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Showing posts from August, 2017

Glacier Classic, Day 2: Reynolds Mountain

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Date: August 19, 2017
Trip Leader: Susanna Girolamo
It was cloudy and windy as we got to Logan Pass. All around us you couldn’t see the Mountains because of the clouds. Although, we decided to go ahead and approach the mountain with hope that the weather would change and open up.  The forecast in the mountains is just so unpredictable, until you go, you really never know.
The distance to the summit of Reynolds Mountain is about five miles, half of it it’s on human trail. On the climber’s trail cairns guide you all the way up to the summit. The elevation gain from Logan Pass is about 2,500 vertical feet, with class 2 or 3 climbing when taking the Southwestern Talus Slope route, making this climb a great introduction to beginner or first timer mountaineers. Our group was a total of 5 people. For two of them, Paul and Lauren was their first time exploring the Glacier National Park and climb a mountain to the summit.  On our way up we only saw two different small parties coming down.  When a…

Granite Peak, Beartooth Range

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Date: August 18-20, 2017
Trip Leader: Joshua Philips
Attendees: Finatan Maguire and Chris Dunn
On Friday, August 18th Joshua Philips (our fearless trip leader), Fintan Maguire, and Chris Dunn met up with the intent to climb Granite Peak in the Beartooth Range, Montana’s highest peak. We arrived at the trailhead in late afternoon, passed the Mystic Lake Dam, chatted with a friendly, knowledgeable ranger, and began our ascent up the long series of switchbacks leading up to Froze-to-Death Plateau. It felt like we were there in no time, despite a few breaks. The trail-less tundra on top made for pretty quick walking, despite a few shallow bogs and a bit more navigation challenge. We headed for one of the many rock wind-shelters that Joshua assured us were scattered about. After crossing a long boulder field, the dark descended on us with distant lightning flashing rather too frequently for comfort. We hunkered down for the night in a spot that did the trick. The morning light revealed t…

Glacier Classic, Day 3: The Trifecta (Piegan, Pollock, Bishops Cap)

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Date: August 20, 2017
Trip Leader: The Rocky Mountaineers
Attendees: Jen Bardsley, John Bardsley, Jim Goss, Forest Dean, Monica Roscoe, and Chris Dunn
Written by John Bardsley
Jen was keen to do the Trifecta after seeing pictures from a friend who had done this outstanding ridge traverse earlier in the summer. She had also convinced her friend Monica to do it, and I was game to take them. Forest, Chris, and Jim decided to join us, filling out the group.
We left camp at St. Mary about 8:15am, groggy after two days of climbing and celebrating. We were at Lunch Creek by 9am and soon started the climb. The route up through the Lunch Creek cirque to the saddle between Piegan and Pollock is straightforward, with well-trodden and visible climbers’ trails taking away the need for much route finding. From the saddle, the walk up to Piegan is quick and mellow, and we soon summited and were back to the saddle. From there, the route to the base of the Great Cleft – which provides class 3 access to th…

Glacier Classic, Day 2: Citadel Mountain

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Date: August 19, 2017
Trip Leader: Forest Dean
Participants: Bryan Kercher, John Bardsley

The three of us got started at 7:30 am from the Jackson Glacier Overlook under (surprisingly) cloudy skies.  We quickly lost 600’ on the 1.3 mile hike down to the Gunsight Pass Trail.  A mostly level hike through forest over the next 1.1 miles put us at a spot due north of the great north cirque between Citadel and Dusty Star Mountains.  Here we put sandals on and made a knee deep crossing of the gentle St. Mary River.  The bushwack then began as we started up slope.  Using some recent beta we stuck fairly close to the east side of the creek draining the cirque and found the going mostly tolerable.  A few hundred vertical feet of dense alder was the crux of it, but we were able to plow through that in less than a half hour.  Beyond that we ascended through the typical Glacier high country:  small bands of cliffs, scree and talus slopes and around krummholz outcrops.  The high hanging valley was very…

