Friday, September 22, 2017

The Mountains Are Calling and I Must go!

A real thumbs up to hiking in 2017! 
Oh man, I had another fun year hiking with friends and family.  
Take a look see!

Cracker Lake (12 miles) on June 22 was a new hike for me and those 12 miles kinda kicked my (pork) butt. ("We don't say the word butt in our family") 

 Just about there.

 The Glacier dust in the water is so pretty. 

 Silky Scorpionweed and Striped Coralroot

 My (awkward) pose.

The six ladies on the left are from a Great Falls hiking group.  

TIDBIT TIME...there used to be a mine at the head of Cracker Lake years and years ago.

Josephine and Grinnell Lakes (7.5 miles) that we did on June 26 was a fun hike because Laurel was visiting! This hike is on pretty level ground which made it seem easy breezy compared to Cracker Lake. 

We weren't able to go to the main shore of the lake due to the early hiking season or was it because a bridge had washed out? I think it was the bridge.  The waterfalls are coming down from Grinnell Glacier which is another hike all together. 

 Hey Laurel, it was fun hiking with you and conquering one of your greatest fears.  
Bigger and scarier  than a bear fear.

Josephine Lake with Grinnell Glacier in the background. 

A quick pose after lunch. 

 Look what I'm taking a picture of!
A moose! It was crazy really. Moose can be very mean so you never want to get inside their bubble.  This momma has a baby with her so we are hiding.

 This is a cropped photo.  So cute! 
And then? 

We start back on the trail and we see this guy.  
Really, what are the big fat chances that Laurel has faced her biggest fear with not 1, or 2, but 3 moose!  They are more dangerous than a grizzly bear.
Hopefully I can get her on another hike. 

 Spotted Coralroot and Blue Beardtongue Penstemon

TIDBIT TIME...We were not good listeners at lunch time because Laure, Dixie and I  headed back the same way we came and the others completed the circle. Oops. 

Iceberg Lake (10 miles) was a fun hike. 
 I have done this twice before but this time I walked out on to a glacier for my pose. 
Walking on a glacier in July 6 sounds funny when you stop to think about it. 

Beargrass and Hollyhocks

 I zoomed in...

Pink Monkey Flower and Mountain Dandelion

Same view, different years.
2015                                                     2016                                                 2017
Fun right? 

These pictures would have been more effective had they been in a row but I think you get the idea. 

We came upon a momma Ptarmigan and her chicks.

TIDBIT TIME...I may or may not have just about wet my pants with all that jumping on the glacier to get just the right picture. 

Cobalt Lake (13 miles) on July 13.  Haha, lucky thirteen.
I was glad to sit down to rest my weary feet and eat after this hike.
Some hikes seem to be more tiring than others and I'm not quite sure why that is.
Either way, I walked the miles and loved everyone of them, even if.

Two Medicine Lake with Mt. Sinopah

 We are always a fresh looking group of hikers at the beginning of every hike.

Rockwell Falls and Beargrass. The Beargrass was phenomenal this year on our hikes. A single plant only blossoms once in 7 years and this was the year of abundance! 


 And here I am! Cobalt Lake.

TIDBIT favorite hiking hairdo is wearing two braids.

Siyeh Pass (July 17) was spectacular! Another first time hike for me. We started at Siyeh Bend in Glacier and ended at Sunrift Gorge in Glacier.  This was an up and over hike instead of a to and from hike and was 12 miles.

 Sometimes I stop and take pictures of flowers and then I fall behind.

 This is looking back from where we started. One of these days I will be able to rattle off the names of these mountains. Maybe the one on the right is Piegan and the one in the middle is Reynolds at the top of Logan Pass.

 Elephant Head.  See the "trunks"?

 Look closely at this photo.  These ladies had no idea there was a bear near them.  We called out to them, but they couldn't hear us.  The little grizzly was farther away than it appeared.

 Look at the little people up on this spine.
 Four of us ventured a little farther than the rest of the group after a quick lunch, up this slice of a mountain ledge. I saw quite a few wildflowers growing there, so exposed to the elements.

