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Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

14ers in California and Washington state or any other peak in the USA
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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby DurangoJenn » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:11 pm

mountaingoat-G wrote:Has anyone ever boated on St Mary Lake?
Or biked Going-to-the-Sun highway?
We will be there in mid-august and plan on doing these things, not to mention doing some hikes... Never been before, would appreciate any input



I don't know if boating is allowed on St. Mary Lake. I know you cannot rent boats to take on that lake because of the rough water. You can take a scenic boat tour on St. Mary. What kind of boating are you planning on doing? Your own boat or renting one?

You can bike Going to the Sun Road, but there is road construction going on as mentioned. Also, you cannot bike from Apgar Campground to Sprague Creek Campground in either direction or from Logan Creek to Logan Pass eastbound between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bicycling.htm

I was just there for 8 days a few weeks ago camping and hiking with my kids. It was awesome. Two Medicine and Many Glacier were definitely my fave spots. I much prefer the east side of the park to the west.

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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby rlw49 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:59 pm

Be sure and read "Night of the Grizzlies" before you go. Sure kept me on my toes! Also do the hike at the south end of Waterton Lake. Bunches 0f moose grazing in a large pond.

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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby DurangoJenn » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:38 pm

rlw49 wrote:Be sure and read "Night of the Grizzlies" before you go. Sure kept me on my toes! Also do the hike at the south end of Waterton Lake. Bunches 0f moose grazing in a large pond.


Except for the day my kids and I went. Not a moose to be seen. And all I heard from everyone was how they usually see anywhere from 1-9 moose there. I was so bummed. I love seeing moose. Still was a pretty nature walk.

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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby rlw49 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:32 pm

Saw at least 6 moose, no grizz. Granite Chalet was a nice hike.

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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby mountaingoat-G » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:33 am

lordhelmut wrote:Anything in and around Many Glacier. Papillon did a TR last month -

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=13885&parmpeak=All+Peaks+%28Minus+Popular+14ers%29&parmuser=papillon&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include

From Logan Pass :

Highline Trail
Oberlin Peak
Reynolds Mountain
Mount Siyeh (from Siyeh Bend - a 10er)

From Many Glacier :

Cracker Lake
Swiftcurrent Pass/Granite Chalet/Switcurrent Peak fire lookout (one of the most scenic hikes I've ever seen, hands down, no questions asked, even more so than Highline Trail and less crowded, starts directly at Swiftcurrent Hotel)
Grinnell Glacier
Iceberg Lake/Ptarmigan Tunnel

This is all just stuff I did and can vouch for. Probably even more cool stuff around Two Medicine Area and then Waterton up in Canada.



Perfect, I will look at this TR right away! Thanks




DurangoJenn wrote:
I don't know if boating is allowed on St. Mary Lake. I know you cannot rent boats to take on that lake because of the rough water. You can take a scenic boat tour on St. Mary. What kind of boating are you planning on doing? Your own boat or renting one?

You can bike Going to the Sun Road, but there is road construction going on as mentioned. Also, you cannot bike from Apgar Campground to Sprague Creek Campground in either direction or from Logan Creek to Logan Pass eastbound between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bicycling.htm

I was just there for 8 days a few weeks ago camping and hiking with my kids. It was awesome. Two Medicine and Many Glacier were definitely my fave spots. I much prefer the east side of the park to the west.



I've read that you can boat on St Mary's and looked on the maps/aerials and there are boat ramps. We are bringing our own 2-person kayak and will navigate around Wild Goose Island (if the weather holds). I've seen pics kayakers have taken on the lake. We will also hit Lake Yellowstone on the way home.

We will be staying on the East side and riding to Logan Pass from St Mary Campground (will probably have a vehicle up top where we can change clothes and hike to Hidden Lake. Traffic is a concern, though.

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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby kman » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:53 am

rlw49 wrote:Be sure and read "Night of the Grizzlies" before you go. Sure kept me on my toes!

I would highly recommend buying bear spray and have it available at all times while in the Park. You may never see a bear (the vast majority don't), and IMO you're more likely to have a vending machine fall on you and kill you than an incident with a bear. They really don't want anything to do with humans and pretty much go out of their way to avoid us. Having said that, I just spent two weeks in the Park and saw bears more than a few times. They travel the path of least resistance like we do - meaning the trails, and you are likely to see scat and signs posted warning of bears "frequenting the area" on any given trail. There's usually only a problem if the bear has cubs, because obviously the bear will want to defend those cubs. Don't expect to only see bears in the forested valley areas either. Here are some pics of a grizzly bear family I encountered last week just a few hundred feet from the summit of Mt. Siyeh. I had to wait for an hour for them to leave the area before it was safe to summit. Mt. Siyeh is the 5th highest mountain in the Park, and it was definitely surprising to see bear activity this high up! Just be safe (travel in a group & make noise as you hike) and enjoy the Park! (the pics are pretty obvious, but wanted to point out that the 2nd picture shows the grizzly bears on the left edge of the snow field with the summit above and just out of the picture).
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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby lordhelmut » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:07 am

They really don't want anything to do with humans and pretty much go out of their way to avoid us.


