Mount Olympus FKT


I climbed Mount Olympus in 11 hours, 6 minutes round trip. This is the new fastest known time (FKT) on the mountain, breaking my own FKT from July 31, 2007 by 24 minutes. I went solo and the climb was unsupported. I started at 3:10 am and finished at 2:17 pm (miraculously, the same real time that I finished in 2007). Aside from a few minor differences (ladder downclimb on avalanche chute before Glacier Meadows; softer and slower snow conditions), everything from the weather to route conditions were essentially the same as in 2007. Check out the complete trip report with detailed splits, time comparisons, photos, and video clips here.

Blue Glacier and the Mount Olympus massif

Blue Glacier and the Mount Olympus massif

At 7,965 feet, Mount Olympus is the highest point in the small Olympic mountain range in Washington State. However, its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean produces a tremendous amount of annual snowfall accumulation in the winter and relatively mild summers resulting in immense glaciers. Mount Olympus is wild and remote requiring 45 miles roundtrip to climb it and over 8,000 feet of elevation gain.  The start of the climb is in the world famous Hoh Rainforest (573 ft above sea level), one of the few temperate rainforests in the world, recieving between 12 to 14 feet of rain per year!  After nearly 19 miles on the trail, the sweeping views of the Olympus massif and the Blue Glacier suddenly appear from the crest of the glacial moraine. From here, Olympus is primarily a standard glacier/snow climb with a short scrambling portion on the summit block.

Sweet shot for perspective

Sweet shot for perspective

Be sure to check out the complete trip report!

3 Responses to “Mount Olympus FKT”

  1. Buzz Says:

    Excellent trip and photo’s as usual! Olympus is fabulous, and nobody outside of WA ever touches it. Your time is outstanding.

    1. Did you do the Direct or around the side? I did the Direct and it was quite the crux … your photo’s of it look like mine.
    2. How do you safely cross the glacier? Were the crevasses visible or covered?

  2. Leor Pantilat Says:

    Thanks Buzz!

    1. I did the Crystal Pass route (around other side). Crystal Pass may be longer, but for speed purposes I think it’s quicker than gingerly kicking steps over the large bergschrund (crevasse) on the direct route, especially in mid-July.

    2. I used crampons and ice axe. The lower Blue Glacier was entirely glacial ice (everything 1visible) but because the glacier is so flat the crevasses are “slots” and easy to step across. The remainder of the route had some visible and some covered up. Being on the route early in the morning when everything is solid helps.

  3. Interval training Says:

    interesting trip

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