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approach gulley for W.Slabs on Olympus
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By notmyname
From Stony Brook, NY
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?

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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
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.

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By notmyname
From Stony Brook, NY
May 14, 2013
thanks!

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By Spencer Weiler
From SLC, UT
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!

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By MFL
From Sandy, UT
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?

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By Courtney Pace
May 15, 2013
runuphill.files.wordpress.com/...

This should help to identify the couloirs. Zeus being on the right and apollo on the left

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By MFL
From Sandy, UT
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?

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By Courtney Pace
May 16, 2013
Yes very fast

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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
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?

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By Name
May 16, 2013
Do you guys rap? Or can you just solo down to the Apollo gulley. What's the best way off?

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By Boissal
From Small Lake, UT
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.

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By Name
May 16, 2013
So just continue up toward the summit and take the east most gully?

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By DrApnea
From Wenatchee, WA
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.

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By Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
May 16, 2013
The West Desert...it's not just for climbing, suckers! <br /> <br />Photo by Samantha
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.

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By DrApnea
From Wenatchee, WA
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

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By Manilius
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.

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By Allen Sanderson
From Oootah
May 23, 2013
Stairway To Heaven - all the way to the Pearly Gates <br />(i.e. 10 pitches to the tram station)
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...

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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
May 24, 2013
modern man
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.

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By Craig Martin
From Park City
May 24, 2013
Captain Cairn kicker
The Zeus/Apollo names come from the Chuting Gallery.

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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
May 24, 2013
modern man
whats the chuting gallery?

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By Craig Martin
From Park City
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...

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