Mighty Mount Olympus

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Oly Loop GPS Tour
Latest Info and Updates

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Important Updates!!

Here's where you'll find any last minute info, addendums to the tour or any temporary or permanent road closures or other events that impact the tour after the current edition's publish date. Please read thoroughly and print out this page and take with you on your tour.  Waypoint names are from the most current edition of the tour.


 

First, Some General Notes

It appears that Verizon Wireless has installed new cell towers on the west side of the Olympics.  Where there was once no service on most of the west side (except for near Forks and Amanda Park), there is now (for Verizon customers at least) usable signal just about everywhere on the tour on the west and southwest side of the Olympics, and even strong LTE service in many remote locatons.  This is great news for those who like to be able to keep in touch while on their adventure, and maybe even check the doppler radar to see when the storm cell is likely to move on past (or rather, through) your particular location.  ;-)

On a side-note, I hegan using the Garmin Montana as a backup GPS to my 376C several years ago.  I can report that it has been performing admirably, and while it doesn't match the 376C in terms of usable map display area or resolution, I now use it as my primary and sole GPS when doing the revisions to our GPS tours.  It has limitless ability to record tracklogs of everywhere I go without needing to download frequently to a computer to make room for more, and has a large display.  If only Garmin would create a dashboard for it that made the data fields transparently overlay the map, ala 376/478 style, I would not look back.  Ah, if only.  Why can't we have the resolution of a smartphone on a large display GPS, Garmin?  Better GPS functionality in more durable smartphones may kill the standalone GPS one day soon.

Enough of my rambling, let's get on with the updates to the 2015 Olympics Loop GPS Tour!

Some of the waypoint names have 7 characters and end with a "1" after the directional cue

There are two reason this may have happened to you.  The first possibility is that you did not delete all of the waypoints from a previous version of this tour (or our Baja GPS tour) that you had on your GPS.  You cant have two GripTwister GPS tours loaded onto a GPS at the same time.  In fact, it's best to backup your GPS and then delete all of your waypoints before loading the tour.  Then you can add back your essential waypoints like HOME and such if you still have room.

The second reason this could happen, is that you have waypoints from a previous version of this tour or our Baja GPS tour in your "Library" within BaseCamp.  It's necessary to make sure that if you have other GripTwister GPS waypoints in any folder within the "My Collection" folder of the "Library" in BaseCamp, that you first delete them before importing/opening the GPX files from the CD into BaseCamp.  If this is what happened, you will need to delete all the GripTwister waypoints from "My Library", including the "Unlisted Data" folder near the bottom of "My Libray", and delete all the waypoints off of your GPS again to start clean.  The proper method to delete the old files from BaseCamp is to right click on the "List" item in the "Library" that contains the other GripTwister GPS tour, and select "Remove and Delete Unique Content".  Once that is done, you can import/open the GPX file for the tour in BaseCamp and download it to your GPS.

Some of the tracks may not display on your GPS, even though they were successfully downloaded to your GPS.

The reason is that the default setting for some GPS receivers and/or software is to not have individual tracks "Show on Map".  It is a good idea to check to see if they (the tracks) are all set to "Show on Map" after you download the tour, and to manually change them if necessary. Different models do this differently so check your instructions, but here's how to do it on the 376C (and may be the same or similar on your model):
Press Menu button twice from "Map" screen.
Scroll down to "Track".
Scroll over to "Saved" tab.
Scroll down to select the first track and press "Enter".
Confirm that there is a check mark in the box next to "Show on Map". If not, check it by scrolling down until the box is highlighted and pressing "Enter" button.
Repeat for the other tracks by scrolling to and pressing "Enter" button on the "Next" box and repeating.

Rock Slide on Route D.

On the first part of the route between waypoint 08 and 09 there is frequently a rock slide that covers the road to some extent.  It usually gets bulldozed at some point during the summer, but some years it doesn't.  It wasn't so bad this year that it couldn't be negotiated carefully.  Just be catious here, as the side of the road drops off straight down.  If you don't want to have to worry about whether or not it's too difficult or scary for you to pass personally, consider taking Route Z when you reach the end of Route C instead, which hooks back up with Route D at a point past the rock slide.  You can find out about Route Z on page 16 of the tour book.

Route G River Ford

It seems that the Forest Service has decided to close the river ford found at the end of Route G to vehicular traffic for the time being.  This has made the approach a little steeper and the crossing a little rougher, due to the lack of four wheeled traffic wearing it in, but it's still quite doable on a bike.  You may need to look downstream a little ways from where the road meets the river for the best spot to ford now.  If it looks like too much for you or you don't wish to risk getting your feet (or worse) wet, just take the bypass, which you'll find in your tour package.  There are often people camped here and on the other side of the river where you'll be crossing, so be considerate and check it out on foot first and let them know of your desired intentions before riding through their camp.

Route W, Reincarnated!

Well, unfortunately it finally happened. In August of 2010, the Forest Service permanently decommissioned the road that the original Route W ran along (found in 2010 and earlier editions of the tour).  A sad day for sure. But since the 2011 Edition I've added what I believe to be the perfect replacement for riders who wish for a more difficult and challenging section of road like what Route W once offered.  The new section, now dubbed Route W also, leads to some extremely scenic and remote areas and has some absolutely spectacular views.  Get some of it before the road decommissioning crews have at it.  Not really suitable for the biggest dual sport bikes, novices or the faint of heart.  It can be quite difficult in sections and you may need to move some fallen rocks to get through.  You may have to kick a wider trail in to get over a slide.  Did I mention that it's not for the faint of heart?  Competent riders on suitable bikes will enjoy the challenge and the rewards.   By the way, if you intend to give Route W a try and you haven't skipped any part of Route H, you will need to have serious fuel range on your bike, as it's approximately 150 miles from gas at Lake Quinault to the next fuel station in Potlatch following the tour as it's laid out.  That doesn't include any fuel you'll need to tackle Route W, so plan accordingly!

Route X-- R. I. P.

Route X is no longer a part of the tour, do to it being intentionally blocked by the debris of a logging operation a couple of years ago making it impassable.  I hope to find a replacement worthy of the title Route X  for future editions of the tour.  Stay tuned...


Winter Route!

The full Olympic Loop GPS Tour can be enjoyed from May 1st to September 30th, weather and snowpack allowing. However, with just one small detour that is already included in the package, you can remove the date restrictions and enjoy all but 5 miles of the entire 550 mile route and the ability to enjoy 2 of the "side routes". This will be especially useful in the fall, while there is still no snow in the hills, the maples and alders are turning spectacular colors, and summer vacationers have returned home, leaving the forest quiet and the roads wide open.

Here's what to do to enjoy the trip in the off-season: Follow the instructions in the tour booklet for avoiding the water crossing on Route G, which you will find on the "Route G--Quinault to Wynoochee" page. That's it! Now enjoy the tour any time of year, weather conditions permitting.



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