Having a Blast in the Olympics

Publiziert von Josh Lewis , 14. September 2010 um 07:17.

Region: Welt » United States » Washington
Tour Datum: 5 September 2010
Wandern Schwierigkeit: T3 - anspruchsvolles Bergwandern


"Its been a while since they let me come out and play!" -Simon

View from the Parking lot
Edit/refresh captions View from the Parking lot

It started when Adam invited me for a trip in the Olympics, soon after I hurried on over to his house and we had to take the ferry over. When we got to the other side Robin was there to pick us up and she had us stay at her house (to get an early start). In the morning we woke up at 5 a.m. and headed on over for Mount Appleton Peak, our plan B was Boulder Peak. When we drove all the way towards the trailhead the road was closed!  rant.gif

Adam then decided on McCartney Peak which was a great alternative. Getting to the parking lot itself was already beautiful, the Olympics were much diffrent on the West side than I had expected, less trees and more rock. Starting out on the trail things were pretty easy, I figured "aww a nice easy day out in the mountains", but I under estimated what the day beheld.


As we were traveling on the ridge there was a technical spot which was unavoidable except by descending to our left down a ways. Besides a few loose rocks it was decent. We then taveled more southward and then up back onto the ridge which went to the summit of Moose Peak.

From here two of our partners turned around and went up some smaller peaks. Robin, Adam, and I decided to continue on for McCartney Peak which was down and up the valley. I knew I was setting myself up for a challange, but it was worth it.


Descending the ridge was done in speedy time, until we had to go down through the trees and bushes which slowed things down a bit. There were a few moments were I slipped, but besides that the bush wacking was alright. On the valley floor we found a creek which we used as our entry point to head back up, the flowers around had a fresh smell to it.

Heading up hill it all started to become rocks, when I asked Adam "How high is the summit?" he told me almost 6,800 feet which even thought that isn't that high, it seemed like the peak we were climbing was shorter than that. We soon reach a few tarns which had a nice little reflection of the mountains around. Then we reached a short scramble over rocks to the summit.

We did not stay very long, I had made the mistake of taking a bite into an apple and a few seconds later they said they were leaving. "This will be interesting" I thought to myself as I was trying to quickly eat my apple. A few minutes later I decided well since I'm already alone up here I might as well take some photographs which put me even further behind. But then I heard Adam's voice in the distance which I decided it was time to bail.

Near the Tarns
Near the Tarns

I was just flying down the slope, even though it was loose rock which gave me an advantage, they would have to go slow on this, but I could manage to catch up. Sure enough a moment later we are together again. As we head on down I blow my nose which turned into a noise bleed. Perhaps it was from the dry air. Fortunatley it clogged soon after, but had that annoying scab.

We then cross the valley floor, and back up towards the other ridge. I soon realized why trekking polls come in handy on these kinds of trips, normally I don't hike with them, but on steeper grounds with looser rock it helps. Adam realized we were behind schedule so we now were going at a fast pace (although perhaps Adam had no troubles at all). It was around this point where I started to get tired.

Back on the ridge Adam saw an animal in the distance which he believed was a cougar, turns out later when observing zoomed in photographs it was a deer. Instead of going over Moose Peak, we went back down the valley (Westward) and then would have to go back up. I realized how much harder going up a mountain was when you are already tired (I already knew what it was like on a multiday trip, but in a single day trip is diffrent). Once at the lake near the valley floor I was dreaded by what was to come, the long up hill battle.

As we rush up hill I begin to lag behind, perhaps it was because I had not hiked since Glacier Peak, although Robin later confessed it was the hardest trip she had done in a long time. I forgot to mention for me it was a bit warm and I had a head ache, it soon became a pulsing head ache. For some reason this ended up being harder than the last time I climbed Mount Baker even though the elevation gain was similar. Although on Mount Baker I did have two days rather than one.

I eventually caught up, I was quite thankful for Robin who managed to get Adam to slow down. If it were not for the heat I'm sure I would have been much better off on this. Every time Adam checks his gps it gives me a few more seconds to catch up. "C'mon Josh C'mon, you have to make it through this, you have to endure this" I kept chanting in my head. I was becoming quite dizzy and thirsty, I was running very low on water.

Soon I see we were not too far from the ridge which gets me very excited, when reaching the ridge I was reliefed. The battle still was not over. As we were walking along the ridge it was neat to see the cloud boundary right where we were standing, two feet to our right was clouds and mist, while everything to our left was vertually clear out. A few minutes later I began to see a rainbow around our shadow which was incredible, I had seen this once in a photo, and some what on Mount Hood, but not quite in this quality.

I decided I had to get a photo of this, irrelevance to wether I fall behind or not. I also drank most of my remaining water, rested and realized I was way behind the group, way behind. I then tried to rush up the remaining up hill, but when I started to feel sickish I decided it would be best for me to walk. When I got around a corner I could see in the distance the group a few hundred feet from the car, so I decided to make a full dash to the finish. "Don't just finish the race, Finish strong!". When getting to the car I was fully out of breath, but I had a blast!

This trip was certainly a fun one, I hope to visit the Olympics some time soon again. Special Thanks to everyone on this trip! Thanks Adam for inviting me, Robin Thanks for inviting us over and picking us up, and Thanks Mike for driving us most the way without even charging me a dime!  up.gif  up.gif

Tourengänger: Josh Lewis


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