This is as far as we decided to go.  We went almost 1/2 way up the spine though! 

 Just chatting on the spine of a mountain at Siyeh Pass.
 We came from the right and are heading to the left side.

 Bear grass heaven this year!

 Does the wind blow here?

TIDBIT TIME...I fell down on this hike with an apple in my hand and threw it into the wilderness. 

Did I mention that almost all the hikes this year were new to me?
Here is another one in Two Medicine.
Scenic Point ( 8.5 miles) on July 20.

 Mornings are the best!

 A fire went through here in 1930's I believe.

 Most of this hike was exposed with lots of switchbacks up the side of this mountain.
I have to admit this hike was a little difficult for me.  After my hikes it's always interesting to see how much water I had (usually fill up with 2 litres) and after this hike I had only had maybe 1 litre.  Umm, stupid! I felt like I was sucking on that tube a lot.  Learned my lesson.
I would like to do this hike again in a little cooler weather and I'm pretty sure I would knock it out of the park.

It's so interesting  to see these pretty flowers growing out of rocks.  

We decided to shake things up and do a hike in Waterton.

TIDBIT TIME...I had to sit and rest with my head down a few times during this cuz I got a wee bit dizzy.

Boundary Bay (8.5 miles) on July 24.
This was the last hike before my highly anticipated hike of the summer !
Stay tuned....
I'm afraid this view is forever changed now.  
The fire in Waterton this summer has burned this ridge and the one behind me as far as I know. 

Not a new hike for me, but this is a new flower! 

Have you figured  out why this hike is named Boundary Bay?

If we had gone farther we would have needed our passports when we reached Goat Haunt.

TIDBIT TIME...This one may be my least favourite hike. There, I said it.  

Okay, are you ready for my hike of the summer?
This one was 19.1 miles over the continental divide and from one side of Glacier to the other side into Many Glacier.
Swift current Pass on July 27.

 We are ready and rarin' to go!
Let's go!
 Looking towards ....
...and looking back at Mount Clements.

 That is the Garden Wall.
On the other side of the Garden Wall is Many Glacier.

Wild Chives

 Can you see the Indian Paintbrush in three different colors?
Oh wait, I see a light colored Paintbrush on the far right.
And then we have Gentian.

 Heaven's Peak

 My friends.
Linda, Doreen, LaVern, Sherry and Joan.
Look what's behind them.
Granite Park Chalet.

 Night of the Grizzlies.
This is where the sad story took place in 1967.
I bought the book a couple of hikes ago and read the book after this hike because my hiking peeps suggested that.

I took this picture sitting on the stairs you see at the back of the chalet.
The trail you see on the right leads to the Grinnell Overlook.
Next year I want to do that little side jaunt.

 I'm looking at you mister ranger.  JK.
I just wanted to prove I was there.  Sometimes the picture taker doesn't get many pictures of themselves. I always forget to ask for my picture to be taken.
Also, I'm going to climb that far hill.

Swiftcurrent Lookout and we are on our way.  It's not a hill.
Only a few of us decided to add this extra hike to our already long hike. 
 What's another two miles and 1,000 feet from the base to the top? 

Not to the top yet.

 Not yet.
That is Lake Sherburne you see.

Not yet.

The more I look at this picture, the more I love it.
The old, the new, the peaks, the valley below.
You can see the trail back to Many Glacier too!

I made it!

Here is the lookout.
This was built in 1936 and one of the many fire lookouts in Glacier.
We couldn't stay very long up here because we needed to head back and try to meet up the rest of the group. We never did, but we were not far behind. We booked it on the way back!

Group selfie to document that we really did it! 
I held out my phone and Locke pushed the button cuz he has long arms. 
We are over the Swiftcurrent Pass now heading towards Many Glacier.  If we could have walked "as the crow flies", we would have been finished in no time but we were navigating a mountain side so we had lots of switchbacks. See the trail?

