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First Time Visiting Glacier NP, Mountain Climb Suggestions

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First Time Visiting Glacier NP, Mountain Climb Suggestions

Postby Ventrella006 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:23 pm

I will be visiting Glacier NP for the first time in Late August. I would like to climb a mountain (mostly for views). I'm in good shape, hike a lot, and can handle a strenuous climb but want to avoid a technical climb and snow(no gear, unfamiliar with the area, etc.).
Looking to pack light and do a 1/2 day - 3/4 day to soak up what looks to be an awesome place!! I searched through the forums but its difficult filter through. I would ideally like to avoid short skirmishes/heavy crowds (unless you feel it's a must see).
Any suggestions would be great!
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Re: First Time Visiting Glacier NP, Mountain Climb Suggestio

Postby GlacierCountry » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:07 pm

There are a LOT of peaks you can hit in a day in the park at that time of year without worrying about snow. Access is area-based so you could consider climbs based on where you are staying or camping. I suggest you get the book "Climb Glacier National Park" by Blake Passmore which details the climbs based on areas of the park. All of the peaks in the books (3 volumes) are non-technical. If you don't want to buy the book(s) I could make some suggestions, and it would help to know what area you prefer.
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Re: First Time Visiting Glacier NP, Mountain Climb Suggestio

Postby Stu Brandel » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:54 am

You can't go wrong in Glacier. Here are a couple that are 1/2 to 3/4 day I have done which provide lots of view for relatively little effort:

Two Medicine Area, in order of seclusion:
- Calf Robe Peak
- Mt Helen (use boat shuttle to cut some of hike if you wish)
- Scenic Point

Logan Pass Area: Always a lot of people nearby
- Highline Trail (No summits on trail, but there are some summits nearby and a small detour gets you to an overlook of Grinnell Glacier. Shuttle bus back to Logan Pass.

Many Glacier Area:
- Mt. Henkel (Most view for the effort in the park, I would say.)

I can't speak of the harder summits - yet. I want to get back there someday.

All are class 1-2 with a little 3 sometimes.



I want to get back there someday. Enjoy.
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Re: First Time Visiting Glacier NP, Mountain Climb Suggestio

Postby Fred Spicker » Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:39 pm

If you want a half day or half day plus summit “in the midst of the mountains” I recommend one of these three in the Logan Pass area. If you arrive very early in the morning at the Pass, there will be few if any people on your way up.

These peaks / routes fit your specifications:

Reynolds via the SW Talus Slope Route
http://www.summitpost.org/reynolds-mountain-mt/150946

Pollock via the Great Cleft – or if that worries you via its N Ridge from the Highline Trail
http://www.summitpost.org/pollock-mountain-mt/152135

Clements via the W Ridge (maybe a little longer than you want)
http://www.summitpost.org/clements-mountain/151303
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Re: First Time Visiting Glacier NP, Mountain Climb Suggestio

Postby pyerger » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:07 pm

I have to agree with Fred. reynolds, and Clements, are great 1/2-3/4 day trips. The diagnol route on reynolds is awesome must do! Other ideas are, Going to the sun mountain which has a short 4th class section. One of my favorites is MT. jackson!(third class) But Jackson is a full 10/12 hours,but will get you in to some of the most incredible areas of the park. Gunsight lake, lots of waterfalls, swinging bridges, big glaciers.( you won't have to travel on)
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Re: First Time Visiting Glacier NP, Mountain Climb Suggestio

Postby rebelgrizz » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:35 am

You definitely won't have to worry about snow in late August unless there is a freak snowstorm (which has happened in the past). If you want to avoid crowds stay away from Logan Pass. Getting there early is a must to find a parking place and you will avoid people on the way up...but on the way down you will have to contend with thousands of gawking tourists (maybe a slight exaggeration) on the only trail back to the Logan Pass parking lot (not fun, I've done it more than once).

Pollock is a good choice as you park at Lunch Creek and you also have the option of doing Piegan from the Piegan-Pollock saddle, if you think you have enough time...both of those are worthwhile peaks. There is still road construction going on in the park on GTTS Road.

If you want to avoid people and road construction head to the SE portion of the park. Calf Robe is a good option there. Lots of bears...make sure you carry bear spray. Two Medicine gives you lots of options....Bison Mountain, Medicine Peak, Appistoki Peak will all give you magnificent views...Appistoki being the longest and hardest of the three.

Stay off the Highline Trail unless its on your bucket list....usually filled with rude "hikers" who know nothing about trail etiquette.
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Re: First Time Visiting Glacier NP, Mountain Climb Suggestio

Postby steelfrog » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:14 pm

Hello All--we are going NEXT WEEK and I have some questions please!

We are staying in Cut Bank, so we're talking East Side.

1. For an easy hike, would you recommend which of these 3: Oberlin, Haystack Butte via Highline, or Ptarmigan Tunnel? Dayhike obviously

2. For a more intermediate mountain the kids and I will do, which TWO among Piegan (1/2 day) and Pollock (other 1/2 day); Cataract; Appistoki; Sinopah; or some other?

Many thanks!!
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Re: First Time Visiting Glacier NP, Mountain Climb Suggestio

Postby Stu Brandel » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:41 am

Ptarmigan Tunnel is an easy hike - but Iceberg Lake is about the same distance /ease and is a bit more awesome. Or do both on the same hike!
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Re: First Time Visiting Glacier NP, Mountain Climb Suggestio

Postby rebelgrizz » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:30 am

Steelfrog....anything high around the Logan Pass general area probably still has some snow to deal with...I'm not sure if the Highline Trail is even open yet....you could still get to Haystack Butte by taking the climbers trail up from the GTTS Road. This trail is located on the east side of Haystack Butte and is not marked but very easy to find.

Cataract is one of the lowest of your other choices and is just a walk-up...but the talus on the route up can be unstable...good one to break an ankle on.

Two Medicine usually melts out faster than anywhere else in the Park....I would suggest a hike up to Scenic Point which will give you a good view of the route up Appistoki. Medicine Peak and Bison Mountain are also kid-friendly peaks in Two Medicine.
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