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Heading to Glacier

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Heading to Glacier

Postby DudeThatMustHurt » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:36 pm

I'm leaving in about 3-4 weeks for 14 days to Glacier, i'm planning on backpacking and or climbing for 2 days out in Essex, MT. I will be working so I know I won't be looking for a death march or anything super technical because my job takes a lot of my energy. I want to find some peaks close to Essex worth doing, I will have a partner with me and both are more than qualified for just about anything.

Fee's?
Permits?
Bear containers?
quality or rock?
road conditions?? (I have a dodge 3500 dually 4x4)
hand guns permited?
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Postby rebelgrizz » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:31 am

In 3 to 4 weeks you should still expect a lot of snow in Glacier, even though we haven't gotten near as much this year as the last two. Within the last week a backcountry snowboarder was killed in an avalanche in Glacier on Mt. Shields (7131') which is due east of Essex as the crow flies.
I have posted two easy peaks on Summitpost in this area of Glacier. Scalplock Mountain is accessed just across Hwy 2 from Essex at the Walton Ranger Station. Elk Mountain is further east on Hwy 2. Both of these peaks have trails to the summit....I would suggest looking at them on Summitpost for more details and VIEWS that you will get if you do them.
There is an entrance fee to the park if you go in through an "official entrance" such as West Glacier or St. Marys...but if you're doing most of your climbing in the southern portion of the park....you would only need one to cya in case a ranger wanted to see one. I believe the fee is $25 for one week....I buy the annual pass for $35.
There are separate fees for backcountry camping...I don't know what they are as I haven't done any....it would probably be discouraged at this point due to weather and bears, so you would only need a bear container if you're able to backcountry camp.
Going to the Sun Road through the park is not open and won't be for months but I'm sure Hwy 2 is snow free. Your truck should work out great for you.
I'm sure handguns are permitted...but you should look at the Glacier National Park website.....it is a great tool for all sorts of information.
I STRONGLY SUGGEST BEAR SPRAY and lots of it and lots of NOISE as you hike in and around Glacier...including any of the smaller peaks south of the park in the Great Bear Wilderness.

Hope this helps!!
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Other options

Postby FlatheadNative » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:02 am

you should be able to get into some of the other peaks along the Continental Divide near Firebrand Pass as well.

rebelgriz is right about snow conditions. You will need snowshoes and other snow climbing gear as well if you are going off trail as well.

The bears are out now and I would opt for bear spray over the handgun option just to make sure you are not violating some federal law.

Check the road status reports on the park website on the link below:
http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/r ... status.cfm

There are also some nice peaks in the St.Marys that would be climbable now as well.

Good luck.
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Postby Saintgrizzly » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:16 am

I'll only second what rebelgrizz said, that you are going to run into LOTS of snow.

Also, I know there's been a great deal of discussion/controversy on hand guns in National Parks, but most experienced back-country folks (i.e., not politicians or the NRA, which are not necessarily the best judges of this sort of thing) feel quite strongly that bear spray is better, safety-wise, for a variety of reasons. Rebelgrizz is correct: carry bear spray (and know how to use it). I believe you currently have the legal right to carry firearms (unloaded, I think), but just because that right is there, doesn't mean it's the best/safest thing to do.

GNP this early in the year is normally a pretty wild place. Be prepared for the potential of quite bad weather, then hope for the best. It has been an unusually mild winter in this part of the Northern Rockies, but the spring can still turn on you.
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Postby Fred Spicker » Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:04 pm

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Postby DudeThatMustHurt » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:06 am

Great info folks and thank you, just a point, the hand gun is not for bear. it's for me being 800 miles from home and knowing no one and just having the piece of mind of not getting looted or caught off guard. the bear spray is for the bears (or humans) I appreciate hunters and how they help but I am not one and have no desire to kill any animal or 2 legged critter
I will check out the peaks and will see what looks feasable when I get on site. I only have one weekend to climb-pack so I plan to make the most of it

Much thanks :)
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Postby MoapaPk » Thu Apr 08, 2010 2:09 am

DudeThatMustHurt wrote: the piece of mind of not getting looted


Ironic spelling.
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Postby DudeThatMustHurt » Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:22 am

MoapaPk wrote:Ironic spelling.


don't start
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Postby rebelgrizz » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:04 pm

Drove around the park on Hwy 2 over the weekend. The Essex area looked like it had more snow than any other part of the park visible from the road.....and it was supposed to get 8 to 12 more inches of snow yesterday....and it probably did as we got at least an inch in the Flathead Valley.
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