Wild and remote peaks, fun climbing, and no crowds. The Olympic Mountains may not be the tallest in the Northwest, but in this range elevation is irrelevant.
Rewarding objectives are plentiful, varying in difficulty from ‘walk-ups’ to technical alpine routes, with everything in between. Below are a few of our favorite trips, varying in length from 1 to 9 days.
We offer these trips on a custom basis for private groups and individuals. See the ‘Mountains’ tab for descriptions.
Mt Angeles: Great day climb from Port Angeles offering views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Vancouver Island, and the central Olympics.
Mt Washington: Day climb in the southeastern Olympics, with routes ranging in difficulty from ‘walk-up’ to multi-pitch alpine rock on the Southeast Ridge (III, 5.7).
Mt Ellinor: Great day climb in the southeastern Olympics, easily accessible from Olympia.
Mt Cruiser: Classic alpine rock in the southeastern Olympics, routes ranging from 5.0-5.7.
The Brothers: Moderate 2 day ascent, these twin peaks are visible from Seattle, sharing prominence on the skyline with Mt Constance. An excellent objective for the aspiring mountaineer.
Mt Deception: Highest in the eastern Olympics and second highest in the range, accessed from Royal Basin (see Mt. Deception program).
Mt Mystery: Remote massif south of Mt Deception – a big and beautiful mountain not commonly climbed due to its remote position (see Royal Basin Peak Ascents).
The Needles: A dense collection of steep, needle like peaks and spires – some of the best alpine climbing in the range, accessed from Royal Basin (see Royal Basin Peak Ascents).
Mt Constance: Considered one of the hardest climbs in the range, Constance is the 3rd highest in the Olympics and one of the most prominent peaks on Seattle’s western skyline (see Mt Constance program).
Mt Olympus: Highest in the Olympic Mountains, Mt Olympus is a glaciated massif in the heart of the range – protected by a 17.5 mile approach through the Hoh Rainforest (see Mt Olympus program).
Mt Anderson: A remote glaciated massif in the eastern Olympics, the hydrographic apex of the Peninsula with its waters flowing into the Hood Canal, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Pacific Ocean.
The Bailey Range Traverse: Alpine and rugged, the Bailey Range forms a crescent shape around Mt Olympus – a string of some of the most remote peaks in the Olympics. Numerous variations can be done in anywhere from 5 to 9 days.
Equipment lists will vary depending on the trip. Here’s a sample list for a multi-day mountaineering program.
PACKS & BAGS
☐ Backpack: 50-75 liter internal frame pack.
☐ Sleeping bag: Rated between 0° and 15°, down or synthetic. Keep in mind that manufacturer’s temperature ratings are subjective and serve as guidelines.
☐ Compression stuff sack: Sized appropriately to your bag.
☐ Sleeping pad: Inflatable or closed cell foam (ex: Thermarest Prolite).
☐ Ice axe: 60-70cm mountaineering axe (ex: Petzl Snowalker, Summit, or Sum’Tec). No leash is required. RENT
☐ Crampons: 10 or 12 point mountaineering crampon. Avoid waterfall ice crampons with fully rigid frames and vertical front points, as well as older crampons with leather straps. Be sure that your crampons are compatible with your boots (ex: Petzl Irvis or Vasak). RENT
☐ Harness: Alpine harness with adjustable leg loops (ex: Petzl Adjama). For safety reasons, your harness needs to be less than 10 years old and in good condition. Be sure to check the fit of your harness. RENT
☐ (1) Locking carabiner: Pear shaped recommended (ex: Petzl Attache or Attache 3D).
☐ (1) Non-locking carabiner: Wire gate recommended (ex: Petzl Ange S or Ange L).
☐ Climbing helmet: Needs to be climbing specific (ex: Petzl Elios or Meteor III +). RENT
☐ Transceiver: Digital recommended. May not be required for later season climbs (ex: BCA Tracker 2). RENT
☐ Poles: Ski poles or trekking poles with powder baskets (ex: Black Diamond Traverse). RENT
☐ Mountaineering boots: A lighter weight mountaineering boot is ideal (ex: La Sportiva Trango S EVO GTX – Men’s | Women’s).
☐ Sandals (optional): For around camp. Should be as lightweight as possible.
☐ Gaiters: Provide a clean interface between our pants, boots, and crampons (ex: OR Flex-tex).
☐ Socks: 2-3 pairs (wool or synthetic) that work well with your boots. Keep in mind that warmth comes from good circulation, not necessarily heavy socks. If your boots are roomy choose a heavier sock, if they’re snug choose a lighter sock.
