Up Mount Angeles Climb

  Looking at the weather window, a friend and I decided to climb up Mount Angeles above Port Angeles, Wa on the Olympic Peninsula.  This would also be in continuance of our Monday morning cardio ritual in the Olympic Mountains. The trailhead is near Hurricane Ridge and can be accessed almost year around; even in winter.

  Objective of the day was not to use a trail during the approach and not to fall on the snow; since we would not be using any boots, shoes,ice protection, traction aid or modern climbing equipment of any kind.  The route this day would be 70% snow covered, with lots of hidden snow bridges inside the treeline.  To avoid steep gullies, ended up just bushwhacking straight up the mountain and followed game trails.

  Unfortunately I did not copy down the proper path out of the Climbers Guide before heading out the door.  Ended up going up 'Route II' of Mount Angeles, which is a '2.3'.  I was concerned about down climbing the summit block after the final scramble.  The book suggest rope being used and I'm not that skilled in climbing to come down rock faces feet first.  Was happy to get views from just below the summit, so called it a day.

  Plan on going back soon and going up the 'easier' route, now reading the guide more carefully.    Fresh Mountain Goat and Olympic Marmot tracks were seen in the snow; hope to go back for some photos before I leave.

Update: Climbed back up the mountain 48 hours later (see below).

Ultralight mountaineering
Navigating the snowline. 

minimalist mountaineering
Kicking steps on the approach.  

Climbing mount angeles
Scrambling up. 

mount angeles panoramic
Viewing into the interior of the Olympics. 

48 Hours Later

  We decided to make a second attempt at the mountain.  This time armed with a 'easier' route description.  It however would lead us more toward the northern slope, which are known to hold more snow in the spring.  Snow travel on a steep pitch has its own challenges, mainly extra energy expended on the legs from kicking steps and the high risk of falling.  Personally I find snow travel easier on my feet and a welcome change to walking on sharp rock.

Mount Angeles view
Mount Angeles.  I've looked at this through the farm house window; while enjoying coffee or washing dishes all winter long.  

Glacier Lily
Freshly bloomed Glacier Lily.  

climb mount angeles
Approaching the summit block. 

Vibram Olympic Mountains
VFF summit shot. 

Mount Angeles summit
Looking north toward Port Angeles and Heather Pass.  

mount angeles summit panoramic
Looking east. 

Barefoot Jake summit
Minimalist on Mount Angeles.   RailRiders top and bottom.  VFF for snow travel.  

Mount Angeles spring
Group descending. 

Vibram Mountaineering
Cold feet in snow?

glissading Olympic mountains
Enjoying a glissade descent.  

deer snow
Showing us how to get it done.  

olympic off trail
Enjoying an alpine traverse descent.  

View my short video:

Overall this was a fun adventure. The summit gave you splendid views of the Parks interior. A hiker can also see the nearby Klahhane Ridge and down to Port Angeles. I have it on my list to climb again.

Updated in November 2015 by Barefoot Jake