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Blue Glacier 

Blue Glacier 

YDS: 4th French: 1 Ewbanks: 2 UIAA: I ZA: 2 British: M 1b

Type:  Alpine, Grade II
Original:  YDS: 4th French: 1 Ewbanks: 2 UIAA: I ZA: 2 British: M 1b Mod. Snow [details]
Season: Late June - Early September
Page Views: 2,527
Submitted By: Jennifer L on Jun 24, 2014

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Crossing the Blue Glacier in early July, 2015


Typically done over 3 or 4 days.

On day 1, hike into Glacier Meadows. There is a rope ladder over loose scree that you have to down-climb located a few miles from Glacier Meadows. Otherwise, the trail is fairly straightforward to follow, albeit long.

Day 2 is summit day. Hike to top of the lateral moraine east of the Blue Glacier. Descend to the glacier over the loose moraine. The glacier travel is fairly moderate and easy-going. Depending on conditions, you can choose to traverse across or around the Five Fingers rock formation. After the false summit, you have two choices for the summit pyramid. One is to scramble the class 4 loose rock on the NW side. The second is to climb the 5.4 route on the north side, which is much more solid than the first option and somewhat protectable. For both routes, you may need to down-climb into a moat to attain the rock. The rappel down the north side of the summit pyramid usually requires a 60m rope.

Day 3 is your long hike out.

Olympic Mountains: A Climbing Guide by Olympic Mountain Rescue has the best description of this route.


If you opt to climb the 5.4 route, a 60m rope is recommended to rappel from the summit block. Other than that, a light alpine rack of alpine draws, cams (in BD C4 sizes #.5, #.75, #1, #2), set of nuts, and maybe some tricams in the same size range as the cams should suffice to climb the single ~100' pitch. You can probably get by with less depending on your comfort level with climbing on loose rock.

Photos of Blue Glacier Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit Block (north side, which is also the rappel...
BETA PHOTO: Summit Block (north side, which is also the rappel...

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By Max Leitner
From: Seattle, Washington
Aug 5, 2016
rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

Regarding the summit block gear; a #.75, #2.5, and nuts will protect the route just fine. As of 06/30/15 there is an intermediate belay/rap station if you only have one 30m rope.

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