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Mt. Angeles via Hurricane Ridge
(USGS Mt. Angeles)
April 11, 2006


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Hurricane Ridge & Mt. Olympus from Mt.Angeles


Party:  Mountaineers Winter Scramble led by Mike Torok.



The trip was mostly a ridge-top up-and-down ramble from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor's Center to Mt. Angeles, finishing with rising traverse around the west flank he peak and a briefly steep snow scramble to the rocky summit.


The ridge showed the windblast of recent storms - almost bare on some of the east side and corniced on the west side.  Firm snow made the traveling easy on snowshoes.


All along the ridge we had wide views of the Olympics southwest of us, all deep green valleys and bright white summits.  At the end we gained a view of the Straight and Sound north and east of us, all blue water and dark islands.


The sun and clouds played hide and seek all day, spotlighting different areas near and far all day to provide variety for the view

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Click any photo to enlarge



We took the 7:15am ferry from Edmonds.  The sky was clear early in the day, reportedly providing a beautiful pink sunrise with a fall moon over the mountains.  I say "reportedly" because I was tired and slept in the car the whole way.  When we arrived at Hurricane Ridge, the sun was lighting up the whole Olympic crest in bright white, but the peaks faded to gray under high clouds by the time we got our snowshoes on.


We headed up past the small ski area to the first high point at 5471.  Then we just followed the ridge crest northeast toward Mt. Angeles - down and up to Point 5534, then down and up to Point 5350, down and up to the west flank of the peak.


The ridge showed all the classic effects of wind transporting snow.  The eastern, windward side was almost bare in places, while the western, lee side had deep pillows of snow.  The crest had dramatic cornices extending off the east edge.  The east also had full-grown trees, while the west had mostly small trees or bare slopes.


The sun and clouds provided continually changing accents on the terrain.  Sometimes the sun would light up one of the peaks south of us.  Other times we would enjoy a bright bath of warm light on our own ridge.  Much of the time, the sun spotlighted the glaciers high on Olympus, making it stand out between shadowy sky and ridges.


At the col beyond Point 5350, we turned north and followed a ridge upward a thousand feet to the high western flank of Mt. Angeles below the summit.  Then we continued around the left skyline of the peak, where there was a steeper snow climb a couple hundred feet to reach the summit rocks. 


As we worked our way upward, the main range of Olympic peaks stood out more prominently above the deep valleys.  Olympus was centered nicely above the crests of Hurricane Ridge, with the sun spotlighting its glaciers brightly.  Rounding the corner, we could also look north and east to the Straight and Sound, with Port Angeles far below us.


Scrambling up the nearest rock slope, I reached a rocky crest that turned out to be one promontory beyond the summit.  While the others worked their way over to the summit, I perched on the rock for awhile to get pictures.  The steep summit rocks were blasted with snow.  We were lucky that we had good weather and solid snow, or it would have been a nasty challenge.


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Mike at Hurricane Ridge Parking Lot


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Cornices Along the Ridge


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Mt. Olympus Sunlit Between the Trees


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Matt on the Rock Promontory (MIke Torok Photo)

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Mt. Angeles Summit


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We stayed on the summit for half an hour while the Olympics-lovers tried to identify the jumble of peaks. 

I finished my summit tea and departed last.


The descending sun made even prettier pictures on the way down, highlighting distant peaks or our own ridge, with deep-hued bands of clouds above.  I periodically lagged behind for pictures of the group, then raced to catch up.




Drive including ferry, 2:45 hours.

Round trip 6 miles.

Up 3:40, summit 0:35, down 2:00, total 6:15.

Hurricane Ridge Visitors Center 5240, first high point 5471, first low point 5270, second high 5534, second low 5140, third high 5350, third low 5180, summit 6458. 

Net gain 1218.  Drop 765.  Cumulative gain 2748.  Metered cumulative gain 2800.


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Olympus Around the Corner of Mt. Angeles


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Last Break in Sunshine on the Ridge


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Heading for Home


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More Pictures:  (Click any picture above or below to enlarge)

Mt. Angeles from the SW end of Hurricane Ridge

Coming over Ponit 5471. Note the bare windward slopes on the left and cornices on the right.

Curving around a bend. Note the difference in tree size on the two sides of the ridge.

Mike running along the ridge.

First break on the ridge.

Mt. Olympus catching sunlight through the trees.

Matt on slope below Mt. Angeles.

Traversing the flank of Mt. Angeles. The summit is on the left above.

Port Angeles & the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Arriving at the summit.

Mike coming up to the summit.

On the summit.

Looking 2000 feet straight down to the road.

Summit tea with Hurricane Ridge and the Olympics.

Summit tea with my rock promontory, then Dungeness Spit and Mt. Baker in the distance.

Mt. Olympus around the corner of Mt. Angeles

Afternoon clouds over the Olympics.

Hurricane Ridge and the Olympics

Heading down off Mt. Angeles back to Hurricane Ridge.

Hiking back up onto Hurricane Ridge.

Kicking steps up one steep slope on the ridge in afternoon shadows.

Late afternoon light on the ridge crest.

Heading home.

Heading home.

Heading home.

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