Monday, October 24, 2016

Piegan Pass and Cataract Mountain!

 The scheduled hike was to Piegan Pass only, but a couple of ladies from a hiking group named, Girls In Glacier joined us and mentioned that if any of the ladies in our group wanted to hike Cataract Mountain that they would lead the way.  You bet your bottom dollar I wanted to go up Cataract Mountain.  How hard could another 1/2 mile up be?  

There are so many mountains and peaks in Glacier and to learn them all will take some time.  
This one is Mt. Siyeh. 
Let's see if I can name these mountains.  See the sharp peak on the right?  That tip?  That is the top of Cataract Mountain.  Yes, I'm climbing to the top. To the left and behind where you see the jagged peaks is the Garden Wall.  To the left of those jagged peaks where the top is flat is Pollock Mountain. The mountain to the left of Pollock is Piegan Pass.  

See the trail? 

 From the saddle to the peak is 1/2 mile.  Sounds easy and not so long right? 
Not so. Not so at all!  It was quite the uphill climb.

 This picture was taken from the above trail looking towards where we started the hike. 
 I think if you enlarged this you could see the bend in the road which is where the trail head is. 
This is part of Piegan Mountain with the Piegan Glacier up on top. 

Reaching the saddle and the destination of the Piegan Pass hike. 

Here we are! Every time we hike there seems to always be a new friend to make. 

 This view is from the saddle with the start of the Cataract hike right here. Look at how blue that little glacier lake is to the left.  And if you know where to look there is a lake in the distance in the green forested part and that is Grinnell Lake I believe, a hike I did a couple times this year. 
 I saturated this photo because it's kind of my new thing. It really brings out the layers which I find so interesting. I am standing on a piece of talus (boulder) that has fallen/broken off from the mountain.  This slope is just a crumpled mess of these.  When I say I am standing, I am actually balancing.  I started off walking with my hiking poles on this talus and soon realized it was much easier to put the poles away and just get down low and crawl.  Sometimes I felt sure footed so I rock hopped only to realize it felt safer to crawl. 

 Here is a neat perspective.  I am not quite to the top yet and you can see how small Linda and her granddaughter look.  

 Whoo Hoo! The view from here with the the Garden Wall behind me was spectacular.  
Oh man, I cannot wait till next summer!
 I don't like this color shirt in photos. 

 The tip right above the black coating is the tip of Cataract. 

 This little cave is not man made.  It's just there. 

 The peak of Cataract again on your left looking towards Many Glacier and Grinnell Lake. 
You can kind of see the speck of blue.

 To be a "fly on the wall" when this park was formed would be mind boggling to say the least. 

 Adding my rock to the Inuksuk.
I am happy to say that I climbed Cataract Mountain.  I know one should "never say never", but I really don't think I will be climbing this mountain again.  
It was hard and strenuous and totally worth it though!

 Heading back....

 I believe this is Mt. Siyeh from a different angle with Going-To-The-Sun Mountain to the right which is quite a long range.  Next summer I want to do Mt. Siyeh along with 4 or 5 other hikes I wasn't able to do this year. I have lots on my list...even repeat hikes!

Do you see the heart in this cut tree?  A part of this hike through the trees reminded me of the hike to Summit in Waterton where you see so many mushrooms.  And that reminds me of a hike in Two Medicine area of Glacier that has tons of mushrooms.  Next year, next year. 

 Our trail head, Siyeh Bend at Siyeh Creek. 
See my little black Acura parked behind the little red car to the left?  
This was the last hike of the season in late September. 
Here is to a great summer of hiking, exploring new trails, doing something I never dreamed of and making new friends!  

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go!

This year I joined with a group of ladies from Mountain View that hike regularly and I loved it!  I have to say that hiking in a larger group is more fun.  The group varied from hike to hike in the number of ladies and it seemed there was always someone I didn't know so it was fun making new acquaintances.
The hikes I did with them were:
Red Eagle Falls (8.5 miles) just outside of Glacier in St. Mary.
Bullhead Lake  (7.2 miles) in Many Glacier.
Crandell Lake to the townsite (5.5 miles) in Waterton
Iceberg Lake (9.7 miles) in Many Glacier.
Bertha Lake and all the way around it (10 miles) in Waterton
The base of Reynolds Mountain (8 miles) in Glacier at Logan Pass.
Crypt (10.7 miles) in Waterton
Carthew-Alderson (12.8 miles) in Waterton
Miles hiked with the hiking group is 72.4 (8 hikes)
Favorite hike...Reynolds Mountain (base)
Hardest hike...Crypt
Easiest...Red Eagle Falls
Most surprising hike...Carthew-Alderson
Most memorable hike...Reynolds Mountain (base)                      

