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!