Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Well, tell us how your trip went. We all want to hear about your special experience.

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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby paul » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:10 am

When I did Reynolds I was wearing a helmet too. I saw a few others wearing helmets but most were not. I was glad that I wore the helmet since there was an low overhanging rock that I accidentally lifted my head and hit it. With the helmet on it didn't matter, if I didn't have the helmet on I probably would have put a gash on head.
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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby tibber » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:33 am

the views from Reynolds are stunning!
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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby Badgerhiker » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:14 pm

paul wrote:When I did Reynolds I was wearing a helmet too. I saw a few others wearing helmets but most were not. I was glad that I wore the helmet since there was an low overhanging rock that I accidentally lifted my head and hit it. With the helmet on it didn't matter, if I didn't have the helmet on I probably would have put a gash on head.


I bumped my head too but not very hard. I think it had more too do with me not being use to a helmet sticking an extra 3" above my head. But wearing a helmet could save your life someday. I've see plenty of goats kick rocks down a mountain side that could potentially kill.
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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby Badgerhiker » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:59 pm

July 29 Waterton Lakes NP

I needed a rest day so I drove up to Waterton. I knew most of the park was closed but I've never been there and I needed something to do. I read the fires in Waterton were bad but I was shocked by how close the fire came to the town. The whole mountain range was burnt right down to the edge of town. Whatever praise the firefighters got (i'm sure it was a lot) it wasn't enough. Waterton Townsite had the same vibe as some of the touristy towns in northern Wisconsin. A lot of shops, restaurants and hotels with kayak rentals. Parking wasn't bad at all for the afternoon. I parked close to the center of town and walked around a bit before driving over to Prince of Wales hotel.

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I stopped at Two Sisters on the way back. The dinning room was about twice the size after their expansion. The owner saw my badger hat and had too hit me up on how Wisconsin's football team is going to be. He's a big Michigan St fan. He made sure to point out some anti-michigan wolverines bumper stickers above the kitchen. It's always nice to share with other fans our mutual dislike for michigan football! 8)
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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby Badgerhiker » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:51 pm

July 30 Grinnell Glacier & Angel Wing

I started the day out with every intention of doing the Shangri La hike to Iceberg Lake. As I drove past the empty entrance booth I spotted a notice hanging in the window. Whats this say? Iceberg lake trail closed because of bear activity. DAMN! Where do I go now? I guess I'll do plan B Grinnell Glacier then up to Angel Wing. This says something about the beauty of Glacier when this hike is your plan B! I parked at the trail head at about 7:00 and got one of the last 4 or 5 spots. The view at Lake Josephine was stunning.

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A short ways up the trail a young couple yelled to me that there is two elk in the lake. I thought to myself elk in the lake, that doesn't seem right. I get up there and its a cow moose and calf. LOL! I tell them that those are moose out in the water. The girl asks how can you tell? :roll: You might want to google it when you get back to a wifi connection or something. (I didn't actually say that but I was thinking it) That was the only animals I saw the rest of the way but that's ok because the scenery was an A+.

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I really struggled taking pictures at the glacier. It's such a strange landscape that the glacier left behind. It's interesting because it's so unique but also kind of ugly. I had the same reaction at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone last year.

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When I made it to the stream I noticed a father and teenage son crossing down stream. I walk over to them and their jumping over a narrow shoot of ice cold rushing water onto a narrow ledge. Good grief! You need to think of the risk factors before doing things like that. If you cross on the stepping stones by the lake, the worst thing that could happen is a wet foot. Where they crossed, possible death if you slip and hit your head getting pulled through the water shoot. Luckily they tiptoed along the ledge and on to flat ground but with more drama than was necessary.
This picture really shows how sickly the glacier is looking. There's more rocks showing than ice. The boulder on the right is the size of a semi and the only thing holding it up is some melting ice!

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I was the only one on top of Angel Wing but it was pretty windy so I found what shelter I could to eat lunch. After enjoying the views for awhile I started the long hot slog back to the car. Up in elevation the weathers been gorgeous but man it's been warm in the valleys this trip.

