April 30, 2015

Mount Olympus Link-Up- West Slabs and Geurt's Ridge

I completed a link up I have been wanting to do for some time. Taking the afternoon off after all my meetings fell through, I decided today was my day.  I left my car at the West Slabs trail head. It would be a solo day so I had no one to talk to but good to relieve some stress. The snow in the couloir up to the Slabs was slushy, making travel a little slower than I would have liked. The crux move had a bit of water in the dihedral which added to the excitement. The rest of the slabs was was excellent with a hanging snowfield on the last shelf.  On top of the ridge I eyed Geurt's Ridge. That steep west facing ridgeline with two large towers. This ridge is the right ridge when looking at the west side of Olympus.  Mountain Project gives it a 5.5 rating with a couple rappels. 

I descended off the Slabs ridge, headed due southwest into Tolcat and had to negotiate cliffs, nasty bushwhacking and a super close call with a rattle snake that just about got me. It freaked me out. I'm not a rattlesnake fan. 

I worked my way to the base of the Geurt's Direct Route and then moved up excellent, stable, steep rock where I joined the ridge proper. It is a great climb, with some good exposure, mixture of 4th class and shots of 5th class climbing along the way. In keeping with the alpine spirit I donned my 7 mm cord and rappelled off the first 50' overhanging rappel.  The crux seemed to follow that rappel, going 5.5/5.6. The second rappel I down climbed. The entire ridge was really enjoyable and I think it had several great climbing sections making things interesting. All told, it was a great link up and a fun solo trip on excellent rock. I don't know that I would go back into Tolcat for fear of snakes. I then dropped down the standard trail and looped back via Bonneville to my car.

-Left car at 12:50 PM
-Top of West Slabs 1:45 PM
-Top of South Summit via Geurt's Ridge 3:25 PM

Geurt's ridge as seen from top of West Slabs- my line of ascent in red

Lower part of the ridge and Direct Line I took from Tolcat
The "cat walk" and looking at top of 1st major tower
Looking down Geurt's Ridge and my approximate line of descent off West Slabs


  1. Once again, I'm quite jealous!

  2. Great linkup. You inspired me to add Kamps as well, making a 3 part scramble linkup loop!


    1. Spencer sounds like you had a nice trip too. And no snakes I assume... Congratulations.

  3. That is so cool! Except for the angry rattler.