Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Olympic Day Three: To Blue Glacier!

I was able to get up early the next morning, fully refreshed and ready to tackle the 25-mile day ahead of me. (Though I deliberately avoided adding up the mileage until I was nearing my final stretch of hiking that afternoon.)

Leaving my fully packed backpack at the campsite, I started uphill carrying a three-quarters-full Nalgene, a granola bar, and a bag of trail mix. (It was very dumb to not fill the Nalgene all the way. I was trying to conserve water for no reason other than laziness, and was pretty dehydrated by the time I made it back to my pack that afternoon.)

steep slope

cool rocks


Dad's favorite picture. When I was showing him my photos from the trip, he was fixated on this one. "Such a good picture! Look at it upside down! Wow!" (This is Elk Lake.)

Mt. Olympus!

I made great time as I headed uphill, though. I reached Glacier Meadows (8 miles up the mountain) around 11:30 a.m., about three hours after leaving my campsite 3,700 feet below. At Glacier Meadows, I discovered the view of the glacier was another 1.2 steep mile uphill.

Fully committed, I scrambled up. Shortly after leaving GM, I reached a split in the trail, with a sign indicating two options: "lateral moraine" or "terminal moraine." Unsure what either meant or which would be better, I chose "lateral moraine" because it seemed to be more uphill. Later I found out that was the right choice for the best view.

Finally, after hiking (and sliding) up snow-covered slopes at 4,300 feet, I reached the glacier. And boy, was it beautiful. Glacier photos in the next post!

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