Glacier NP Next Week--Help!

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Glacier NP Next Week--Help!

Postby steelfrog » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:34 am

Heading to Glacier Next week--late in week; But concerned about snow conditions; here were our initial plan options:

We are staying in Cut Bank, so we're talking East Side.

1. For an easy hike, would you recommend which of these 3: Oberlin, Haystack Butte via Highline, or Ptarmigan Tunnel? Dayhike obviously

2. For a more intermediate mountain the kids and I will do, which TWO among Piegan (1/2 day) and Pollock (other 1/2 day); Cataract; Appistoki; Sinopah; or some other?

Reading now, it seems that snow conditions maybe are closing Highline (someone slipped and fell off yesterday); what about Ptarmigan Tunnel trail? Iceberg Lake? Scenic Point?

I have the backcountry number and will call, but would appreciate any information and suggestions for a (relatively) snow free hike and scrambles.

Many thanks!!
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Re: Glacier NP Next Week--Help!

Postby Papillon » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:18 am

Ptarmigan Tunnel is slated to be "open" on 7/12. You can hike up to the tunnel but a large metal door will block passage. You can scramble up above the tunnel to check out the goat trails on the other side though.

The hike from Many Glacier to Swiftcurrent Fire Lookout should be snow-free. It is 16 miles round and maybe 4000 vert. Cracker Lake is a must see as well. 13 miles round with minimal vert. Altyn should go right now too. Oberlin as well. Oberlin will take just a couple of hours. Virginia Falls is worth a visit.

That is interesting about the fatality. At first I was surprised the highline was open but reading the article it sounds like somebody ducked the rope at Logan Pass.

How long are you gonna be up there? There is a small posse from this forum arriving on 7/4. We plan to hook up with The Other Indian for a hike/climb on 7/7.

Sounds like a mini-gathering is brewing 1,000 miles away from Denver.
The look in his eyes when it hit - Kid, it was tasty... - William Seward Burroughs
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Re: Glacier NP Next Week--Help!

Postby ptyrg » Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:55 pm

Try to get a hold of Gorden Edwards Climbing in Glacier park book. So many options! If your staying in the Cut bank drainage. James peak, is a great peak to climb, (class 2), and grizzly peak (class 4).and you won't have to drive anywhere. A wonderful peak in the two medicine area, is Rising wolf (class 3) one of my favorites!(south face) more of an all day hike though. Sinopha, flinch,and painted tepee are all good peaks. Oberlin is a great little outing! 2/3 hours round trip. Divide peak is also a very popular, and short climb on the east side. and you won't have to drive very far. (lived there for ten years)

Have fun!
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Re: Glacier NP Next Week--Help!

Postby steelfrog » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:10 pm

Thanks! I have the Edwards book as well as the 3 passmore books, which I've been studying. The issue now appears to be the snow conditions etc. I'd like to avoid snow for the most part, and even though it is going to be July, it is still very early in the season for up there. At worst though it will be a great recon trip, for a second one to follow!
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Re: Glacier NP Next Week--Help!

Postby mountainrev » Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:43 pm

We hiked to Iceberg Lake last year on ~July 14 with no problems. Plenty of snow the last 1/4 mile to the lake, but that's normal, and was no problem. The rest of the trail was snow-free. Don't know how different this year would be.

Iceberg Lake is an easy 10 mile round trip with minimal elevation gain (1,200'), but it's absolutely spectacular. I highly recommend it.

Edit: I just found the following current conditions description:

Recent storm washed out 40 feet of trail by Henkel Creek.
Mud and scree slides deposited several debris piles 4 feet high on other sections. 6/21/13
Jct. above Ptarmigan Falls to Iceberg Lake/ 2.1 mi.
Initial clearing scheduled for: 6/28/13
Footbridge scheduled to be installed 6/28/13
Trail is snow-free for the first 3/4 mile beyond the falls.
The last 1.5 miles is mostly snow covered with some potentially hazardous snow field crossings, 6/18/13

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