North Summit, Mount Olympus - October 17, 2020


Dec 23, 2013
It's been four years since I last hiked the north summit of Mount Olympus, so Saturday morning, I thought I'd give it a go and see if I could still make it to the top.

Got to the trailhead just before 7:00 am. Silhouette of the north side of Mount Olympus

My friend Jeff (aka Circles) met me at the trailhead and hiked with me to just beyond the Mount
Olympus Spring. He took the next shot.

On my own from this point.

Making my way up the drainage

The route ahead.

Looking north towards the University of Utah with the sun beginning to hit the foothills.

Steep going up the couloir

More stair stepping ahead

Frost in the couloir

First good view to the north

Steep gully that leads to the ridge west of the north summit

View slightly northeast, from the top of the gully

A shark's fin, located on the ridge that leads to the southern summit of Olympus. Broads Fork Twin Peaks in the distance

Downclimbing from the ridge. I'll have to squeeze under the logs ahead.

Scooting on my back beneath the logs

Rattlesnake Alley. I've seen more rattlesnakes here in this little stretch than any other place in the Wasatch

Steep chute that leads to the north summit. When I was near the top of the chute, one
of my Nalgene bottles tore through the netting on my day pack and careened down
to the bottom. I picked it up on my way out - surprised that it didn't break or crack.

On the north summit, checking out the view to the north

Mount Aire to the northeast

Dead tree on the route down

A little scramble back up to Rattlesnake Alley

Another scramble to gain the ridge again

A look over at the south summit with a few hikers on top

Another dead tree on the ridgeline, with the Salt Lake Valley below

Once you're in the gully that leads off the ridge, you can take the upper route or the lower route to
leave the gully. Heading up I took the low route, on the way out I chose the upper route which
essentially goes along a narrow ledge up against the northern slabs. This old man should have
returned to lower option.

Looking down at Neff's Knob

Good view of Grandeur Peak to the north and Grandview Peak along the most distant ridgeline

Neff's Ridge that I hiked earlier in the year with @regehr

Some fading colors still left in the couloir on my way down

Some yellows left

More yellow

View of Neff's Knob at the bottom of the couloir

View back at Olympus from the trailhead upon returning to my car.

Thoughts - Someone needs to turn back the hands of time! Someone needs to shift the universal shifter into reverse! I want my youth back. :) I'm still pretty sore today from this hike, but here is hoping I can make it again in another four years.

And last but not least - Final Score: Tree 1 Scatman 0 :scatman:
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Thanks for repping my home out there! And thanks for the share. Looks like fun.
wow, now I'm super envious!! I hope to go with you next time. I hope you laughed at all the suckers on the south summit!

Yeah, I guess I did since I had the north summit all to myself. Two hikers did yell over from the south summit when I first got there and I waved back to them before settling in and eating my lunch.
I hear that trees avoid those who hike in kilts but I have no firsthand knowledge of this.

Well I wish you had told me that before I set off! :D I thought about wearing the kilt, but it was about 40 degrees at the trailhead on Saturday morning and the couloir doesn't get any sun down into it this time of year, so I went with the pants which turned out to be a detriment to my head.

There is this tree as one makes his/her way up the steep chute to the summit. When you get to it, you have to take your day pack off and contort your body to squeeze around it. I moved my day pack further up the chute so that I could stand up. When I began to stand is when the stub of a broken off branch from the tree got me.
Wow! That hike looked brutal! Haha

You tell me where that tree is, I will go mess it up and give it a stern talking to! No one messes with Scatman!
Thanks for having my back @Miya. :thumbsup:

Here is the culprit. This was taken on my way down just as I was beginning to descend the chute - though my injury happened on the way up.

Now a little advice if you should ever encounter a conifer with an agenda.
1. Remember, nine out of ten times the tree will leave you alone.
2. If the tree should charge, stand your ground. Do not run. This only activates their predatory response.
- If charged, nine out of ten times this will be a bluff charge.
3. If the tree makes contact, play dead and try not to lay on the roots.
4. Once the tree deems you are not a threat and releases you from its piney grip, stay put until the tree leaves the area and it is safe to proceed.

There, that about sums it up. I hope this helps. I'm sure others can add their experiences in dealing with these shifty evergreens.

Especially when hiking in the dark I have had plenty of trees go for my eyes, some of them are just grouchy and mean.
Now that there are studies figuring trees are sentient, then this advice is timely.
Besides.... Ents...:oops:
That explains why I feel more comfortable at night out in the empty desert. I always thought I was just afraid of bears and other predators.
Especially when hiking in the dark I have had plenty of trees go for my eyes, some of them are just grouchy and mean.
Now that there are studies figuring trees are sentient, then this advice is timely.
Besides.... Ents...:oops:

Does someone make Ent Spray? Asking for a friend. :scatman:
It's like Bigfoot Spray - you can't get it until you BELIEVE! (I have both for sale, just PM me, but it's not cheap - also looking for investors, will probably do an IPO soon).

ETA I can't believe somebody asked if I have unicorn spray. I mean, c'mon, let's keep it real, folks.
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It's like Bigfoot Spray - you can't get it until you BELIEVE! (I have both for sale, just PM me, but it's not cheap - also looking for investors, will probably do an IPO soon).

ETA I can't believe somebody asked if I have unicorn spray. I mean, c'mon, let's keep it real, folks.

Rockskipper - Are you suggesting that unicorns really don't exist? My world-view may need to do a 180 degree turn. :(

Count me in on investing. And how much does a can of Bigfoot Spray run these days?
Sorry about the unicorn thing. The truth can hurt, as they say, but it's best to live in the real world. But I'm currently taking money to set up kiosks that will dispense Bigfoot Spray in hotspots like parts of Oregon and Washington, as well as Silver Spring, Maryland (home of Animal Planet). Not sure yet how much to charge, but it will be expensive, because it costs a lot to make truth serum (especially since sodium pentothal is illegal). It's a bit different than bear spray - you spray yourself if you think you see one.

ETA: I'm thinking of getting into thermal cameras and night-vision scopes, too, if you're interested.
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