

Making my way up Suicide Hill

Can you see the silhouette of the chukar? I didn't bring my zoom lens on this hike, otherwise I would have gotten a better shot.

Some ice flows over the rocks and down into an unnamed canyon, just beyond Suicide Hill

This was the coldest part of the hike. The sun is not far enough north yet to shine down into the draw and cold air has settled there.
I almost froze my ears off on this stretch. :cold:

The western ridge with the shark fins

View of (L-R) Dromedary, Sunrise, and Broads Fork Twin Peaks, from the Olympus saddle.

View of Lone Peak from the saddle

After a quick snack, it is off to tackle the scramble sections to the summit

Two guys out ahead of me. It looks like there won't be need to scramble.

The normal first scramble section of Olympus. I have to say at this point that I have
never seen more snow on Olympus than this year. While the above shot doesn't look it,
this section in nearly straight up, and about halfway up, I started thinking to myself,
"How am I going to get back down this?" :thinking:

I made it to the top of the first scramble section, and this shot is where the trail turns
east and takes you to scramble section #2

Looking up scramble section #2. Not quite as bad as #1, but nothing to fool around
with either. Slip on this and you'll find a quick way down into Heugh's Canyon. o_O

Approaching the summit

Summit ahead!

This gut is heading off the summit, and he had his ice pick and crampons, which were
probably a good idea for the conditions.

View to the north from the summit

Grandeur Peak below, across Millcreek Canyon

Looking down into Heugh's Canyon

Summit shot, with Traingle Peak and Wildcat Ridge to the east. Please ignore the lens hood in the following shots. It had turned on
me slightly while making it up scramble section #2, and as usual took me a while to realize it.

A look over at the north summit of Olympus. The route to the top of that one is the one with all the rattlesnakes.

View of the Wasatch south of Olympus

Now I had originally wanted to eat my lunch on the summit, but I was getting a little antsy about the conditions heading off the summit. So I decide that i would head back down and eat my lunch at the saddle instead.

I made it down the second scramble section just off the summit, but it was rough going, being slicker that slick. It was the first scramble section that finally did me in. At the top of the section, I was trying to dig my feet in to get a better hold coming down, but of course I slipped and that was all she wrote, as I slid all the way back down to the saddle. I ended up tearing a good chunk of skin off of my left forearm, and my left buttocks cheek. As if my middle finger on my left hand wasn't hurting enough already. :)

Now at the saddle a lot quicker than I expected to be, and before I could tuck my tail between my legs for wounded pride, a lady was coming through the trees. As she got closer to me, I recognized her from a Wasatch Mountain Club hike that I had done years ago up to the summit of Sundial Peak. She goes by the Silver Fox, but her real name is Carol Masheter, and when we hiked Sundial, she said that she was in training to hike Mount Everest. I told her that I recognized her from the Sundial hike, and she followed me back to the south side of the saddle, and we chatted while I ate my lunch. Carol is now 76 years old, and she told me that she was the oldest female to complete the summitting of the highest peaks on the seven continents. I could have literally sat there all day and listened to her stories. After I finished lunch, we hiked back down to the trailhead together, and of course, I was enjoying her storytelling all the way down. Worth the price of admission alone she is. One of her stories was about being on a cattle roundup on the Crow Reservation in Montana. Her description of the roundup brought it all to life for me. I felt like I was down in the cow manure right along with her.

I haven't lived @Rockskipper! :scatman:

I'm setting a goal right now, that in my seventy sixth year, I am going to make it to the saddle of Mount Olympus! :moses:

The Silver Fox and Scatman at the saddle

While chatting at the saddle, we had two golden eagles approach us

I really needed my zoom lens. :(

Maybe a mating pair?


The Silver Fox out ahead as we near the trailhead.

Back at the Sube.

Before taking off, Carol and I exchanged email addresses so that I could send her some shots of the hike.

Shot of Grandeur Peak on my way home - taken from Wasatch Blvd.

Shot of my worn off skin from home. I've got a patch about the same size on my left butt cheek too. Obviously, I didn't get a
very good night's sleep last night. :(

And this should help wear off the pain of my finger, forearm and arse! ;) Enjoyed this Imperial Stout with our Saturday night's pizza.

The End.
You had quite a day! So nice to have the high of spending time w Silver Fox (and those fabulous summit views!) to balance out the lows (ouch, ouch, and ouch - and thank you for having photos of only 2 of those ouches). Hope you heal quickly.
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