The 4th of July celebration in Polebridge ran late. So was our start. The Kayak we secured to borrow was in the N. Fork, but quite a drive to pickup. We got it in the water around 3pm. Hiked up the well established elk trail towards the saddle. Hundred of mosquito bites later, in the dark, we bivyed right below the saddle. Summited the next day, and had the joy of paddling against 25mph headwinds and constant whitecaps. We zigzagged the canoe home, slowly. The drive to St Mary felt like an eternity. Climbed with Hannah
Following our canoe approach, we found a good climbers trail on climber's left (northeast side) of the access creek leading to the west face route. That trail gets a bit hard to follow through one patch of blow down but keeps going beyond that. We used an undesignated camp with running water (~6,250') in the drainage heading at the Rainbow-Square saddle. Camp was about two hours from the lake and 200 meters south of the ascent drainage behind a big rock visible on Google Earth imagery (WGS84:-114.114452,48.869902). Though sufficient for a small 2-person tent, bivy bags would allow more options. It was another 3:20 to the summit from camp with some 3rd class once on the face; no significant exposure. If you're looking for treadmill scree tend too far right for the last few hundred vertical. There was running water at about 7,200' in the ascent gulley.
Sunshine and fresh wolverine tracks 10 feet from the summit cairn!
2010 with Ron. Climbed Rainbow via the saddle between Rainbow and Square Peaks. After summiting Rainbow we continued to and climbed Mount Carter.
2002 with Bill. Established high camp and also climbed Square Peak.
Climbed with G.M.S.
CW, Katie and I. 6 hours.
Did this as a two-fer along with Mt. Carter. Climbed up drainage between the two peaks. A long demanding day.
Climbed with GMS group led by Jeff Young
Four excellent hikers, one sunny day and 5500 vertical feet of rock. Ben, Liz, Logan and Sam set off on a gorgeous Saturday morning with a borrowed canoe on the roof of the car and four light packs. Three of the four had climbed a handful of peaks previous, one was a virgin.
The party arrived at Bowman Lake Car Campground at 10:00 a.m., loaded the canoe with their bodies and gear and motored along the SE shore until the little electric motor's power gave out. They paddled the rest of the way through a fog so thick the shore mere yards away could not be seen.
Using their minimal route beta given them by a friend and coworker they compared what they'd heard to their topo listening carefully for the sound of two prominent streams emptying into the lake. Upon reaching the second stream the fog had only minutes previous, lifted assuring them they were at their destination. The canoe was pulled ashore, packs shouldered and the climb begun.
A useful piece of information for the climbers would have been the existence of a game trail along the (climber's) right side of the creek but this info had not been passed so they made their way up the left bank and river bed depending on which was less clogged with alder.
After some time climbing the creek bed a bit of a plateau was reached. At this point the creek turned forked, one aspect going left (East) and the other continuing onward (East Southeast). The vegetation density reduced slightly here as well. The scree covered slopes of the peak were very close. The group made their way up the wide creek that continued straight ahead eventually reaching a section strewn with armchair-sized boulders.
Hiking in two groups, Sam and Logan, roomates and hiking partners led the way while Ben and Liz, a couple followed shortly behind.
As the party reached the head of the creek they were comfortably upon the talus and scree that covered this face of the peaks upper section. From here it was a steep slog straight upwards to the obvious summit. The route was mainly scree walking with class three and four scrambles over small cliffs popping up at times. With careful planning a very safe route can be accomplished up this face.
Being September in the high country snow had accumulated on the last thousand or so feet so the party carefully poked through ankle to calf-deep snow placing their feet gingerly on the scree below the surface.
By this time it was getting beyond the halfway point in the daylight hours and the group realized that bringing more than one headlamp along would have been a good idea. They were determined however to summit and opted to prod on reaching it with roughly an hour or two of daylight to spare.
A few quick photos were taken, the breathtaking panorama of the Rocky and Canadian Rocky mountains was taken in and the descent began.
The group arrived at the fork in the creek as darkness set in. They knew they were safe as long as they followed the creek bed to their waiting canoe (and cold beers stashed in the water). They made their way gingerly saving the headlamp batteries for the darkest places with relative success. All was going well until they had to leave the creek bed and onto the left bank for the boulders were getting too hard to navigate. The walking became extremely difficult when the headlamp batteries died and the group was forced to feel their way from tree to tree keeping the sound of the creek steadily off to their right for direction.
At approximately midnight Logan and Sam could hear the sound of waves on the lake, peeked their heads out from the vegetation and realized that they had, possibly miraculously, ended up at the exact location of the canoe - and more importantly - beers.
They popped the tops off of a couple Deschutes Black Butte Porters and waited the fifteen or so minutes for Ben and Liz to appear.
The tired but ecstatic party packed the canoe and began the paddle back to the waiting car and subsequent drive back to their homes in West Glacier.