Trip Report
Just a walk in the park TR (not Yosemite)
Tuesday July 22, 2008 10:55pm
It's about the other park. Thought you Sierra folks would like to see what up north looks like. A weekend walk in Glacier Nat. Park, 20 mile through hike, 3,300 feet climbed, 3,800 feet down. Stellar weather, and everything is moist and green. The goats are running all over the place.

Blackfoot and Jackson Glaciers haven't lost their winter fur yet.

Warm enough that you needed to stop in the shade rather than in the sun just to take in the views. The little woman and her 75 liter load.

A pretty cool stop for lunch at Gunsight lake campground, with some pretty cool views within just a few steps of the food prep area.

Pretty uneventful up till now. Met a man that was headed up and his gear seemed kind of 70's, and his clothing did not meet the norm for this type of terrain, a little old to be alone out here, no bear spray, and just generaly did not make sense. Talked breifly with him and seemed very nice, but with the out of place gear and whatnot, seemed like there was a story untold here. Mentioned this to the wife after he left and she said I should ask him when we meet up at the only camp spot for the next 16 miles. Seemed like a good idea, until halfway up the pass I saw him chopping steps in the snowfield with a pretty heighness(sp) runout below. I had warned him to be careful on the snow during our previous meeting. The next time I looked up he was no longer standing and it did not look good. Here is what we saw, keep in mind the camera was zoomed all the way out.
This is Jim where he fell from where we first saw him.

I ran my fat butt up the 1/4 mile or so, donned crampons, axe, and rope and went out and helped him off the snowfield. Mini epic for sure. So now I had to short rope the wife across so I left my pack on the trail on the other side and went back across for her. About the time I arrived on the other side we noticed someones overly stuffed/well rounded pack going head over heels to the bottom of the slope at near terminal velocity. Crap, it's mine. Round pack on sloped trail in the wind, bad deal. Just think how much cardio I get this weekend, climbing the steep stuff, not once but twice, loaded both times.

But the views were great.

And cool rock to boot.

Beautiful plants, live and not.

I have this same moss just outside my front door and it doesn't bloom near as well as the wild stuff.

Always take the time to look back on things.

An old goat.

And a not old goat.

My buddy Chuck, thats what I call all the marmots here.

Finally can see camp. The trees on the left near the lake is the campsite, with the food area by the glacial erratic on the left third of pic.

A place on the lake is too tuff to take.

With waterfalls all around to lull us to sleep.

Here is Jim, the guy I had met previously on the snow, with his humble load. Turns out the story was 40 years ago two NYC boys got in a VW bug and went out to see the world and the first moutain adventure they had was exactly 40 years previous on this very trail, just backwards in direction. We swapped jokes and stories at dinner and I will never forget our meeting, he had me fooled when he left me his business card stating "You knew you caught a fish, but you didn't know you caught a big fish." Turns out the card belongs to a US Admin. Law Judge. Floored me flat out. Never would have guessed that story thats for sure. Great guy.

And for 64 years and 51 weeks old he hikes very well. One last look back on the lake on the way out.

With some goats getting out of the heat.

And one last waterfall when coming down out of the alpine stuff.

Sorry for the bad grammar and misspellings, I will edit as time permits and it is late for me. You should have been there.


  Trip Report Views: 1,227
About the Author
xtrmecat is a trad climber from Kalispell, Montanagonia.


Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
  Jul 22, 2008 - 11:16pm PT
That was pretty cool Bob. Thanks for posting.
Sometimes its just about getting out there...
goatboy smellz

Gulf Breeze
  Jul 22, 2008 - 11:21pm PT
Good days out and about.

  Jul 22, 2008 - 11:30pm PT
Gorgeous !! My mother was raised in Montana .. I have always wanted to visit, but have yet to do so.

How did the BD tent hold up ?
Double D

  Jul 22, 2008 - 11:32pm PT
Wow, the majesty of that place is incredible! Thanks for sharing Bob.
Standing Strong

Trad climber
snowshoe thompson history trail
  Jul 22, 2008 - 11:33pm PT
excellent! thank you for posting
Standing Strong

Trad climber
snowshoe thompson history trail
  Jul 22, 2008 - 11:35pm PT
"Sorry for the bad grammar and misspellings"

screw that, who cares... content not composition. i would hate for someone to not post something cool just cuz they were concerned about that

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jul 23, 2008 - 12:16am PT
so what the heck was he doing on the snow field?

highly suspcious to have a judge be doing stupid things.


Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Jul 23, 2008 - 12:24am PT
I've only been to Glacier once, but I have to go back.
John Moosie

Beautiful California
  Jul 23, 2008 - 12:51am PT
Beautiful. Thanks Bob,

Was that lake Ellen Wilson? I tried to make it there about 20 years ago but got stormed out.

