Minimalist Hiking on Mount Olympus

  As a young boy looking at an Olympic National Park Map its hard not to notice the mountain in the center of the Olympics.

  Then in the recent 5 years it has became an obsession of mine to put feet on her ice.  Even at the point of my computer wallpaper being an image of the raw beauty of the snow-capped rock.

  In the evolution of my own personal minimalist journey.  I wanted to do it as close as the first Human to step foot on the mountain.

  All within trying to keep basic safety; since I'm no pro at Glacier Travel.  Knowing my limits I have however am very safe person.  When your feet are that close to the earth; in this case Ice.  Your neurological system is at such a heightened state; I am less likely to take stupid chances.

  Saying that I left the Trailhead with a Net Weight of 21 lbs 6 oz on my back.  This would be everything needed for a 3 1/2 day trip for roughly 50 miles.  This included lightweight winter gear made of Tyvek, Glacier Travel Rope, 1 Carabiner and Harness.




mount olympus
first view of the Blue Glacier of Mt. Olympus from the above Moraine










Suggested Listening:





  The first night only a few miles from the Trailhead.  We all stayed up until at least midnight watching a lightening storm that surrounded the mountain.  It was amazing to watch from only a few miles away.  This winter I plan to invest in a Camera that shoots better at night.  Would have been nice to capture it; however it will be forever engraved into my memories.








hoh river trail
the Hoh Rainforest Trail - a small highway to the Modern Mountaineer loaded with 60lbs + Backpacks

hoh river trail
one of the many logs to cross on the Hoh Trail

hoh river trail
Nivaun heading up through the Jungle
hoh river trail
the 'High Hoh Bridge' roughly 13  mile mark 


hoh river trail
slippery Log Bridge 

hoh river trail waterfall
one of the many Gully's to cross

hoh river trail mountain goat
Mountain Goat in the Trail

landslide glacier meadows
Nivaun goes down the Rope Ladder to get across a washed out Gully

hoh river trail landslide
and then back up the left side to get back on the Trail

ultralight backpacking hoh river trail
Home - Gossamer Gear Spinnshelter at 'Glacier Meadows' - It rained nightly and I was dry

glacier meadows backpacking
starting the day off right

glacier meadows hiking
Nivaun ascending out of 'Glacier Meadows' 

ultralight mountaineering
Ascending the Moraine with my gutted Gossamer Gear Gorilla.  With only a few things I will need.  
minimalist mountaineering
Roping up - Wearing my modified Vibram Five Finger Spyridon LS (to increase breathability, shave weight and fix design issues) 

blue glacier crossing
heading down onto the Glacier - Nivaun takes point

blue glacier crossing
splitting bottomless Crevasse's 

blue glacier crossing
Looking back at whence we came

blue glacier
Life Line - wearing my homemade MYOG Tyvek Jacket for sun protection
blue glacier crevasse
watch your step

ultralight mount olympus
headed off the Glacier 
climbing mount olympus
Ascending 

climbing mount olympus
more up

climbing snow dome
Ascending 'Snow Dome'

snow dome olympus
my top for the day - 'Snow Dome'

minimalist mountaineering
modified Mountaineering Footwear for the day 

barefoot jake
chillin on 'Snow Dome'

marmot glacier meadows
Olympic Marmot

backpacking hoh rainforest
now for the 18 miles out in Rainforest mud 

barefoot in rainforest mud
all Trail Miles with my Luna Sandals 


My Short Video Clip:






  This was a major accomplishment for me being the first Human in Five Fingers on Mt. Olympus. Congratulations to Nivaun for being the first one in Merrell Barefoots on the Mountain.

  I doubt Modern Mountaineering drifting toward going Minimal since its such a Gear driven sport.  However I foresee the need to lighten up their Backpacks in the coming years.  Carrying an fully loaded 60 lbs+ pack can not be enjoyable.  One should be focusing on the experience and their surroundings.  Not the overwhelming feeling of wanting to pass out only a few miles from the Trailhead.






Gear Featured






Special Thanks to:  Cock-a-Doodle Doughnuts in Port Angeles for feeding us with lots of 'Deep-fried Sugggarrr Crack'.  Calories make me happy. 




Disclaimer/Comments: One should train their feet for some time for this type of winter conditions.  It helps never wearing Modern Shoes or Socks.  That way your body can adapt to the surrounding climates.   
  Biking, Hiking or Backpacking in Minimalist Footwear takes strong feet.  Since as we aged wearing shoes have lots most of our natural foot muscle. Give you body time to adjust to this type of Footwear before attempting anything you see on this Site.