☐ Sunglasses: Glacier glasses or dark tinted wrap-arounds, should have full UV protection. Consider bringing an extra pair (ex: Julbo Dolgan). RENT
☐ Goggles: Preferably with low light lenses (amber or rose) and UV protection (ex: Julbo Around Excel or Down).
☐ Warm hat: Fleece, wool or synthetic.
☐ Sun hat: Baseball cap, visor, etc.
There are many layering combinations for your upper body that will work well. Use the following recommendations as guidelines:
☐ Baselayer top: Light to medium weight synthetic fabric (ex: First Ascent Midweight 1/4-Zip Baselayer or First Ascent Solarfoil Hoodie).
☐ (1-2) Insulating layers: Fleece, softshell or synthetic/down. Two lighter layers are more versatile than one heavy layer (ex: First Ascent Sandstone Hoodie, Hangfire Hoodie, or Accelerant Jacket).
☐ Hardshell jacket with hood: Lightweight and waterproof (ex: First Ascent BC-200 Jacket).
☐ Synthetic or down insulated jacket: Synthetic or down (ex: First Ascent Ignitor Jacket).
☐ Baselayer bottoms (optional) (ex: First Ascent Midweight Baselayer Pants)
☐ Softshell climbing pants: Lightweight, breathable synthetic fabric. Zip-off trekking pants also work (ex: First Ascent Guide Pants or Mountain Guide Lite Pants).
☐ Hardshell pants: For adverse weather. These must have full side zips (ex: First Ascent Rainier Storm Shell Pants).
☐ (2) Heavy trash bags: Cheap lightweight waterproof lining for your backpack.
☐ Sunscreen: SPF 30 or greater, avoid spray on (ex: Doc Martin’s of Maui).
☐ Lip balm: With SPF protection.
☐ Insect repellent: Avoid DEET (ex: Natrapel).
☐ Water bottles(s) or hydration system: Should have a screw top (no bike bottles); hydration system should have an insulated tube.
☐ Water purification tablets: Chlorine dioxide tablets are less practical, regular iodine tends to work best (ex: Potable Aqua).
☐ Thermos (optional): Half-liter size recommended.
☐ Compact camera
☐ Extra batteries: For your transceiver (usually AAA), headlamp, camera, etc.
☐ Headlamp: LED headlamp recommended (ex: Petzl Tikka XP2 or Tikka Plus). RENT
☐ See Details.
☐ Insulated mug
☐ (2) Spoons or sporks
PERSONAL FIRST AID/TOILETRIES
Guides will carry a well-equipped group first aid kit.
☐ Personal toiletry kit: Toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper and/or baby wipes, gender specific items, small bottle of hand sanitizer.
☐ Personal first aid kit: Band-Aids, blister repair, anti-diarrheal (Immodium), antacid, ibuprofen or aspirin, as well as any personal prescription medications (be sure to discuss these with us).
☐ Ear plugs
☐ Book (lightweight)
☐ Journal w/pencil
We will provide all necessary group equipment for you trip such as tents, stoves, ropes, and rescue gear.
EXPERIENCE & FITNESS
- Required previous experience varies depending on the trip. Generally, some hiking or backpacking experience is a minimum prerequisite.
- Depends on the trip.
- Excellent physical fitness is generally required.
- Guiding and instruction
- Custom itinerary
- Group equipment: tents, stoves, fuel, ropes
- Permit costs
- Lodging and transportation before and after the trip
- Personal equipment and food*
*provided for an additional fee.
Lunch Food: In the mountains, “lunch starts after breakfast and ends before dinner”. In other words, on a given day we generally won’t stop for a formal lunch break, and instead we’ll snack all day long. This is vital to maintaining high energy levels in this environment.
Be sure to bring foods that you like and emphasize variety. Energy bars and gels are great but in limited amounts – real food works just as well and tastes better.
Breakfasts & Dinners: Bring meals that can be cooked with just boiling water. Examples include freeze-dried pouches (Mountain House, Backpackers Pantry), ramen noodles, instant oatmeal, etc. The stoves we use are very efficient for heating water but are not suitable for cooking.
WHERE TO MEET
Fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. From here the drive to various trailheads on the Olympic Peninsula ranges from 1.5-4 hours. For some programs, flying directly into Port Angeles may be an option.
Many options exist in Sea-Tac. There’s also a Budget Rent-A-Car in Port Angeles.
Location varies depending on the trip.
Check out our Weather & Avalanche Resources page.
Custom, email us or give us a call at (888) 674-8492
Per person, per day:
1:1 – $350
2:1 – $250
3:1 – $195
4:1 – $165
1:1 – $325
2:1 – $225
3:1 – $180
4:1 – $150
© 2014 Pacific Alpine Guides LLC | email@example.com | (888) 674-8492