Photography and Words by Andrew Holman
Mt Olympus (July 4th-July 6th, 2012)
I recently climbed Mt Olympus, the tallest mountain in the Olympic Mountain range at 7,980 ft. Despite its somewhat modest height, the mountain is home to six glaciers. Blue Glacier is the largest and clocks in at an impressive 580,000,000 cubic feet of ice and snow. It is also home to one of the longest approaches in the lower 48 states, starting at 500 ft of elevation in the Hoh Rainforest and requiring 24 miles of hiking, camping, and climbing before arriving at the summit.
Look up information on nearly any mountain or mountain range and you’ll commonly read phrases describing how notoriously horrible the weather is. This couldn’t be truer of Mt Olympus. Its high prominence, proximity to the Pacific Ocean, and the fact that it’s located in the middle of the only rainforest in the continental United States ensure that frequent precipitation (and the whiteouts that accompany it) is common.
I attempted this peak nearly two years ago to the date and, despite our best efforts, Zeus had other plans for us. About 1,600 vertical feet from the summit we found ourselves engulfed in a white-out and high winds and reluctantly decided to head back down. This time we had much better weather. What follows are some selected photos from the climb.
Andrew Holman is a freelance photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Specializing in Adventure and Landscape photography, his work has been featured in The Oregonian, Oregon Field Guide, REI.com, OPB.org, and is frequently used by the Mazamas, a non-profit climbing club based in Portland.
When he’s not taking copious quantities of photos he may be found on a glaciated peak, in a SE Portland brewery, or simply at home polishing up his Facebooking skills.