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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]
FA: 
Season: Late June - Early September
Page Views: 2,805
Submitted By: Jennifer L on Jun 24, 2014

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (16)
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Sunset over the Pacific Ocean from the top of Snow...

Description 

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.

Protection 

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), and set of nuts 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: View from near the summit looking back to Snow Dom...
View from near the summit looking back to Snow Dom...
Rock Climbing Photo: View up towards Snow Dome and Olympus from the Lat...
View up towards Snow Dome and Olympus from the Lat...
Rock Climbing Photo: Crossing the Blue Glacier in early July, 2015
Crossing the Blue Glacier in early July, 2015
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunrise on August 26, 2017 near the summit of Olym...
Sunrise on August 26, 2017 near the summit of Olym...
Rock Climbing Photo: View from Snow Dome up towards the Summit.  In ear...
View from Snow Dome up towards the Summit. In ear...
Rock Climbing Photo: Marcos leading the rock pitch up the North Face, ~...
Marcos leading the rock pitch up the North Face, ~...
Rock Climbing Photo: Marcos leading the 5.4 pitch on Olympus.  One 30m ...
Marcos leading the 5.4 pitch on Olympus. One 30m ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit Block (north side, which is also the rappel...
BETA PHOTO: Summit Block (north side, which is also the rappel...
Rock Climbing Photo: View of snow dome from above, Aug 25th, 2017.
BETA PHOTO: View of snow dome from above, Aug 25th, 2017.
Rock Climbing Photo: View up the chossy scramble, August 25th, 2017.
BETA PHOTO: View up the chossy scramble, August 25th, 2017.
Rock Climbing Photo: Blue glacier from the lateral moraine at dawn
Blue glacier from the lateral moraine at dawn

Comments on Blue Glacier Add Comment
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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.
By Vikram Sahney
Aug 28, 2017

We did this route in 2 long days (35 hours car-to-car). We departed the Hoh Visitor Parking lot about 7am and hiked the first 9 miles in 3 hours. We reached the top of Snow Dome at 6:30pm where we set up camp. Last running water was available on the lower glacier (surface melt) or on the lateral moraine trail. Plenty of running water every mile or two on the rest of the hike in. On the second day we departed Snow Dome at 4:30am and summited via the standard North Face ~5.4 climb. We fixed the line and our 2nd and 3rd climber ascended with a prusik belay so it was faster. We rappelled/lowered our 2nd climber and then our 3rd climber leveraged the intermediate anchor since we were using a 30m rope. Great climb. Agree with the pro mentioned below. We did the whole hike/climb in the same lightweight hikers. We then hiked all the way back out reaching the visitor lot at 6:10pm.

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