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Showing posts from September, 2019

Wind River Range

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Dates: August 30- September 8, 2019
Leader: Forest Dean
Participant: Josh Ashton, Mick Manley, Rob Edington, Brent Maier, Abby Maier

I have always raved about the Winds. Personally I don’t believe there is a more idyllic mountain range in the lower 48. The combination of huge granite peaks, glaciers, alpine lakes, streams rivals anything the high Sierra might be able to offer- but without the hordes of people (although Titcomb Basin on Labor Day weekend may be an exception). 13,000’ summits are everywhere. Many of the lakes are teaming with trout. Many CDT hikers say the Winds are their favorite section of the entire 3000 mile adventure. Its paradise!

Last winter I discussed putting this trip together with Brent. He had heard me fondly talking about it for several years now and was eager to get there himself. We listed it on the calendar, and when the end of August rolled around there was a total of 6 of us ready for the adventure. We had chosen Titcomb Basin as a place to basecamp f…

15TH Annual Glacier Classic

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Date: August 17-19, 2018
Divide Creek Campground, St. Mary, Montana


We shifted the basecamp for this year’s Glacier Classic to the new Divide Creek Campground in St. Mary. This was the fourth consecutive year we based our activities out of this part of the Park. The venue worked out really well as we commandeered nearly the entire campground. The weather cooperated (well, mostly) and we set a new Glacier Classic attendance record (41 of us)!


Around 15 of us arrived on Thursday afternoon/evening to participate in the Friday trips. Everyone else came up on Friday. The weather deteriorated as the day transpired on Friday, but with a couple pop-up tents and a campground-provided-onion-dome, we stayed mostly dry in camp on Friday evening. On Saturday morning we were greeted by the sight of snow in the mid to high levels of the Park. This made for some slight alternations on a couple trips, but overall things went as scheduled. On Saturday evening we enjoyed a fabulous burrito feast prepared t…

Ahern Peak Loop: Glacier Classic, Day 2

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Date: August 17, 2019
Leader: Forest Dean
Participant: Bryan Kercher, Dori Gilels, Josh Krantz, Josh Ashton, Frank Dean, Seth Andersen, Brent Maier, Abby Maier

This large group of nine of us started out from Many Glacier just a few minutes after 7am. The goal for the day was the “Yo-Yo” Route to Ipasha Peak. However, we had awoke this morning to what appeared to be a decent amount of fresh snow in the high country, so we went into this adventure with an open mind- the likelihood of making Ipasha seemed low. This strong group set a brisk pace though as we moved up the trail and in less than two hours we were at Iceberg Lake (no icebergs!). Here we geared up for the steep climb up the headwall to Iceberg Notch. The route is all class 3 (maybe 4 in one or two spots) but with all the snow it was a wet, miserable slog upward. We really had to take our time and watch our footing. Everyone did fantastic though and as we topped out at the notch, the skies began to clear. However, as we looke…

Clements and Cannon: Glacier Classic, Day 1

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Date: August 17, 2019
Leader: Forest Dean
Participant: Bryan Kercher and Fintan Maguire

The three of us started out from Logan Pass at 7:00am. We hiked up the climbers trail to the saddle between Oberlin and Clements in good time, then scrambled up to the base of the cliffs on the NE side of Clements. Here we geared up and made an airy traverse on a narrow ledge over to the prominent East Gully of Clements. The last 30 feet of ledge traverse was a bit too exposed for our comfort level, so we roped up and protected the move into gully. The gully itself is steep near the bottom with classic loose Glacier scrambling. Could be considered class 4 or easy 5 depending on how one looks at it. We belayed a couple pitches with the short rope we had brought along for just that reason. The top half was all solid third class scrambling, and by 10:30 we were at the summit. A very fun and worthwhile climb- all within constant view of the hordes of tourists hiking up the boardwalk to Hidden Lake Pas…

GMS/TRM High Park, Mission Mountains

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Date: 9/7/19 Trip Leader: Laurel Vielle Attendees: Erin Carey, Adam Drobish, and Bryan Kercher
On a very wet and foggy Saturday morning three climbers and myself, from both The Rocky Mountaineers and Glacier Mountaineering Society, made our way up the steep East St. Marys Peak trail. The higher we got, it seemed the fog/clouds would lift but that was not to be for some time. When we topped out onto the ridge below East St. Marys, visibility was zero.  We sat and had a snack and debated what to do.  Our initial objective was to climb High Park Peak, what we thought was the high point on the long west ridge coming off of Grey Wolf.  But, due to our complete lack of visibility, we decided to make our way along the ridge we were on to summit at least East St. Marys peak, knowing route finding in new territory with zero visibility would be difficult at best and dangerous at worst. Two of the climbers had never been up East St. Marys Peak so at least they would enjoy a new summit.  As we w…

Mount Cannon, Glacier National Park

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Trip Leader: Paul Jensen
Date: August 18, 2019
Attendees: Jen & John Bardsley, Minot Maiser, and Nick Pritchard
Photos by Nick Pritchard and John Bardsley

Since I wasn't leading this climb, I hadn't done any research on it, and so was surprised when we faced sustained class 3 with a class 4 crux. Also, none of us had done the climb but Paul, and for him it had been decades, so there was quite a bit of group route finding needed along the way. And finally, the morning clouds didn't burn off until after we reached the summit, which added an ominous aura to the ascent. All of this combined to provide more adventure than the typical Sunday Glacier Classic climb, but the group rose to the challenge. As an extra bonus, the clouds cleared on the descent, and we were greeted with the usual stupendous Glacier scenery. Everyone was stoked to end the weekend on a high note with such a memorable climb.

John Bardsley