Articles & Stories

This page contains some interesting short articles and stories and photo comparisons. Eventually, we hope that viewers of this website can submit their own stories and articles relating to the Olympic Mountains. These stories and articles are not provided in the printed guide.

Table of Contents for this Page

1The Timeless Lone Tree at Lone Tree PassPhoto Comparison and PoemJan 2010Steph Abegg and Marilyn West
2Recession of the Anderson GlacierPhoto ComparisonJan 2010Steph Abegg
3The Hanging RockShort ArticleJan 2010Steph Abegg
4First Ascent of Mt. ConstanceArticleJan 2010A. E. Smith (1922)
5First Ascent of Mt. OlympusArticleJan 2010L.A. Nelson (1907)
6Dulfursitz Rappel Technique - An interesting piece of historyShort ArticleJan 2010Roger Beckett

Articles and Stories

The Timeless Lone Tree at Lone Tree Pass
by Steph Abegg, Jan 2010

There is a Lone Tree at Lone Tree Pass on the Bailey Range in the heart of the Olympics. This weathered and timeless entity has appeared in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th editions of the Climber's Guide.

The top image on the left shows the original photo of the Lone Tree, taken by Arnie Bloomer in 1974, that appeared in both the 2nd and 3rd editions of the Climber's Guide. A different photo of the tree appears in the 4th edition.

The middle photo on the left is the same perspective of the Tree, taken 30 years later, in 2004. It looks like the Tree lost a branch, but otherwise looks much the same.

The third photo shows a comparison of the Tree from the opposite direction, from 1974 to 2007. Note the little tree growing to the left.

Below is a poem by Marilyn West (who spent many of her days in the Olympics, and was in the party that made the 1st ascent of Aphrodite and Icarus). Perhaps her "weathered pine tree" is the very same.

The City, crowded with people.
I try to think but
I have no room.
Searching for relief
I scanned the Sound,
Over to the mountains.
My eyes traced a ridge,
Following, on to the top.

It pleases me to know
That the summit lies beyond;
Beyond that knob and two others;
A weathered pine tree
Grows near it
It cannot be seen from here.

Recession of the Anderson Glacier
by Steph Abegg, Jan. 2010

Sadly, the glaciers in the Olympics are melting. This photo comparison shows the shrinking Anderson Glacier in the Olympics, 34 years apart. A really dramatic comparison of the Anderson Glacier can be made by looking in Rowland Tabor's "Geology of Olympic National Park," which shows the astounding mass of ice present in 1927 . Now, there is practically nothing left of the Anderson Glacier. Loose rock that was previously covered by ice has caused some recent rockfall accidents.

The Hanging Rock
by Steph Abegg, Jan 2010

An oddity of the Olympic Mountains is a rock that has been hanging for several years on rope tied to a tree branch at the end of the abandoned Dodger Point trail. No one really knows who put it there, or when it first appeared. No matter how harsh the winter storms, come summer the Hanging Rock continues to greet observant passing hikers.

The photos on the left were taken by Tony DiBenedetto (2003) and John Meyers (2009).

First Ascent of Mt. Constance
by A. E. Smith, published in the 1922 edition of The Mountaineer Annual

WHILE the first ascent of Mount Constance was made on June 26, 1922, by Robert Schellin and myself, it seems to me that mention should be made of a trip made a month earlier by Thomas J. Acheson and myself. This was Mr. Acheson's fifth attempt at the mountain.

Mr. Acheson and I went in from the Docewallips river, and on the second day of our trip reached a point on the headwaters of the Quilcene river, about two and a half miles in an air-line from the summit of the mountain.

The view of the mountain top and surrounding country at that time made me more than ever determined some day to make the climb. Mr. Acheson's ten-power binoculars revealed a succession of almost perpendicular rock walls, which promised some real climbing for any party who should ever reach the top. It was from this point, and at this time, that Mr. Acheson and I picked out approximately the route....

The rest of this fascinating account of the first ascent of Mt. Constance, originally published in the 1922 (not 1924) edition of The Mountaineer, can be found on the Mountaineers website.

(Photo of Avalanche Valley on Mt. Constance by Tom Banks.)

First Ascent of Mt. Olympus
by L.A. Nelson, published in the 1907 edition of The Mountaineer Annual

THE first ascent of the west peak of Mount Olympus made by the Mountaineers, and probably the first ascent made by any one, was accomplished by a party of eleven on August 13, 1907. Although hampered by storms the party reached the summit without great difficulty and were rewarded by one of the grandest views to be had in the American mountains.

At 4:30 on the morning of August 13th, the most despised call of the day was sounded through camp and with a reluctant sigh the company rolled out of their warm blankets only to encounter a cold wet fog that lay like a pall over the valley. With hopes of better weather after sun-up, breakfast preparations were begun and rushed to a finish and at 5 o'clock breakfast was served. In the meantime it was discovered that two of the party had not reported, and a short search revealed them tucked snugly away in their blankets. A vigorous bombardment with tin cans soon drive them out with the remark that they had no desire to be canned. Visions of at least fourteen hours between breakfast and dinner seemed to be a wonderful appetizer, judging by the way food disappeared.

The call, "Fall in" came at 5:40 and five minutes later the march was begun. The clouds hung low, with every indication of rain and with many an anxious look and comment on the weather the conquerors of Olympus moved onward.....

The rest of this fascinating account of the first ascent of Mt. Olympus, originally published in the 1907 edition of The Mountaineer, can be found on the Mountaineers website.

Dulfersitz Rappel Technique - An interesting piece of history
by Roger Beckett

This photo demonstrates the "Dulfursitz" technique for descent. The following description was taken from an email by Roger Beckett:

This gent, I think is on Crusier but no one recalls who it is. He might be smiling but its probably because he is just starting out. The Dulfursitz was just something to practice in case of an emergency - rappel was done using the carabiner brake or a brake bar.

Note the no gloves and it looks like he might have Tricouni nails on the edges of his boots. You can buy an old pair of boots still:

When I started climbing in '66 everyone used the new Vibram soles but most climbers had the local shoe repair store install the new soles onto off-the- shelf logging type boots. Within a couple years REI was importing Swiss, Austrian and French climbing boots.