Glacier Classic, Day 2: Iceberg Lake

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Date: Aug. 19th 2017

Trip Leader: Julie Kahl

Like sometimes happens on my trips this hike got divided into two parties. Edna Blanchfield, Sharon Berube, Jim Goss, Steve Alverson, David and Julie Kahl, left the Swiftcurrent Motor Lodge Iceberg Lake-Ptarmigan Tunnel trailhead at 10:AM. Unbeknown to us Jen Bardsley and Monica Roscoe started the hike at noon expecting to catch up to us on the trail. We never met and later figured out that they were looking at a moose in Lower Iceberg Lake as the earlier party was leaving the main lake. I think this was the most traveled trail I have ever been on, seconded only by the first few miles of the Paradise to The Camp Muir trail on Mt. Rainier. Yet it still wasn’t unpleasent. The day started out cloudy and cool, a little windy and stayed that way most of the morning, perfect hiking weather.

Right out of the trailhead the trail climbs a few switchbacks, then levels out to more gradual climbing as it runs along the flanks of Altyn Mt., Mt. Henkle and …

Glacier Classic, Day 2: Piegan Mountain

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Date:  August 19, 2017
Trip Leader:  Alden Wright
Attendees:  Andy Coe, Elias Coe, Oliver Serang, Alden Wright

Vick Applegate was going to lead this climb, but he had an injury and couldn’t make it to the Glacier Classic.   Andy Coe and son Elias, Oliver Serang, and Alden Wright started at the Lunch Creek trailhead a little after 9.  Parking was no problem.  While there is no official trail, there are many unofficial trails through the brush above the trailhead.  We went up into the Lunch Creek basin toward Pollack mountain to about 7200’, and then went up and southeast towards Piegan Mtn.  We scrambled up one short cliff band, but could have gone around it by going further south.  We were going up steep scree toward the summit, and close to 8000’ Oliver said that he wasn’t comfortable going further.  Andy and Elias went on, but soon turned around.  We hiked back down to the basin and stopped to play in a snowfield.  There were lots of wildflowers and good views despite some smoke/haze f…

Glacier Classic, Day 1: Mount Grinnell

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Date: August 18, 2017 Trip Leader: John Bardsley Attendees: Jen Bardsley, Forest Dean, Jim Goss, Bryan Kercher, Monica Roscoe, Roger Stevens
The original plan for Friday of this year’s Glacier Classic was to climb Mount Brown, but with fires closing the Sperry Trail, I needed to find another objective and decided on Mount Grinnell.
Our group followed what seems to be the standard route, which starts at The Loop, travels to Granite Park Chalet, and then continues on to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook. At the overlook, the route leaves the trail, traversing north along the east side of the Garden Wall. The traverse is loose and exposed enough in spots that Jim turned back early on, and then about one-half mile from the summit, Monica decided that she wanted to turn back as well. Jen joined Monica, while I continued with the rest of the group to the summit. After a brief respite, I rushed back, meeting Jen and Monica just before they reached Grinnell Glacier Overlook. Forest, Bryan, and …

The Tusk (South Chaffin Peak), Bitterroots

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Date: July 22, 2017 Trip Leader: Forest Dean
This trip had originally been scheduled to take place on the second weekend in June.  However, rain (remember what that is?) interfered with those plans and I postponed it.  On Friday, the 21st, I had the sudden realization that I could get out for the day on Saturday.  I contacted those who had expressed interest and/or were planning to go back in June.  Unfortunately none of them were available on short notice.  Thus, I became a party of one.  I actually wouldn’t at that point even really have called this a “Club” trip; however, this is a very rarely climbed peak and I thought it may be of interest to others- thus, I am posting here.
I began hiking up the Chaffin Creek trail at 7:45am.  Relatively uneventful hike up to the three beautiful lakes (Hart, Tamarack, Chaffin).  Between Tamarack and Chaffin Lakes I crossed the stream and began ascending a wide boulder covered ramp south of Chaffin Lake.  Basically I was taking as direct of a li…