Additional hikes this summer were:
Bertha Falls (3.2 miles) in Waterton
Lineham Creek (5.2 miles) in Waterton
Blackiston Falls (1.2 miles) in Waterton (twice)
Virginia Falls (3 miles) in Glacier
Fairy Falls (3 miles) in Fernie B.C.
Grinnell Lake and Eagle Plume Falls (9 miles) in Many Glacier
Red Rock Falls (4.2 miles) in Many Glacier
Apikuni Falls (1.7 miles) in Many Glacier (twice)
Baring Falls to Virginia Falls (4 miles) in Glacier
Bears Hump (1.8 miles) in Waterton (twice)
Grinnell Lake (5 miles) in Many Glacier (twice)
Grinnell Glacier (11 miles) in Many Glacier
Boundary Bay (3.8 miles) in Waterton
Avalanche Lake ( 4.5 miles) in Glacier
Miles hiked outside the group is 64.5 (18 separate hikes)
Favorite...Grinnell Glacier
Hardest hike...Grinnell Glacier
Easiest hike...Blackiston Falls
Most surprising hike...Fairy Falls
Most memorable hike...Grinnell Glacier

There was one hike on my bucket list that I didn't do and that is Old Chief.

Total miles hiked this summer is 137

Red Eagle Falls hike.  Yep, no falls. This was a hike that we joined with another group.  There was some confusion on length and the destination so we didn't get to the falls. This hike was interesting because the trail went through a previous fire some 15 years or more.  Lots of dead and burned pines and open trail.  I enjoyed taking pictures of wild flowers to add to my ever growing collection.

Bullhead Lake hike.  The forecast was for no rain although it was gloomy so we just went for it. We were all prepared for cold and rain so we decided to go ahead and do it.  I didn't get a picture of the lake because we immediately turned around to head back to find a dry place in some trees to have our lunch. By the time we got back to the trail head I was sopping wet with water dripping from my hat to water sloshing and squishing in my shoes. Hiking in the rain is not optimal.

Here are Clark and I on the same hike at different times.  I took a picture of him on the Virginia Falls hike trail and Lou Lou took a picture of me on the trail when we did it a few weeks later.

Mark and I hiked Grinnell Lake once and I did this same hike with Karen Bevans and Dixie Bevans (cousins through marriage). It happens in these parts a lot.  On our way back with Karen and Dixie we decided to take a horse trail back which was a mistake. Narrow, muddy and long.  The only good things is that we can say we've done it and it added miles to our hike which I like. If you look through the trees in the picture to the right, you can see the waterfall that is coming from Upper Grinnell Lake which is just below Grinnell Glacier.

Bertha Lake from the opposite end.  I took this panoramic photo with my cell phone.  I had been to Bertha Lake before, yet never all the way around.  I wasn't the only one on the hike to agree that going all the way around was the best part of the hike, the icing on the cake, the ying to my yang.  You get the picture.  Ha ha, you do get the picture because it's posted right here.

See the horizontal trail leading to the dark spot? 
 Crypt Lake is a crazy hike.  I did this hike a couple of years ago with Mark, Neal, Jordan and some cousins and I'm telling you it was a hike for the books. It was the biggest, hardest and longest hike I had ever done and thought it would be years before I did it again.  

 See the dark spot now? 

We are climbing a ladder to go through the 20ft tunnel to get to the other side. (right picture) 

 And here I am holding onto a cable because just around the corner you need it to get around that last little bit of ledge.

At the lake. Hurray! 

 The fun thing about the Boundary Bay hike is that you end up at the U.S. border.  See the line up the mountain side? There I am holding up my red, white and blue bandana to celebrate. A memorable part of the hike is when the bear spray went off accidentally as I was pushing it into my back pack.  Lou Lou was down wind.  It wasn't pretty, but she survived!

Finally did the Avalanche Lake hike.  Mark and I       went for a drive late in the afternoon and I was           secretly hoping Mark would want to do this hike  despite our late start to Glacier. I brought my bear 
spray and my backpack just in case. 

It was overcast so it felt like it was time for the sun to set, but we just boogied up the trail pretty fast and made it in plenty of time. As we were heading back, the sun broke through the clouds and it actually seemed earlier in the day.
Next time we need to do this in the sunshine!

This hike is in the trees the whole time so it was pretty lush. Mark spotted this green log and he wanted to get a picture of me sitting on it.  

Look what Mark did just for me!  There were no wildflowers to photograph so he drew flowers in the dirt for me. So romatincal!

Now onto Reynolds Mountain...we did the base of Reynolds.  I would maybe venture Reynolds Peak if I could go with someone who really knows the way up.   

