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Climbing in Glacier Nat'l Park - class 5 rock question

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Climbing in Glacier Nat'l Park - class 5 rock question

Postby leaf » Mon May 10, 2010 3:12 pm

Hey all -

Heading to Glacier in mid-late July and I'm an east-coast granite climber. I know the rock is mostly sedimentary out there and they've got their own classification system. I'm looking at trip reports/pics/etc and seems like the norm is class 3-4/loose rock and unroped scrambling.

I did hear there are some good quality rock routes but they are rare. I'm curious if anyone has done some class 5, roped, technical climbing routes and they want to unleash their first hand knowledge. Would be greatly appreciated!

I'm probably going to stay at the Many Glacier area, but have rope and willing to travel. I've looked at Mt. Wilbur and that seems promising. I'll be out there for at least 5 days of climbing.

Thanks!
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Postby rebelgrizz » Mon May 10, 2010 4:25 pm

You might want to contact the Glacier Mountaineering Society. They do all sorts of climbs and someone there could probably give you the information you want. There are links to the GMS on most, if not all, of Saintgrizzly's GNP mountain pages.
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Postby EarMountain » Mon May 10, 2010 5:57 pm

If you have not climbed the loose sedimentary rock of Glacier I'd spend my first trip there doing the class 3-4 routes. Some in the MG area might be Allen and Henkle. Wilbur is there for late in your trip if you've enjoyed the previous climbs.

Pick up a copy of A Climber's guide to Glacier National Park by J. Gordon Edwards for good route information on the peaks. A PM is your friend.
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Postby Jakester » Mon May 10, 2010 6:52 pm

You should talk to Fred Spicker.

Mount Saint Nicholas looks pretty sweet.
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Don't forget snowshoes

Postby fsclimb » Mon May 10, 2010 8:45 pm

They are really picky about postholing out West...
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Postby leaf » Tue May 11, 2010 1:28 pm

cool, thanks all.

i have the guide book. i was just seeing if anyone has done those peaks and can give a little insight on protection, such as.. leave bigger cams at home, most cracks are small horizontal - slopey and hard to protect, a class 4 might feel like low class 5 to you, or whatever.. since the northern rockies are a bit alien to me.

of course i'll find out when i get there, just looking to gather whatever info i can.. always good to have a little first hand knowledge from someone.

i agree on spending some time on class 3/4 stuff. the skyline looks sweet and i have my eye on mt. merritt for starters.
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Postby EarMountain » Wed May 12, 2010 2:20 am

leaf wrote:... i have my eye on mt. merritt for starters.

Mount Merritt is 11.5 miles from the Chief Mountain trailhead and then it's 5,000 feet of vertical. Is this a day trip for you? If not it becomes a 3 day trip for most. Each time I've climbed Merritt I've camped at one of the three campsites near the base of Merritt. These are Mokowanis Junction, Mokowanis Lake and the Head of Glenns Lake. All of these are in high demand in summer and difficult to get by advance reservation and harder to get via a walk up permit. Just so you know.
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Postby leaf » Wed May 12, 2010 2:42 am

thanks, yeah.. i actually just submitted my reservation request this morning. definitely not going to try that one in a day! even just one night out might not be sufficient. doubt i'm going to want to hike out the 13 miles after a full day of climbing. looking at the availability, it seems doubtful i'll be able to snag them, but with all these other awesome peaks around, i don't think i'll be that disappointed. thanks for the heads up.

fred spicker suggested reynolds and clements as good 'intro to climbing in glacier' mountains, and by the looks of them it does seem like a perfect way to start out. thanks fred for your advice!
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Postby Chewy » Tue May 18, 2010 9:08 pm

leaf wrote:fred spicker suggested reynolds and clements as good 'intro to climbing in glacier' mountains, and by the looks of them it does seem like a perfect way to start out. thanks fred for your advice!


I agree with Fred. Both mountains will provide a great introduction to Glacier parks rock and you have a very good chance of getting a close encounter with mountain goats and bighorn sheep.

I climb both peaks at least once a year and am looking forward to playing on them next month when Logan pass opens.

I hope you have a great trip.
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Edwards mountain

Postby pyerger » Wed May 19, 2010 6:57 pm

I used to live up there and have climbed most of the notable peaks in the park.I'm a little reluctant to give this out, but the west ridge of mount Edwards, is an awesome 5th class climb on some of the best rock in the park. If I remember right, we use a couple of small cams, nuts, and a single 60 meter rope. You can then decend the standard route. Other good peaks are St. nick. wilbur,split, for there rock quality.

Good luck

Peter
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Postby leaf » Tue May 25, 2010 1:53 pm

nice! thanks.. will check that peak out. thanks for the gear info as well. st nick is definitely on the radar also. now i wish i booked more than just 6 days there. 8)
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gnp st. nich.

Postby pyerger » Tue May 25, 2010 9:54 pm

St.Nick. is the jewel of Glacier park climbing. The problem with that peak, is the approach.Lots of miles, with some awesome bushwacking.I new a couple of people that did it car, to car in less than 24 hours,( super human) they forded the flathead river, (at I forgot what creek,) bushwacking all the way. . If you climb it, you don't need to pull that overhang that every one talks about (first moves). Just start about 100'to 200' left, and that keeps it at about 5.2. for the first pitch. Mt. Wilbur is also. a good climb, with lots of exposure. Can be done in a day. 8 hours or so, I don't remember? There are so many great climbs in the park, I am kinda reminising.

Good luck have fun!

Peter
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