Monday, July 28, 2008

Skyline ridge walk: Wynn, Cracker and Siyeh peaks

Climbing the gully up Mount Wynn

The peaks to be climbed along the way

Off Mount Siyeh, heading for the gully

Cracker Lake from my Mount Siyeh perch
Last year Mark Hertenstein and I scouted the Skyline Traverse, but in the heat and smoke from the numerous fires burning near the park.
The climb goes from the Cracker Lake Trailhead on the Many Glacier side of the park up Mount Wynn (elevation: 8,404 feet), Mount Cracker ( elevation: 9,833 feet) and Mount Siyeh (10,004 feet). There’s a 5 mile Glacier Park-rooftop walk along the way. The only difficult parts of the hike are the distance (more than 14-miles), an unnamed Red Peak over 9,300 feet with some Class 4 climbing, and finding and negotiating the gullies down the south face of Siyeh.
What made this climb different from last year’s was the snow on the ridge leading to the Red Peak and the snow on the Red Peak itself.
I would have been more comfortable if we had carried an ice ax and used crampons across a stretch of snow and ice that would have been unforgiving if any of us had slipped.
We had a cloudless, clear day that allowed us the most spectacular views of the park in every direction since this ridgeline is centrally located.
The six climbers were a good team and we had an enjoyable, if long day.

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