Sounds like an intelligent species.

That's really cool you were able to witness this though.

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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby mountaingoat-G » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:30 am

Thanks for all this info!

We have 2 cans of pepper spray and some bells. I am still a bit nervous, though as I have been charged by a black bear a few years ago and was harassed by one in a camp near Leadville last summer. Fortunately, I was very close to me car. I honked the horn and the bear was not phased by this at all. I started the car and revved the engine and that did scare him away... a little bit. I suspect he smelled our breakfast..

Anyway, I've never seen a grizzly, but would love to... from a safe distance.

I think it was the "Planet Earth" documentary that stated bears went above timberline to look for moths to eat in the talus.

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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby Papillon » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:37 pm

Sweet images, kman. Mountaineering in grizz country puts hair on your ass. You simply cannot plod with your head down like you can here. If you carry bear spray, you have to have it at the ready. I wore mine on my hip. We had to cross some dense foliage near Cracker Lake after people warned us of a sow and cub in the vicinity and I took it off my hip and popped the safety but never saw or heard anything.

Somebody was killed at Many Glacier CG back in '76, dragged from her tent at 7 A.M.

You've gotta be diligent there but, honestly, after 24 hours and one hike, the anxiety will vanish.
The look in his eyes when it hit - Kid, it was tasty... - William Seward Burroughs

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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby mountaingoat-G » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:42 pm

We have a hard-sided trailer to sleep in, so not to worried about bears at night...

But, yeah, those bears are a new element

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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby kman » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:43 pm

lordhelmut wrote:
That's really cool you were able to witness this though.

What's really cool is that trip report from your buddy Papillon! That was a good read and some really nice pictures. Small world, I also talked to Virginia at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn giftshop. Good to see you guys swam in Iceberg Lake. And, visited the Park Cafe in St. Mary - pie for strength! When you head back there next year (because I have a feeling you're hooked and you will), make sure you climb Piegan, Pollock, and Bishops Cap. These three can be climbed together in a day starting from the Lunch Creek trailhead on the Sun Road and then descending from the connecting saddle between Bishops Cap and Pollock (after climbing Bishops Cap for the "trifecta") down to the Highline Trail and then a short walk from Logan Pass back to your car at the Lunch Creek Trailhead (all this is in Passmore's book). There are, of course, so many peaks to climb in the Park, but these three together are just outstanding. Plus, you get to experience the "great cleft" on Pollock mountain.

mountaingoat-G wrote:Thanks for all this info!

We have 2 cans of pepper spray and some bells. I am still a bit nervous, though as I have been charged by a black bear a few years ago and was harassed by one in a camp near Leadville last summer. Fortunately, I was very close to me car. I honked the horn and the bear was not phased by this at all. I started the car and revved the engine and that did scare him away... a little bit. I suspect he smelled our breakfast..

Anyway, I've never seen a grizzly, but would love to... from a safe distance.

I think it was the "Planet Earth" documentary that stated bears went above timberline to look for moths to eat in the talus.

mountaingoat - it's OK to be a little nervous, but don't let it ruin your trip. I see so many people/families on the trails in that Park scared to death that a bear is going to approach them standing up on it's hind legs and rip their heads off like some Hollywood movie. Crazy! Just be vigilant. And, you were right about the bears seeking moths (and other insect nests) in the talus above timberline - a Park Ranger confirmed that for me.

EDIT: Papillon - just saw your post, as I was in the process of writing this response. Thanks for enjoying the griz pics and thanks for posting your trip report - that was excellent and glad you guys all had a great time! And, good advice regarding mountaineering in grizzly country.
Last edited by kman on Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:53 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Tell Me 'Bout Glacier!

Postby Papillon » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:42 pm

Thanks, kman.

But I gotta come clean - only helmut swam in Iceberg. He also "checked off" Cracker and one of the lakes in the swiftcurrent valley. I went knee deep and figured that was good enough.

We were gonna do Piegan and Pollock on our last day but they opened the Highline so we opted for a nice long stroll instead.

Peaks I have my eye on for next year and beyond are:

Bearhat
Gould
Cannon
Piegan-Pollock-Bishops Cap
Siyeh
Heaven's
Jackson
Merritt

I think knocking out all 6 10ers up there would mean more than finishing the centennials down here. I can't even fathom what it would be like if Sunlight Basin was crawling with grizz.
The look in his eyes when it hit - Kid, it was tasty... - William Seward Burroughs

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