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3 day attack on Skyline Experience and Floral Park Route

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3 day attack on Skyline Experience and Floral Park Route

Postby alexblondeau » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:14 pm

Looking for some insight into a sticky bit of logistics I'm running into on a lightning trip I'm planning from MN to GNP this August. I was only able to secure a hiking buddy on the condition that we'd be gone no more than three days, so I now have a partner with whom I plan to leave from MN between 1 and 3 PM, putting us in St. Mary's at between 6 and 8 AM the next morning. We will then need to be back in MN by 4:00 in the afternoon after two full days of hiking (another overnight drive beginning around 8:00 or 9:00 PM).

I plan to do Floral Park from Logan Pass to McDonald and the Skyline Experience as a loop from Many Glacier. It seems to me that doing the Floral Park route first would be best since then we'd be on the proper side of the park for heading home after the Skyline Experience. The question, then, is where we could possibly camp on the east side of the park (preferably near Many Glacier) after we finish the Floral Park route late in the evening of day 1?

The Many Glacier campground will certainly be filled up by then. Are there any other options?

Thanks for any insight you all may have!
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Re: 3 day attack on Skyline Experience and Floral Park Route

Postby RoryKuykendall » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:59 pm

If I were you, I'd consider skipping Floral Park in favor of something else that starts from Many Glacier on the first day (Grinnell Mountain, Iceberg Peak, Shangri-La, Redgap Pass Goat Trail....). That way you can just get a campsite at Many Glacier on your first morning and have it waiting for you when you get back that night. Then, you can get some sleep, and be ready for the Skyline.

Doing Floral Park is going to involve relying heavily on the NPS shuttle to get back to your car at the end of your first day. 1) That might not work out. 2) That could cause you to rush, which is the last thing you want to be doing. Even if it does work out, getting from Lake Mcdonald to the Many Glacier area at the end of your first day is going to cut into much needed rest time.

You only have two days - just spend them in Many Glacier and save Floral Park for a trip when you have more time.

Either Way, have fun and be safe.

-Rory
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Re: 3 day attack on Skyline Experience and Floral Park Route

Postby alexblondeau » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:15 am

Hi Rory,
Yeah, the more I run the scenarios I think you are probably right. I have to say, though, I'm going to be pretty bummed not tackling the Floral Park route. We got skunked on it last year due to the massive snow fall and the lack of ice-axes and crampons amongst my party.
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Re: 3 day attack on Skyline Experience and Floral Park Route

Postby pyerger » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:45 pm

A lot of people hitch back to logan pass. If it's not to late in the day, you should be able to get a ride. Floral park is one of the best hikes in the park, don't miss it!!!
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Re: 3 day attack on Skyline Experience and Floral Park Route

Postby alexblondeau » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:01 pm

Pyerger,
Hmmm... this is a good idea. I'd not thought of hitch hiking THAT direction. I know it's rather easy to hitch a ride; we did that last year from Logan on the way down. This would allow us to begin as early as we'd like without relying on the shuttle (what is the earliest that one can one drive into the park anyway?)

However, this still leaves open the issue of where to sleep between day 1) and 2) so as to also have and early start on the Skyline Experience. Unless... Maybe day 1) is the Skyline Experience loop. That way we could show up early to Many Glacier, secure a site, and set out. We could then just walk back into camp, get a good night's sleep, then crank out another early start on Floral park the next morning, hitch hike back to the pass, then head home.

Any idea when the earliest time of day one might expect to be able to get a site from Many Glacier?
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Re: 3 day attack on Skyline Experience and Floral Park Route

Postby alexblondeau » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:29 pm

The good people staffing the GNP social media were kind enough to help me out with some of the questions I just posed above :)
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Re: 3 day attack on Skyline Experience and Floral Park Route

Postby pyerger » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:05 pm

alexblondeau wrote:The good people staffing the GNP social media were kind enough to help me out with some of the questions I just posed above :)

Good! It's been eight years since my last trip to GNP. but we used to drive up the pass at all times of the night, and frequently at 4:00 AM.
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Re: 3 day attack on Skyline Experience and Floral Park Route

Postby alexblondeau » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:02 pm

Does anyone have experience into what kind of snow conditions one might expect in the latter half of August on the Skyline Experience? Will the drift on 9190 still be there? How about the west couloir route?
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