 Bullhead Lake

 Looking back to where we came from.
That is Swiftcurrent Glacier.

Snowshoe Rabbit
Because it is summer, he is reddish brown and in the winter he will turn white.
When he is white, he will blend in with the snow to stay safe from predators.
The Ptarmigan does that too.

TIDBIT TIME...I wish I had read the grizzly bear attack story, "Night of the Grizzlies" before this hike. 

Upper Rowe (10 miles) on August 10th was a change to our hiking list. Because of the fire in BC and the possible threat of a fire in Waterton, which did happen, a lot of the backcountry hikes were closed.  I did Upper Rowe last year and liked it, but because I hike with awesome ladies there was an added bonus.

 We had planned to hike up to this ridge and over to the right.

He's headed for the Showy Atser.

Towhead Baby aka Hippie Sticks, if I remember right and Slender-stemmed Rush 

 Lower Rowe Lake looking down from where the falls come down in the spring.

Yep, I'm right in the path of the spring run off. 

Upper Rowe Lake is to the right and it must spill over into this area where all the shale is and then spills to the left and down to Lower Rowe below.
This part of the hike was the added bonus.

TIDBIT TIME...I wore Lipsense (lipstick )on every hike.

On the Dragons Tail (9 miles) hike on August 17th  I had my oldest boy with me!
I think he might be a little hesitant in this picture, coming to a realization that he is hiking with his mother's hiking group. 
(Mt. Clements) 
There is Reynolds Mountain. 

 Now look at this nice group of people.  Clark had nothing to worry about.
He knows Barry and Laura's daughter, the ladies enjoyed chatting with him and Locke is full of park knowledge.  Clark also realized part way through the hike that his friend's mother was on the hike.
We are a cool group for sure!

 The Garden Wall is on right.

Coming up to the saddle.

 Thanks for the picture Clark even though it was posed.  :)

The previous three pictures are Hidden Lake. 

Dragon's Tail going right to left. We hiked to that first dip and if you look closely you can see someone standing on that point. 

 See the trail going up?

And what it looks like looking down.
Some of our hikers decided to not venture up the tail and you can see them near the trail.

I do not know how these guys stay sure footed. It's kinda cliff like beneath him.

Clearly I wasn't ready. 

 Clark made a comment about this hike that I thought was spot on.
He said that even though this hike was only 9 miles, you get a lot of bang for your buck!

Wild Buckwheat

 Panoramic using my phone.
Bearhat Mountain in the center.

 This one of my favourite flowers.
St. Johns Wort

Yep, he was pretty much this close.

Clearly they were not posing for me because who poses with their backs towards the camera?
Big Horned Sheep

 Find of the day for me.
I was so sad when I missed seeing this flower on a previous hike and I saw this during my last few steps from the parking lot at Logan Pass to our car that was parked along side the road.
Butter and Egg
The leaves are used in tea as a strong diuretic and the flowers as an ointment to treat various skin diseases.

TIDBIT TIME...I have done 8 new hikes this year.

 Piegan Pass (10 miles) was a real fun hike. It was on the day of the eclipse, August 21st.
 Pigeon Mountain on the left, Garden Wall in the back and Cataract Mountain to the right.

 River Beauty

 This is taken from the pass looking towards the direction to Many Glacier.
Part of the Garden Wall is on the left.

 One of the ladies from the Great  Falls hiking group ordered enough glasses for our group to view the eclipse.
Their group decided to climb Cataract Mountain to view the eclipse and we stayed on the pass.

Look how fun we are!

Hoary Marmot. Look at his flat snout.

 The end of this trail you see is the destination of the pass.
You can keep going down and hike more miles into Many Glacier.

Piegan Glacier

TIDBIT TIME...Turquoise is my favourite color for the summertime. 

Grinnell Glacier (13 miles) was a repeat hike for me. It was a pretty cloudy and cool day for August 21. It rained off and on so we stopped quite a bit to add a layer, take off a layer, add a layer, take off a layer.

