|On top of Mount Morgan in Glacier|
|Dear friends (and Geezers) Rick Reese and Wayne Phillips on top Mount Siyeh|
|Brother Dan Kotynski with his family at Two Med|
I’m freshly back from more than two weeks in Glacier National Park where I climbed with Glacier Mountaineering Society friends, and hiked with family members.
During that time I did the following:
· Got introduced to Deadwood Falls in the St. Mary River drainage;
· Climbed McClintock and Morgan Peaks in the Two Medicine;
· Climbed Mount Siyeh for the fourth time, this time with two dear friends, descending the steep and cliffy west face;
· Got rained out on Curly Bear Mountain, but salvaged the day with an exploratory above Virginia Falls on the flank of Dusty Star Mountain. The area there has some potential as a route to Almost a Dog Mountain;
|Daughter Lei at Sun Canyon Ranch|
· Took classic Glacier hikes with family members including Siyeh Pass, the waterfalls hike around Two Medicine Lake, Ptarmigan Tunnel and Iceberg Lake in a day, Firebrand Pass, and Grinnell Glacier;
· Rafted the Middle Fork of the Flathead;
· Picked tons of huckleberries, which my wife, Katie, made into an incredible pie;
· Did some horseback riding in the Front in the Sun River Canyon with my daughter.
It was great being around my brother, Dan, his wife Kristin and their three children, and three of my five children. We stayed for a week at a summer home Dan had rented on the Heart Butte Road near East Glacier in very wild grizzly habitat
Couple of observations: the GMS group I was with on McClintock and Morgan took that climb and hike entirely too quickly. While I liked climbing the peak, the speed of the some 20 mile trip was less than enjoyable. It didn’t allow any group bonding. It seemed as though egos took over.
The best climb of the week was Siyeh because I was able to rejoin old hiking partners Wayne Phillips and Rick Reese, both approaching 68, who are in incredible condition. We took an exciting exploratory route down the west face, through some challenging cliff bands into a remote and wild valley north of Piegan Pass. About a third of the way down the face we intruded on a good size grizzly that quickly departed through the cliffs.
I never tire of the classic Glacier hikes and can do them over and over.
The only negative might have been car trouble at Swiftcurrent Inn when our car’s fuel pump went out and we had to be towed back to Great Falls.
But there was even a positive in that because the tow truck operator, Jim Hoyt, of Browning, was so interesting.
Now…..let’s see what’s next on my Glacier agenda.
|Dan leading through Siyeh Pass|
|Kristin, son Gavin, and Dan above Ptarmigan Lake|
|Niece Lindsey Kotynski braves the ice (barefoot) at Iceberg Lake|