 I love doing a hike for the very first time! There seems to be a surprise around every bend.   This mountain (Reynolds) is right behind and to the left of the visitor centre at the top of Logan Pass in Glacier.   You take the same trail to go to Hidden Lake overlook for a short distance until you take an unmarked path/trail to the left. This hike around Reynolds takes you to a saddle where you look down at Hidden Lake which is really pretty.

This is Elephanthead and its my first time
seeing it. I only had my little camera on this
hike, but you can bet your bottom dollar
I'll be looking for this next year with my nice lens.

Above is an Inukshuk. These were in different places on the trail and are used as landmarks.

This is the "saddle" between two mountains where you can see Hidden Lake from.

The panoramic below is taken from on top of the saddle looking down on Hidden Lake. (taken with my iPhone)
Selfie time!

 Loved this hike!  Yep, me ahead of the pack again. 

Marmot are large squirrels. This species likes rock piles and will probably hibernate there all winter. Yah, how cold does that sound? 

This looks scarier than it was.   

See that slope to the right?  That is called the "Dragon's Tail. We did't climb it this time, but I so so want to next time.   

 Yep, gonna do it.  
Look at two of our hikers an the bottom left? I think this looks so fun!

 After we came to the backside of Reynolds Mountain there was a wide, flat area that led to this point.    The lake you see in the background is St. Mary's.

 Then looking to my left while standing (above) is Twin Lakes. I should just name them Lee and Lou.  I'm on the left because I was born first and I am a wee bit taller and bigger than Lou Lou. 

The backside of Reynolds Mountain is behind me. See the diagonal trail near the top?

Now, this is a picture of a ladybug.  My mother, who passed away in 2003 loved Lady Bugs.  When I was a little girl she decorated a guest bathroom in Lady Bug decor.  It was cute.  Since she has passed away, the sight of a Lady Bug reminds me of her. Always! I kind like to think she was aware I was on this hike and wanted to hang out.   She was even in Hawaii when Mark and I hiked the stairs to the
top of Koko Head in Hawaii-Kai. There is another Inukshuk.

 Panoramic with my phone again.  That is the Dragon's Tail smack dab in the middle. Hidden Lake to your right.  

 This is Lower Grinnell Lake from above on my way to Grinnell Glacier.  I really liked this hike and can't wait to do it agin next year on a warmer day.  It was a little cool and overcast which made it very nice for pictures. 

The far lake in the back ground is Swiftcurrent and the closer one is Lake Josephine. 

Lower Grinnell Lake
And here is Upper Grinnell Lake and what's left of Grinnell Glacier. It's predicted that in the year 2037 I think it is, that glacier will be gone. Look at the color of the water.  It is the glacier dust that makes the water so creamy. It maybe be pretty, but it is also very very cold! 

After we had our lunch and headed back, the sun went behind the clouds and it got cold!  I am so so glad I had a pair of gloves in my backpack. 
This was also the maiden voyage with my new back pack and I love it! The fit, the color, the capacity, everything. 

Carthew Alderson 
This was the longest hike I did this summer and I really liked it.  I am so surprised at how different each hike has been. You think that a mountain is just a mountain or a lake is just a lake, but tis not so. Tis not so! 
 Cameron Lake. 
The road to Cameron has been closed since spring in order to re-do the parking lot and visitor area so this lake has been untouched all summer.  They have shuttles to the various hiking trails which is great for this hike because this is a one way hike back down to the townsite. A little bit up of an uphill climb and then a long gradual downhill. I was expecting the hike down to be more steep, in fact, I bought a pair of hiking poles in anticipation and I did't feel I needed them.  

Crazy mushrooms to take pictures of. I have a mushroom identification book so I'll have to get that out one of these days and give these guys a name.

        These are huckleberries. Lots for us to munch on during the hike. 

 Summit Lake after the first couple of miles. 

 See the peak to the far right?  That is where we are headed. 

Look closely at the top of the peak.  Those are people standing on the tippy top.

 And here I am standing on the tippy top facing Glacier. 

 Those two lakes in Glacier are named Lake Wurdeman and Nooney.      .

 This is looking the opposite direction towards Waterton. 
Isn't the terrain surprisingly different?  

 Look at the stick figures on the saddle. It had snowed a few days before, which now that I think about it, was only on the Canadian side of the ridge.  

 Anderson Lake.  

 The last few miles or so are in the trees with a few little waterfalls along the way. 
So have you heard of the Triple Crown?  There are three hikes in Waterton that if you do all three in a summer you get the triple crown.  It is actually a t-shirt that says you completed the triple crown and you have to purchase it, which seems weird to me. 
 The three hikes are Crypt, Carthew Alderson and Akamina.  Can you believe I am one short of that coveted t-shirt? Maybe next year my hiking group will do Akamina and if that is the case then I will have to just repeat Crypt and Carthew Alderson.