What time of year was your trip?

  Jul 23, 2008 - 12:55am PT
Absolutely beautiful. The campsite next to the lake looks sublime. Thanks for posting.

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
  Jul 23, 2008 - 01:24am PT
Very Beautiful, thank you for the TR and pics.

Social climber
  Jul 23, 2008 - 01:35am PT

Big Wall climber
Kalispell, Montanagonia
Author's Reply  Jul 23, 2008 - 08:07am PT
Yes the lake is Ellen Wilson. It is definately a prize. Hey there Munge, Jim was on the snowfield because it is the trail. The pictures do not do the slope or exposure justice, but you must go through them to get to the pass. which is one of three places we had to roped up to get to. Big snow year for us. This was last weekend, 7-19 and 7-20-08.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
  Jul 23, 2008 - 09:02am PT
Breath of fresh air.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Jul 23, 2008 - 09:12am PT
Great TR! What a place--I've only been for a short one
many years ago, but what stupendous scenery.
I'm glad the old guy was okay--good for you on the rescue!
Did you see any bears?

Thanks again, super report!

  Jul 23, 2008 - 10:43am PT
very nice...thanks for taking me outside on an inside day.

Social climber
Santa Fe NM
  Jul 23, 2008 - 10:58am PT

Great photos! But I agree- the slope of the snow field looked much steeper from my vantage point than appears on the photos.

Thanks again, Bob and Kem

Jim B.

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Jul 23, 2008 - 11:39am PT
Wow, very beautiful out there. Looks like you guys had a great time.

Gym climber
salem, or
  Jul 23, 2008 - 11:39am PT
These are so beautiful that I'd actually like to see them in person.. can you please ask the bears to leave so we can go for a hike next year? I guess I'll just enjoy these pictures!!

Trad climber
Las Vegas
  Jul 23, 2008 - 11:43am PT
Jimmy,welcome to Supertopo,looks like you guys had a blast
Thanks for the TR

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
  Jul 23, 2008 - 12:11pm PT
goregous! I love Glacier NP.

Trad climber
  Jul 25, 2008 - 11:02am PT
Really nice pictures Bob, looks like a good time for sure!

Thanks for posting up!


Trad climber
Butte, America
  Jul 25, 2008 - 11:14am PT
Some nice looking scenery there, Bob--one of these days, I'm going to visit Glacier as an adult, before they're all gone. :-)

Trad climber
Newark, DE
  Jul 25, 2008 - 12:44pm PT
"These are so beautiful that I'd actually like to see them in person.. can you please ask the bears to leave so we can go for a hike next year? I guess I'll just enjoy these pictures!! "

No sh#t. Last time out there we counted 13 bears (5 grizzlies) seen in 2 weeks (and those were not car bears, saw plenty more of them).

It is IMHO the most gorgeous place in the US, but hiking all day while making incredible amounts of noise to scare bears just gets to be too much. I've resigned to hike quietly and take my chances (maybe that's why we saw 13 bears ????).

The best part is almost all the park trails start with steep uphills. The tourons ride the Going to the Sun Road and hardly get out of the car, so the trails are never crowded.

Super pics. I'm staring at my Glcier topo map on my office wall as I type. Thanks for sharing.

susan peplow

Joshua Tree, CA
  Jul 25, 2008 - 01:45pm PT
So Russ and I are sitting here admiring the trip report and great photos. Glacier NP is such a beautiful place but that hike!

The quote from the desk chair, "I don't really care about that nature sh#t if I've got to hike to it".

Thanks for the visit up north!


Social climber
Springfield, Missouri
  Aug 6, 2008 - 10:45pm PT
Wonderful day for a walk unless you are sliding down the slope! Beautiful, Breathtaking. Thanks. loved it!

Nor Cal
  Aug 6, 2008 - 11:40pm PT
incredible....would have thought about large hungry bears.

Random Nobody
  Aug 7, 2008 - 12:01am PT
Great TR!

Cool photos.. Looked like a palace of beauty

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
  Aug 7, 2008 - 12:06am PT
I have always wanted to go there, it is more beautiful than I would have imagined.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
  Aug 7, 2008 - 12:46am PT
Great photos, Bob - thanks for sharing. Nice work on keeping Jim out of harm's way. I guess we don't understand how essential an ice axe can be until we've done some mountaineering?

I visited Glacier N.P. in 1964 with my family. I remember catching lots of fish at Elizabeth Lake and skipping a lot of those flat rocks!

I suspect besides some glacier recession and bear accession, a lot of things are still the same....

Who knows?
  Aug 7, 2008 - 02:42am PT
nice! the retro action is way cool

Away from Walhalla
  Nov 17, 2011 - 03:39pm PT
Bump from way back for my Favorite NP.