South Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 48.82140°N / 113.6835°W
Additional Information Route Type: Scrambling
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: GMS III (3) SM
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: Class 3
Sign the Climber's Log


An interesting alternative to the route described by J. Gordon Edwards in Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park. This route ascends the ridge climber's left (West) of the creek gorge.

Getting There

Start by traveling on the Iceberg Lake trail. Once the trail starts traversing a mild slope to the west with Henkel on the right, climber trails start in two locations leading up the meadow on the east side of the creek running down from Henkel. If you've crossed the creek on the main trail, you've missed the climber trails.

Route Description

Follow the climber trail up the meadow through a sparsely wooded growth. Continue up the meadow until you reach a snowbank usually present on the creek below the cliff bands. Cross the creek in a convenient place and start following the path of least resistance up the ridge on the left (facing up) side of the creek. At first, the ridge consists of steep meadows, scree patches, and class 3 cliff bands. Continue scrambling up the ridge until you see a large dark pyramid in front of you on the ridge. It is probably closer to class 4 if ascended directly, but a class 3 way up can be found ascending it diagonally to the left (west).

Once on top of the pyramid, there is a steep face with loose scree and cliff patches. It is possible to ascend it directly, but extremely unpleasant and physically taxing due to the loose nature of the terrain. It is better to traverse right (east) past the ridge crest onto the SE face. It is a pleasant class 2/3 scramble to gain the upper ridge. Once on the upper ridge, follow its gentle slope to the summit.


Either descend the same route or go down the east ridge to the col between the true summit and a lower east summit, and descend the moderately steep yellow scree slopes (great "scree skiing"!). Negotiate down the cliff bands to the lower red-colored basin. Descend the basin and find a way through the lower cliff bands to the steep meadows on the east side of the creek. We traversed left (east) at the bottom of the red basin and found a decent, though loose, way down there.

Essential Gear

Nothing other than general hiking gear needed if snow is absent. With snow, an ice axe is probably a good idea.

External Links

A good reference to the nature of the rock and grading in Glacier National Park



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.