|GMS group comes off top of Mount Grinnell|
|On top of Elk Calf peak in Badger Two Med, looking toward Glacier Park|
|Mark Hertenstein works his way down to Iceberg Lake from Iceberg Notch|
Throughout the week skilled leaders took climbers on many of the classic routes detailed in the late J. Gordon Edwards’ “A Climber’s Guide to Glacier National Park,” (Falcon).
I did seven climbs and traverses, four of which I had done previously, but satisfying, nonetheless: Grinnell Mountain, Lone Walker peak, Mount Reynolds Grand Traverse (which I led), the Ptarmigan Traverse with descent through the Iceberg Notch, and Divide Mountain. During one of my “rest” days I also climbed Elk Calf and Flattop mountains in nearby Badger-Two Medicine Wilderness Study Area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest.
It was also a time to commemorate Edwards’ life. He died a year ago during the week, stricken with a heart attack at age 84 on Divide Mountain.
He was celebrated in a memorial event at the St. Mary Visitor’s Center.
That was a lot of activity over 7-days. It was very windy most of the week, but sunny and warm, too.
It is hard to pick out which of the trips was most spectacular. Each has its own special beauty.
· The views from Grinnell peak, located at the head of the Swiftcurrent valley at Many Glacier, were exceptional. You are able to look directly down on Grinnell Lake and Glacier, some 3,000 feet below. Our route was from the Loop on the Going to the Sun Highway, up to Granite Park Chalet, to the Grinnell Overlook, and across ledges to the summit ridge. We followed a herd of bighorn rams across the ledges between the Grinnell Overlook and the summit ridge. On the way down we got out our ice axes and used them on three large snowfields that hang off the ridgeline.
|Coming off Lone Walker peak|
|GMS group comes off Mount Reynolds on Grand Traverse|
|Here I am on Ptarmigan goat trail above Helen Lake|
· Divide Mountain. This is a wonderful way to say goodbye to the park after a special week. Hertenstein and I scrambled this limestone sentinel at the park’s St. Mary entrance before noon after a heavy breakfast at the Park Café. The climb is just under 2,000 feet and passes by an interesting old octagonal lookout, long out of use. There are exceptional views of St. Mary Lake, and the heart of the park’s east side.
|Mark Hertenstein on Divide Mountain near the Octagonal ranger station|