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Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

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Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

Postby triyoda » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:54 pm

I am going to be in Glacier for 8 - 10 days in early to mid-July. I realize this may not be the ideal time, but that is how the timing will work out for me. I am looking for some suggested peaks to climb. Typically I prefer long day hikes (10-15 miles, 5000') over overnight, but I am flexible and would be up for a night or two out. I will most likely be traveling alone. I am comfortable on Class 4 terrain (although it sounds like Glacier uses it own rating system) and steep snow.

From what I have found so far, I have come up with several potential peaks.

1. Mt. Cleveland, highest in the park. Looks like nice views. What route would you recommend?
2. Mt. Wilbur looks pretty awesome. I would probably need to hire a guide for this one. Any suggestions?
3. Mt. Kintia. I read a trip report for this peak and it looks amazing.

Ideally I would like to have 6 or 7 good ideas to research and hope to hit 5 or 6 peaks if conditions are right. I would love to hear your top five choices. It would be nice to have a mix of fun climbing and great views. I have a copy of a climbers guide to Glacier NP, but unfortunately not a lot of pictures.
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Re: Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

Postby EarMountain » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:28 pm

All three are good climbs.

Kintla has only been done once as a day climb and that was probably close to 24 hours.

There is no commercial climbing guide service in Glacier NP. The Glacier Wilderness Guides are restricted to trails.
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Re: Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

Postby rebelgrizz » Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:19 am

Your biggest issue is your timing. In most years GTTS Road is open by early July. If you've never been to the park this is the only through road and goes over Logan Pass. However, even if the road is open, there is usually LOTS of snow on trails and peaks, etc. Glacier has received a LOT of snow this winter and is still getting it. In April of last year there was a huge snowstorm.

Anyway, because of the timing your other problem may be access. If you're reduced to the periphery of the park, I use the word "reduced" in jest, because if you have never climbed in or around Glacier....well, trust me, you won't be disappointed.

The Two Medicine area on the east side seems to melt out faster than other areas for some reason...some peaks there to consider are Appistoki, Henry, Medicine, Flinsch, Ellsworth, Rising Wolf...these all have pages on SP.

The Lake McDonald area on the west side has Stanton, Vaught and Brown that you can access that early...they all also have pages on SP.

Marias Pass peaks on the south side are Elk, Little Dog, Summit, Calf Robe, and Red Crow. These all have pages on SP. You will also have more solitude in the Marias Pass area if that is important to you.

One final note...carry bear spray and know how to use it and make noise when you hike. Good luck...hope you have a safe trip and enjoy!
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Re: Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

Postby triyoda » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:21 am

I am worried about the snow and access problems. What is the best recommended topo map of the park. I know there are the National Geographic maps which are pretty good, but sometimes I have found a more local company makes better maps. I need to order a map to figure out where things are in relation to each other, and based on your comment I need to plan for contingencies if Logan pass is not open.
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Re: Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

Postby rebelgrizz » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:40 am

For a general map of the area I have the National Geographic map. For more detail...go to Flatheadnative's profile page and under "lists" look for his 7.5 Minute Topo Maps for Glacier National Park. I have found this to be useful. The topo maps will be smaller in comparison to the Natgeo map, which is a good overall map of the park showing where things are in relation to each other.
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Re: Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

Postby Fred Spicker » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:19 pm

If snow is a problem, consider some combination of Henkel, Crowfeet, and Apikuni. This area tends to melt off fairly early. Any two for a moderate day and all 3 for a long day. Can be done in several different ways and in different order. Links to all can be found here:

http://www.summitpost.org/mount-henkel/152749
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Re: Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

Postby pyerger » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:03 pm

Do you have a copy of Gordon Edwards, climbing Glacier park? A must read!

Considering the time of year, and climbing solo, this would be my list of favorites.

#1 Mt Jackson, 10 to 12 hours, class 3. A cruiser trail to Gunsight lake, climbs very well with snow (take an ice ax) awesome views to Blackfoot, and Harrison glacier.

#2 Mt Edwards west ridge (classic) some short easy 5th class,mostly 3 class, seldom climbed route, but has some of the
best rock in the park, standard route down.

#3 Mt rockwell, great fourth class finish!! many trail miles, long day, Likely to have less snow.

#4 Rising wolf, south face, 3 class, minimal snow, shorter day.

#5 going to the sun mountain 4 class shorter day.

Here are a few other great climbs, that I personally would not climb solo.

#6 Mt. Wilbur, thin mans pleasure, 5 class, A must climb!

#7 Split peak, 5 class finish, great rock, rappel the back side. (solo???)

#8 Blackfoot mountain Awesome climb, can be done in a very long day, glaciers, ice falls, crevasses.
Other fantastic climbs, that would be better in later season, Heavens peak, Kintla, Cleveland, Kinnerly, little matterhorn.

Cheers
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Re: Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

Postby sushiman » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:34 pm

#1 if you can get to the pass i would say a link-up of bishops cap, piegan and pollock.

#2 Stanton and Vaught

#3 Wilbur might be in shape

#4 an overnight at gunsight lake and a climb of either Mt. jackson, Blackfoot, and Mt. logan or all three if you are burly

#5 Divide mtn near st. mary's might be fun too.

the weather guessers are calling for a warmer and drier summer in the northwest, so early to mid july might be great! who knows...
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Re: Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

Postby Colonel Kilgore » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:23 pm

If you're new to climbing in the park, you ought to go to Logan Pass and climb Reynolds, Bearhat, or Clements first to get you a sense of the peaks without a major time or distance commitment. Then you can head for the backcountry once you know a little better what you're getting into.
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Re: Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

Postby triyoda » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:20 am

Thanks for all the ideas. This makes it a lot easier to dissect the guidebook, rather than just try to read the whole thing.
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Re: Glacier National Park Recommended climbs?

Postby seano » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:41 am

Colonel Kilgore wrote:If you're new to climbing in the park, you ought to go to Logan Pass and climb Reynolds...

Just driving Logan Pass is pretty cool. If you do Reynolds, you might as well add Dragontail as well.
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