Monday, March 13, 2023

Lunching with Rising Wolf: Looking Glass Pass ski

Rising Wolf Mountain above Lower Two Medicine Lake in Glacier Park

 I'm finally free of my first cold in three years, and it was a doozy.

It drained all my strength and I spent three days during its 10-day siege mostly sleeping.

So, when it lifted this weekend I decided to test where I might be strength-wise.

Not too bad.

We had an intense snowfall and drop in temperatures on Friday, so I thought the snow might be pretty good in the Two Med Country of Glacier Park.

I headed up there for a look, without many expectations.

I checked in with
Laurie Lintner, who was waitressing at the Two Med Grille in East Glacier Park, and she suggested Looking Glass Highway, which is closed during the winter, offering a scenic trip high above the Lower Two Medicine River, with fantastic views of Rising Wolf, Sinopah, Spot, and Scenic Point mountains, as well as the Badger Two Medicine mountains in the Rocky Mountain Front to the south.

She thought someone had broken trail to the pass, some four miles up where the road is blocked, which make the pass a great destination.

She was right, that the trail was broken ---- but only for the first mile.  No one had been on the rest since snow had hammered the area the night before.  The snow was rather wet and about 4-6 inches deep and the previous trail was only faintly visible.   This was snow that would require a Maxi-glide wax to prevent the wet snow from sticking to the bottom of my skis.

Breaking trail was tedious and brutal.

The compensating factors were the absolute world-class scenery, the  quiet, and the fresh, virgin snow.

I was covering just a little more than a mile an hour.

By the time mid-afternoon had rolled around and I had found a break spot for lunch with a spectacular view of Rising Wolf Mountain, it was time to turn around.

I had left Great Falls for Glacier at 8:45 a.m., and got back at 6:45 p.m., having enjoyed the national park without having encountered a single soul on this ski trip.

Looking Glass Highway, which connects East Glacier Park to the Kiowa Junction, offers many other side trips when there is time:  access to the site of the former Looking Glass Fire Lookout, the Two Medicine Ridge, the Two Medicine Valley, and a ridge walk from the pass to a fence access to the park across Blackfeet Reservation land to the base of Spot Mountain.


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