Page Type: Album
Object Title: Stormy Weather
Image Type(s): Rock Climbing, Hiking, Scenery, Panorama
Page By: andrew david
Created/Edited: Mar 20, 2013 / Mar 21, 2013
Object ID: 843027
Page Score: 72.08% - 2 Votes
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Defying the WeatherIf you ever wondered what its like to be on top of a mountain with lightning storms all around, check out the pictures below. It is a great thrill. And who else could tell you so? In the words of the early Daffy Duck: "I'm not crazy, I just don't give a darn." Some of these storms caught me by surprise, in my defense. And I usually read clouds very well.
Most of this album is shot in Glacier National Park. I drove to GNP twice in 2011, and as the road is 12 hours each way for me from Utah, I let nothing stop me from going up all the mountains I could in my time there. My fun included a run up Mount Gould as storms moved in quickly all around. Below me, people were taking bets on whether or not I would die, but I didn't. And none of them hung around long enough to find out. I regret nothing. Nearly every other peak was smashed. I managed to get all the way back to my car nearly dry, though.
Be sure to at least click on the panoramas at the bottom of each gallery. They are really spectacular, in my humble opinion.
I thought about doing a Mount Gould trip report, but coming from the Highline Trail as I did, there is no route or trail. The whole side of the mountain is fun and possible. You just invent your own way. Or follow any of thousands of cairns other climbers have left. The only trick is getting through the black rock, there is a single white staircase that achieves that. I advise climbing up the path of least resistance to the black rock, then moving East (to your right facing Mount Gould) until you find the opening. If you aren't sure you are on the white staircase, then you are not on the white staircase. With a partner you could also just spot each other or boost each other, but why take stupid risks? Yeah, I said that to be ironic, as it is in this album.
The Garden Wall. Until you are doing it, you'd never think the thing could be climbed. Up close, its not that sheer.
Looking south and thinking: this could end badly. Haystack Butte in the foreground. I spent another hour going up.
Looking up. Typical of the solid stretches, but you'll be swimming through steep scree too.
Higher up the Garden Wall, I notice the storms are not just to my south.
Through a short gulley of scree. Looking South.
Topping off on the Garden Wall.
Walking West to the high point of the summit plateau.
Mount Allen to the North. Look for the hanging lakes.
The amazing Mount Allen comes into view to the North.
I guess things are pretty steep, despite my earlier caption.
An impressive sight where I topped out on the Garden Wall. East of the Mount Gould Summit by 1000 ft or so.
Things look more ominous to the South. I vow to move faster and stop taking pictures.
I prove myself a liar by taking many photos to the Northwest for some reason. Iceburg Peak is nearly black. Mount Merritt is a huge prominent peak behind Iceburg and to the right with a glacier running up its flank.
Looking almost due North.
Another shot North. You can pick out some of the well-worn trails through the Many Glacier area.
Angel's Wing below looks puny, but is a fun and easy addition to a trip to the Grinnell Glacier and Upper Grinnell Lake. From the summit there is a magnificent view of Mount Grinnell and a vast waterfall.
Starting down and looking to the Southwest, Heaven's Peak is prominent and sits at the meeting of Going to the Sun Road and a river below.
The sky darkens so I try to move faster.
The Garden Wall makes for hard going in a rush.
No time to tie my shoe as I was literally outrunning a storm back on the Highline Trail.
My last shot before hopping in the car as the rain fell. Of course, I still had to drive down the Going to the Sun Road in the rain. Mt Oberlin is central. Reynolds on the far left in background. Heaven's Peak is in background haze on right.
A Photoshop edit I made; 3 photos merged into a panorama, then stripped the color on all but the lakes- a LOT of work. The storm meant I had the mountain to myself. View is directly North with Grinnell taking up the center of the frame, Merritt visible as the high peak with a glacier scooting up its right flank. Iceberg Peak and the Merritt are nearly all black in shadow. Below is Grinnell Lake and Angel's Wing Mountain.
Another panorama north.
This is the weather when I started heading out to Mount Gould. Storms come quick in GNP. 90 min later, people were fleeing the park. Mt Gound is on the right, 2nd to farthest peak.
A wide panorama in full color of the storms to the North. Sometimes its better to be lucky than smart.
This is my favorite mountain in GNP (so far). It is almost dead-center to the Park, so the views are to die for. The climb is fun too. You can do it anywhere from a Class 3 to a Class 5. It takes a lot of work to keep things all at Class 3 though. Lots of route-finding extra zigs and zags. Just going straight up will go a lot faster. There are 2 summits and both are awesome, but the traverse between takes time. Many more photos and details from this run will be in a TR attached to the Bearhat page soon. This storm wasn't much but scenery and wind.
Looking South from near the South summit of Bearhat.
Looking Up More at this cloud I started to worry over.
Looking south towards Edwards Mountain and the Sperry Glacier area.
Looking West. Not sure if this peak has a name. It is not named on my map.
This is a life-changing view. I think about Glacier everyday since getting there. It puts me in a good mood. On left: Dragon Tail, middlish: Mount Jackson, to its right is Edward's Peak looking like a pyramid block.
I spent most of a day on Bearhat because it is so centrally located the view in every direction is breath-taking.
This is the left half of a massive panorama I have printed for my wall (4 ft long). I split it so it displays better. Looking North, Hidden Lake below.
Right half. The prominent horn is Mt Reynolds, and to its right is Dragon Tail. Behind you can see Siyeh and many others.
I have a trip report attached to the Mount Oberlin page, named "Easter Island" which I highly recommend, but here are some panoramas not attached there.
Looking East from the trail up to Mount Oberlin. This is Logan Pass with Mount Reynolds, Heavy Runner, and Siyeh.
Taken from "Easter Island". Looking east at Logan Pass area again. Duck Rock is visible.
Going to the Sun Road is very visible far below.
Looking West from "Easter Island". So windy. So cold. So worth it.
Cirque of the Towers
I have a Trip Report up on the Cirque of the Towers page, but here are a few stormy pics.
This is the last picture I took for the day because the storm broke in about 30 seconds.
Warbonnet 1 and 2 swallowed by clouds.
Should I be this far from my tent right now?
A fun little ledge walk on the way up Watchtower.
Peaks in Utah and in the Idaho Sawtooths