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Jeff List
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PostThu Sep 24, 2020 11:55 am 
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From September 19-22 I did a Mt. Olympus circumnavigation, via a non-technical, no-glacier route. I’ve been piecing this together for seven years, and it finally came together in a narrow window between the heat, smoke, and the now-raging un-fordable rivers. A full report will follow, but here’s a brief summary.

Day 1:
Started at the Hoh River Trailhead, up trail for about 2 miles, forded the Hoh River, up Mt. Tom Creek for about 4 miles to an elevation around 1110’, up and over the divide to the S. Fork Hoh River, up the S. Fork for about 3 miles, and camped.

Day 2:
Continued up the S. Fork another 3 miles to an elevation of about 2700’, up and over the divide to the Queets River, up the Queets River less than a mile to an elevation of about 1240’, up to Lake Beauty to camp.

Day 3:
Lake Beauty Trail, Skyline Trail, Elwha River Trail, Dodger Point Primitive Trail, then out the Dodger Point to Mount Ferry route to camp at the Scott-Ludden Saddle.

Day 4:
Continued on the Dodger Point to Mount Ferry route to connect to the Bailey Range Traverse, down to Cream Lake, northwest on the Bailey Range Traverse, High Divide Trail, Hoh Lake Trail, and the Hoh River Trail to finish at the trailhead.

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Felpudo
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PostThu Sep 24, 2020 4:18 pm 
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Cool!
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meck
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PostThu Sep 24, 2020 5:15 pm 
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Yowsers, what a neat trip & loop!  Looking forward to the photos of the offtrail and river sections. I'd heard about the Queets to Lake Beauty ridge portion, but some of those other sections sound very interesting.

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Fullripbrian
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PostThu Sep 24, 2020 6:23 pm 
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Looking forward to the full report.  Looks like a tremendous route!
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RAW-dad
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PostThu Sep 24, 2020 6:24 pm 
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WOW!  That's some serious mileage in diverse and interesting terrain.
Looking forward to some detail and pics!
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silence
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PostFri Sep 25, 2020 6:44 am 
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Wow ... what a challenging trip! Very clever and creative. Looking forward to your full report and pix, too.

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PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. – Bob Dylan
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Pyrites
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PostFri Sep 25, 2020 8:47 am 
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Amazing.
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Tomlike
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PostFri Sep 25, 2020 9:06 am 
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ditto, cool and unique route!  I traveled up the South Fork to that ridge above Paull Creek in July and was also out on the Bailey Range in August.  I cringe a little when looking at your map though, skipping the best of the Bailey's between QB and FB  dizzy.gif
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JonnyQuest
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PostFri Sep 25, 2020 12:17 pm 
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Tomlike wrote:
skipping the best of the Bailey's between QB and FB  dizzy.gif

It's all about additional elevation gain!

Amazing trip, BTW...
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Pyrites
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PostFri Sep 25, 2020 7:45 pm 
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JonnyQuest wrote:
Tomlike wrote:
skipping the best of the Bailey's between QB and FB  dizzy.gif

It's all about additional elevation gain!

Amazing trip, BTW...

Maybe less elevation. Not necessarily easier.
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Brian R
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PostFri Sep 25, 2020 10:59 pm 
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I'm anxious to hear more about your travels up Tom Creek. I'd like to use it to access LOTG and Mount Tom someday?
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Jeff List
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PostSat Sep 26, 2020 11:44 am 
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I did consider the S. Bailey Range Traverse route, which could certainly be much more spectacular.

But I wanted the route to be 100% non-glacier, and although I haven't done it myself, my understanding is that the S. Bailey Range Traverse does cross a couple small glaciers. There is also the Elwha snow finger, which can apparently be somewhat sketchy at times.
I wanted the route to be as benign as possible, and not even touch snow if possible (I didn't).

I had compared the two routes in terms of distance and elevation gain, and the Elwha River Tr route is something like 9.3 miles longer, with 1,200' more gain. But it's very easy&fast trail, so in my estimation it would not clearly take longer. Also, after the 100% off-trail travel between the Hoh River Tr and Lake Beauty, a long stretch of easy trail was welcome. It also happened to be a low-hanging cloud and drizzely day, so I probably wouldn't have seen anything on the S. Bailey Range Traverse anyway.
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benneke
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PostSat Sep 26, 2020 8:48 pm 
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This is an incredible route, I'm inspired. The distances and terrain covered in the third and fourth day are blowing my mind. I imagine the first two days were probably just as tough but I'm not familiar enough with that terrain to wrap my head around it. How many hours were you moving each day?
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Jeff List
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PostSun Sep 27, 2020 6:09 am 
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The first two days were mostly off-trail, so the effort was harder but the distance covered was a lot shorter.  My wife was watching my inReach tracking points and didn't think I wasn't going to make the loop at the end of day 2 because I hadn't gotten far and was only carrying five days of food.
My on-the-feet times were approx:
Day 1:  13 hrs
Day 2:  13 hrs
Day 3:  14 hrs  (I could start in the dark because I had trail)
Day 4:  16.5 hrs (I could end in the dark because I had trail)

I might have taken more like 5 days, but I knew the heavy weather was arriving Wednesday and didn't want to get caught out in it, especially up on the N. Bailey Range Traverse or the High Divide. Then when I got to the Hoh Valley floor, I was tired but I decided a few extra hours in the dark were better than camping and waking up to pouring rain and a real soggy 10 mile hike out.
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puzzlr
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PostSun Sep 27, 2020 9:36 pm 
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I'm not that familiar with the Olympics, but know enough to recognize this as a really impressive itinerary. Thanks for the report and maybe the somewhat sparse response is because others are impressed into near-silence like me!

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Mid Fork Rocksflickr
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