Lower Grinnell Lake behind the trees and then above Grinnell Falls is Upper Grinnell Lake and Grinnell Glacier just under the Garden Wall, but guess what?  The mountain you see here is not called Grinnell Mountain. It's named Mount Gould. What gives? 

Love the Garden Wall
Grinnell Glacier is the big one on the left and Salamander Glacier on the upper right. 

See the two mountains in the back, well the one that is forward, I believe is Cataract Mountain. 
I climbed to the top of it last fall. I think. 

 Believe it or not this glacier is small compared to many many years ago, but look how big it looks compared to the wee people below.

 If this rock could talk.

This is a Elliptic-leaved Penstemon and what makes this Penstemon different than others is this...
There are five stamens. Four of them are fertile and one is sterile and covered in hairs. 
This variety also grow in 2-4 pairs. This one has 3. 

Panoramic with my cell phone.

 Heading back with a different view of Lower Grinnell Lake.

TIDBIT TIME... I bring an apple on every hike.

 Triple Divide Pass (16 miles).  The start of this hike on August 31st  was in a different part of Glacier.  Past St. Mary's on the road to Browning about 10 miles or so.

You can see the smoke from the Sprague Creek fire in West Glacier.

 See the point on the far away mountain in the center?  That is Triple Divide Mountain and we are headed to the base of it.  It's a pass or a saddle you might call it that drops into another valley.
Apparently you can hike into Glacier if you kept going. Miles and miles more though.

Medicine Grizzly Lake 

Grizzly Bear
It was not this close.  This is very cropped, but still. 

The far end of Grizzly Lake

 Triple Divide Peak

 You can barely see the trail that leads to the pass which is our final destination which mean lunch time!

Let me tell you why Triple Divide Mountain is so cool. 
This is the only place in the whole wide world where the two principle continental divides converge and is the only ocean triple divide point. And that means that when it rains the water goes to either the Atlantic, Pacific or Arctic Ocean! 

 Panoramic of the Pass

Close up of Split Mountain straight ahead.

 Arctic Aster

 These Grouse turn white in the winter like the Snowshoe rabbits do.

Ta Da!

TIDBIT TIME...there used to be an outdoor outhouse on this hike that had no walls. 

I'm afraid this was our last hiking adventure at Triple Divide Pass for the year.
I'm pretty bummed out about that.
The fires put a kink in doing Ptarmigan Tunnel in Many Glacier.  I missed it last year and I was really looking forward to doing it.
Next year for sure!

Let's sum up my hiking this year with some fun.
Prettiest...Siyeh Pass
Most anticipated...Swiftcurrent Pass
Hardest...Scenic Point
Most fun...You know what? Every hike is fun. There are no bad hikes. No boring hikes.
All fun all the time!
Once in a liftetime...Piegan Pass for the eclipse
Most memorable...Swiftcurrent Pass
Favorite...Siyeh Pass
Most picturesque...I loved the color of Cracker Lake.
I loved the flowers on Siyeh Pass.
I loved standing on top of the world at Swiftcurrent Lookout.
Every hike has it's own picturesque beauty.

I hiked some smaller hikes this summer too.
Avalanche, Hidden Lake, Blackiston Falls, Apikuni Falls, Cameron Lake Shore and Bears Hump with Mark.
He stole my pose!

Blackiston Falls with my babies and my kids of which there is no picture because I didn't get a picture of my babies and my kids at Blackiston Falls.

Summit Lake, the saddle at Reynolds, Apikuni Falls, Swiftcurrent Lakeshore, and Crandell with Lou Lou.

I definitely want to do more hiking with my kids next year.
And you too Lou Lou.

Mileage with the hiking group. 151.5 miles
Mileage from other smaller hikes during the summer. 40 miles.
It looks like I hiked almost 200 miles this summer!

I'm afraid this was our last hiking adventure for the year. I'm pretty bummed out about that.
The fires put a kink in doing Ptarmigan Tunnel in Many Glacier this summer.
  I missed it last year and I was really looking forward to doing it.
Next year for sure!