Geurt's Ridge is a really nice technical route which shoots straight up to the South summit of Mount Olympus. The rock quality is good, and tons of short finger/hand cracks add to the enjoyment. As for all routes on Mount Olympus, this has a pretty hefty approach. Start at the trailhead by Pete's rock, than follow the trail steeply uphill. Enter the wilderness after 15-20 minutes, and get to the stream crossing after 40-45 minutes. Above the stream is the so-called "Blister Hill". Switchback up this, with a rock rib to the right. This rib is a good landmark for when to leave the Mt. Olympus trail. Once you reach the level of the top of the rib (when you can see over it down to the city), this is approximately when to exit the trail (60 minutes from the trailhead).
Blaze north through brush towards the rounded ridge. Aim for just above the cliff bands. Once on top of the little cliffs, look for a couple of cairns that help guide the way. From here, keep traversing north, and notice the ridge that starts down below and works all the way to the summit. Drop down off the rounded ridge to get to the rock (only a small ways downhill). This part is brushy and makes wearing pants a good idea. Step onto the ridge, the bushwhacking is over (75 minutes from the trailhead).
This ridge more or less shoots straight up to the summit. Many breaks in the ridge are encountered along the way. Most of the lower ridge is 3rd/4th class, so roping up is probably not necessary. As you cruise up the ridge, more rock bands with nice looking climbing keep rising up from the left in the canyon. Eventually a beautfiul steep section of rock comes in to view, which provides the first good climbing.
Above this spot it looks like the route is over. Luckily, the best is yet to come. A catwalk on the ridge is encountered (nice exposure on both sides), which leads to some more scrambling until a dropoff is reached. Some slings around a block with rap rings allow a short rap off this tower, or a difficult downclimb might be possible.
Another steeper section of good rock leads eventually to yet another rap over a dropoff. This one might be really hard to downclimb. From here, straight forward climbing/scrambling leads to the summit.
Descend via the hiking trail. If you are not familiar with it, it drops off the ridge to the south a short ways west of the summit. The trail is hard to find, but quickly gets more pronounced.
Small standard rack. Most features seemed to be finger cracks, so a set of nuts and small to medium cams is more than plenty. Minimally, bring a rope for a couple of raps high on the ridge.
BETA PHOTO: The better part of the 'technical' stretch of Geur...
first rap on the route as viewed from the trail
Typical climbing (errr... scrambling) along this e...
BETA PHOTO: The approximate lines of the downclimbs that bypas...
top of south summit
|Comments on Geurt's Ridge
From: The land of steady habits
May 24, 2006
if you know the olympus trail well, all you need to know is after one hour+ or so of hiking up the trail when the trail turn right and starts going up the final push to the east(towards the saddle), that is when to bushwhack over to the ridge. i saw no cairns and climbed up the lower cliffband(classic 5.4) then down and over to the start of the ridge.
the "catwalk" part was the first pitch for us. we only had to use gear for two short moves on two different pitches. simul-climbing would have been better/easier with a 100' rope instead of a 200' and the 2 raps are no more than 50'.
|By Ben Folsom|
Aug 29, 2006
Where the stream comes down before blister hill. Follow the stream and a very faint path up for another 30-40 min. and you can get 2-3 more pitches that are good and more sustained and steeper than the rest of the ridge. About 5.6. It is also the true start to the ridge.
From: SLC, UT
Sep 30, 2006
Does anyone know if you can bail off either side of the ridge?
From: Smog Lake City, Utah
Jun 12, 2008
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a
Perhaps my fav route on the Mountain of the Gods- long, varied, somewhat adventurous, beautiful rock, and it ends at a summit. I nearly felt like I was in the Tetons. Bring a knife and some webbing to clean up the ratty rap anchors- I chopped about half, but didn't have enough web to do it right. And yes, you could easily bail off the ridge at numerous points (especially south). Very cool.
|By Mike C.|
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 30, 2011
I did this route last Saturday (June 25th) and my partner left a red BD cam at the end of the 'catwalk' pitch. If you find it, please contact me and let me know. Thanks.
Jul 10, 2011
Both raps can be bypassed on the right (south). The first involves about 50ft of down climbing (follow the goat droppings), the second about 10. If you're comfortable with exposure and 5.2 moves then just skip the raps and leave the rope at home.
I would rate this route on par with the West Slabs in both difficulty and quality.
Jul 11, 2011
Good to know, thanks.
|By Tristan Higbee|
May 8, 2012
I soloed the route today and thought I'd add a bit more about the downclimbs that bypass the rappels. The first downclimb felt to be about 5.4 (the crux move for me was toward the end of the downclimb) and was relatively exposed. I started the downclimb about 30 feet back from the notch.
The second rappel bypass felt like 4th class scrambling and is really short and obvious. It's not very exposed. Even if I'd brought a rope I would have just scrambled down that one. Someone added a bolted rap station here in addition to the slings around the block.
(See the photo I uploaded that shows both rappels and the approximate downclimb routes.)
I thought the route is easier than the West Slabs, less sustained, and not quite as good.
May 9, 2012
Thanks Tristan, that's perfect.
|By Ben Folsom|
May 14, 2012
you've got to be kidding me!! a bolted anchor for that 15 foot rappel that you can walk around. Super lame. Why are all these climbs that used to not have bolts on them keep sprouting bolts?? WTF.
May 14, 2012
Throwning some slings around a block I can understand. Bolt over a 15 foot rap is a joke.
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 12, 2012
soloing this takes 3-5 hours car 2 car, and the downclimb around the rappels is easy, but very exposed. if I wasn't up for soloing, I'd bring a 50' section of cord for a belay around the raps...really no need for any rappelling. a very small amount of mountain sense will get you to the correct downclimb/traverse locations.
look out for rattle snakes, almost stepped on a big one scrambling off the top to the trail, and look out for dogs - got chased by an angry dog off the leash who didn't like me running down the trail.
fun route, brutal descent. if this were in the Tetons, it would be a world famous mountaineering route. but it's not - so it's just a pretty fun morning adventure. ;)-
|By Matt Selman|
From: Spring City, Utah
Nov 23, 2012
Does anyone know why there is a two-bolt anchor just up from the notch after the second rappel? No tat attached, plenty of cracks nearby to place gear, kind of ridiculous. I'd love to hear that they're there for a cool reason. Otherwise, WTF.
Dec 2, 2012
A delightful link-up with MS this weekend: climbed West Slabs, descending into Tolcat, climbed a moderate line up the south face of the Guert's, and descended to Pete's Rock. North Face of Guert's has a lot of quality-looking lines: have any of y'all climbed these?
| || |MS working up the NFace of of the South Summit.
Submitted By: Manilius on Dec 2, 2012
From: Holladay, Utah
Mar 25, 2013
Thought it would be fun to do a "winter" ascent of the ridge, so with the recent snow storm we decided to plod up to it. Did the ridge, but it was quite a bit more "involved" with the slush over the slabby rock, and I found myself placing way more protection (like more than the 1 or 2 pieces I placed in the summer) than I would have without snow in rock shoes. Interesting day.
Dec 19, 2013
Just did a winter ascent of this route yesterday (12/18/13) Good route for alpine mountaineering training. I would recommend brining crampons and 1 tech tool if you plan on doing a winter ascent. Along with a basic alpine rack and a 35m-40m rope for the two rappels.
Good beta above on how to get onto the ridge.