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approach gulley for W.Slabs on Olympus
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May 14, 2013
how's the approach/descent snow conditions? I'm assuming it's mushy and not firm neve.I've also heard of a way to bypass most of the gulley - any ideas? notmyname
From Stony Brook, NY
Joined Apr 9, 2007
125 points
May 14, 2013
Me scaring years off my mom's life
Just went up there last Wednesday. It was pretty inconsistent - easy to kick steps in for the first bit and then icy and fairly sketchy at the top. It was pretty miserable but we were just in our approach shoes. Having a pair of microspikes would have been awesome. Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Joined Apr 26, 2009
101 points
May 14, 2013
thanks! notmyname
From Stony Brook, NY
Joined Apr 9, 2007
125 points
May 15, 2013
adf
did it last friday and monday trying to set a new fast PR. zeus(ascent) gully goes pretty quick with/without microspikes, but its nice to have them. Its not sketchy at all and I'm not sure why austin said "miserable". i love that semi firm snow.its way better than talus. i don't know which couloir you normally descend, but apollo is the way i always go down, and it was super fun. snow up high melting quick but we butt slided/skied most of the way down. the slabs themselves are mostly dry minus a short snowpatch 100 yards from the top. do it now as its prime west slab season! Spencer Weiler
From Salt Lake city
Joined Jun 9, 2008
2,345 points
May 15, 2013
Spencer Weiler wrote:
did it last friday and monday trying to set a new fast PR. zeus(ascent) gully goes pretty quick with/without microspikes, but its nice to have them. Its not sketchy at all and I'm not sure why austin said "miserable". i love that semi firm snow.its way better than talus. i don't know which couloir you normally descend, but apollo is the way i always go down, and it was super fun. snow up high melting quick but we butt slided/skied most of the way down. the slabs themselves are mostly dry minus a short snowpatch 100 yards from the top. do it now as its prime west slab season!


What's the Zeus and apollo gully?
MFL
From Sandy, UT
Joined Sep 3, 2012
2 points
May 15, 2013
runuphill.files.wordpress.com/...

This should help to identify the couloirs. Zeus being on the right and apollo on the left
Courtney Pace
From Centerville
Joined Mar 18, 2010
139 points
May 15, 2013
i've always gone down climber's right 2/3 the way down, then cut back climber's left into the "zeus" gully - is the "apollo" way faster? MFL
From Sandy, UT
Joined Sep 3, 2012
2 points
May 16, 2013
Yes very fast Courtney Pace
From Centerville
Joined Mar 18, 2010
139 points
May 16, 2013
Me scaring years off my mom's life
Spencer Weiler wrote:
Its not sketchy at all and I'm not sure why austin said "miserable".


I'm with you - I think that the semi-firm snow is real nice. But when I was up there, the upper 1/4 of the gully was pretty iced over. It was slow moving and not much fun.

Did you hit your PR?
Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Joined Apr 26, 2009
101 points
May 16, 2013
Do you guys rap? Or can you just solo down to the Apollo gulley. What's the best way off? Name
Joined Sep 19, 2008
21 points
May 16, 2013
Nobody should rap the West Slabs. Not only does it take hours compared to the walk offs but some soloist is gonna get killed by rock fall when two tangled 70m ropes land on a choss-covered ledge and send some of that choss down.
BTW, Appolo isn't the fastest way down, the gully which marks the E side of the slab is. If it's filled in you can haul serious ass.
Boissal
From Small Lake, UT
Joined Aug 21, 2006
1,730 points
May 16, 2013
So just continue up toward the summit and take the east most gully? Name
Joined Sep 19, 2008
21 points
May 16, 2013
FS up the west slabs yesterday. Route is perfect conditions, snow was hard. only posted in once. It was too hard actually for my 5.10 guides to get any traction even when kick stepping. I also brought a 50cm axe which helped a ton, but I would recommend spikes of some sort to make things easier for going down/up the snow section.
If I went back today I would bring spikes, a thin glove, and some sort of long sleave as my forearms and nuckles are skinned from slipping and trying to dig in. Going slow should alleviate this, but again purchase in the snow would have been golden.
Came down the west descent gully which was easy as alway. never gone down the east side though.
DrApnea
From Wenatchee, WA
Joined May 24, 2011
191 points
May 16, 2013
The West Desert...it's not just for climbing, suck...
I have been really interested in doing this route since I moved here last fall but haven't gotten around to it yet. I had figured I would do it alone BUT going with someone who knows the beta and descent would be better and probably more fun.

Anyone interested in going with me sometime, let me know/pm me! Thanks.
Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Mar 5, 2007
2,516 points
May 16, 2013
not that I am suggesting doing it alone, but really if you top out on the ridge line, head climbers right, and look for trees with rap slings on it, you will know you are going down the proper descent gulley. Raps are about 15-30M appart and could easily be down climbed even if you decided not to bring a rope DrApnea
From Wenatchee, WA
Joined May 24, 2011
191 points
May 23, 2013
exchanging kicks as the base of Green A
23 May 2013.

Forecast for the valley was a high of 72 and a low of 45.

We got to the snow field a little before 8 AM. It was very firm (i.e. frozen solid). My partner has ice trekkers and ski poles, I was just in my approach shoes with a mountaineering axe. It was a little tenuous for both of us, but manageable.

We simul-climbed the route and down-climbed the west flank of the Zeus couloir and regained the snow just before 11 AM (which now extends only 200 yards up from the main gully). The snow had softened slightly, but not enough to get any purchase in approach shoes. There was a fair amount of sliding and self-arrest.

Best combo would be ice trekkers and an axe: light, secure. Or, if you wait until later in the day to start, the up and down should go with approach shoes and maybe an axe or ski pole.

But whatever.
Manilius
Joined Dec 2, 2012
23 points
May 23, 2013
Stairway To Heaven - all the way to the Pearly Gat...
Not sure when the Zeus/Apollo names can into play but what folks are ascending to the west slabs has always been known simply as the west slab couloir and the descent is known as the Reese Couloir.

mountainproject.com/v/reese-co...
Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
Joined Jul 6, 2007
1,152 points
May 24, 2013
the man was smart
Allen Sanderson wrote:
Not sure when the Zeus/Apollo names can into play but what folks are ascending to the west slabs has always been known simply as the west slab couloir and the descent is known as the Reese Couloir. mountainproject.com/v/reese-co...









yeah, I had never heard those names in 20 years, maybe its a neighborhood/road name thing.
T Roper
From VA,NM,UT,CT,MA
Joined Mar 31, 2006
1,057 points
May 24, 2013
Captain Cairn kicker
The Zeus/Apollo names come from the Chuting Gallery. Craig Martin
From Park City
Joined Jan 24, 2004
1,176 points
May 24, 2013
the man was smart
whats the chuting gallery? T Roper
From VA,NM,UT,CT,MA
Joined Mar 31, 2006
1,057 points
May 24, 2013
Captain Cairn kicker
The Chuting Gallery is a book by Andrew McLean detailing steep skiing in the Wasatch.

amazon.com/The-Chuting-Gallery...
Craig Martin
From Park City
Joined Jan 24, 2004
1,176 points


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