Mt Olympus – Family Adventure Blue Glacier Trek
This incredible adventure takes you into the Olympic Mountains through one of the last remaining true old growth rainforests in the continental United States up into the alpine zone of the heavily glaciated Mount Olympus. The low angle valley approach hike along the Hoh River gives us an opportunity to appreciate the abundance and diversity of natural beauty of the most complete and rewarding mountain experience in the Northwest. From our camp at Glacier Meadows, we will learn the necessary glacier travel skills to safely explore the various features of the 3.8 mile-long Blue Glacier. Our trek may take us to the top of the Snow Dome, where two large glaciers originate, where we can see the Pacific Ocean. Day 1: Drive from Seattle to the trailhead on the Hoh River (600′). Including the ferry ride, it is about 5 hours to the trailhead. The trail through the Hoh Valley gains elevation very slowly and we usually cover 9-11 miles this day. As we hike, Giant Cedars, Sitka Spruce, Hemlock and Douglas fir tower above us. The lushness of the Hoh Rain Forest is rather overwhelming. It boasts a thousand shades of green and is home to several thousand plant species. The Northwest’s temperate rain forests are believed to have more biological material than any ecosystem in the world: as much as 1 million pounds per acre! The trail ahead steepens as we pass out of the rain forest and into a temperate forest. Day 2: We begin to climb out of the rainforest and by mid afternoon reach our base camp near timberline at Glacier Meadows (4,500′ and 16 miles in from the road). Small streams, mosses, wild flowers, and stands of Silver Fir give way to the rock and ice of the nearby alpine zones. As visitors to these most fragile zones, our group will strive to practice good wilderness etiquette and environmental responsibility. Day 3: Today is our exploration of the Blue Glacier to the Snow Dome, where we should be able to see the Pacific Ocean and the jagged complex of the Olympic Mountains. We examine the Glacier Meadows ecosystem and witness the power of glacial erosion and other alpine features. A brief glacier travel tutorial will be held nearby after setting up camp covering: Selection and use of knots & harnesses Crampon use & snow climbing techniques Roped glacier travel and crevasse navigation Discussions will include mountain weather, alpine ecology, and Leave No Trace ethics. Day 4: Pack up and begin the trek back through the rain forest and camp down by the Hoh River to spend our last night in the last stand of Temperate Rain Forest in the lower 48 states! Day 5: We wake to an easy hike back to our car and drive back to Seattle, arriving by early evening. On the way back to the city, we can stop for a soak in the Sol Duc Hotsprings, certainly a treat to consider! Included: Guide, group camping and climbing equipment, meals on the mountain, personal climbing equipment necessary to walk onto the glacier Not Included: Transportation, personal camping equipment, snacks on the trail, gratuities for the guide.
We take responsibility of the environment seriously and learning how to take care of the environment is an important part of our programs. We believe there are 3 elements that make our trips special: Authenticity: We give you the tools to enjoy your adventure, and you will come away knowing that you were integral part of the experience. Environment: We travel in low ratios to minimize impact on the land and to give our clients the best possible experience while being mindful of the pristine, natural areas in which we travel. Ethics: Leave No Trace guides us as we travel to remote alpine regions. We follow the Seven Principles to avoid impacting these fragile ecological zones. We go to places that offer a rare glimpse into the beauty of nature whether skiing, climbing or trekking, and believe wholeheartedly that our impact should simply be making friends and leaving only footprints and good memories behind. To help facilitate Carbon Neutral Travel we teamed up with Sustainable Travel International. Through STI we can offer carbon offsets for all travel as well as finding philanthropic causes to help along the way.
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