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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby tibber » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:02 am

Your pictures are great. I thot the pictures at Upper Grinnell were so fabulous; especially the ones with the geology like along the lake with the stromatolites.

That one area where you have to cross that little cascade (Picture 7) to get to the glacier was so nerve-wracking for me initially (I was with Ranger Rick's guided hike in 2003) but once I realized it would be okay if my feet got a little wet; I was able to cross.

Your photography is top notch.

Oh and I agree about it seeming to be hot in the Valleys. We were hiking on the Highline when you were doing this hike.

Oh I like the photo along the rock ledge looking toward the waterfalls and Upper Grinnell area; nice to have all those colors (photo 4)
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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby Sue Z » Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:01 pm

Wonderful trip report and photos. Thanks so much for posting.

I have a similar feeling about Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone - it looks post-apocalyptic.
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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby TnTammy » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:25 am

Badger,
Your pics are gorgeous! Alittle late to the party here but i thought some of your cloudy skies were beautiful, like at Theo Roosevelt & Garden Wall sunsets. I've experienced clouds spilling over the Garden Wall like that while at Granite Park & was mesmerized by the movement.
You do up Piegan, Dragon's Tail, Reynolds, Swifty Lookout, and Grinnell PROUD! What a trip!!
Have enjoyed it all and the story!
Hoping for more!!
Tam

btw, really loved your opening shot at Theo Roosevelt...never thought of going there but that was some beautiful landscape
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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby Badgerhiker » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:19 am

Your pictures are great. I thot the pictures at Upper Grinnell were so fabulous; especially the ones with the geology like along the lake with the stromatolites.


Thanks tibber, glad your enjoying the trip report. I'm having fun reading yours too. So the dark spots along the lake are stromatolites? That's interesting. I was wondering what caused those dark patterns. Thanks for the comments Sue, I've had fun putting the report together.
Last edited by Badgerhiker on Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby Badgerhiker » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:41 am

TnTammy wrote:Badger,
Your pics are gorgeous! Alittle late to the party here but i thought some of your cloudy skies were beautiful, like at Theo Roosevelt & Garden Wall sunsets. I've experienced clouds spilling over the Garden Wall like that while at Granite Park & was mesmerized by the movement.
You do up Piegan, Dragon's Tail, Reynolds, Swifty Lookout, and Grinnell PROUD! What a trip!!
Have enjoyed it all and the story!
Hoping for more!!
Tam


Thanks TnTammy. I really wanted to challenge myself this trip and see some epic scenery. I'm lucky to have a steep 600 to 700 ft hill 10 minutes from my house to hike on. I go there 3 to 4 times a week to stay in shape. It's the perfect workout to get ready for hiking in the mountains.

TnTammy wrote:Badger,
btw, really loved your opening shot at Theo Roosevelt...never thought of going there but that was some beautiful landscape


Yeah, Theo Roosevelt is a nice park to visit for a day or two. It makes for a good stopping point on the way to Glacier. Though the scenery isn't quite as impressive on the way back from Glacier. If you visit in the summer it can get really hot and there's no shade. On my way back my car thermometer read 98 degrees. That would have been pretty tough to camp and hike in.
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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby Badgerhiker » Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:19 pm

July 31 Avalanche Lake

My plan is to hike the Gunsight Pass trail on the 1st. Today I was going to leave my car at Lake McDonald Lodge so I didn't have to worry about catching shuttles on the same day I was hiking 20 miles. I wanted to have a carefree hike and this was the best way to do it. I parked at the lodge about 7:15 only too find out the shuttle doesn't pick up at the lodge until 9 or a little after. Oops, guess I should have checked the shuttle times a little closer. Since I had 1 1/2 hours to kill I drove into West Glacier for gas then stretched out my stiff muscles on the lawn by Lake McDonald Lodge.

After riding the shuttle to the transfer stop at Avalanche Creek, I found myself behind a line of about 100 people. The wait was going to be over an hour so I decided to hike to Avalanche Lake. The Trail of the Cedars was very pretty and Avalanche Gorge was also. Avalanche Lake was hazy and the sun was washing out the peaks behind the lake so I didn't take many pictures but the hike was still worth it. Today was just going to be a travel day so any small hikes was a bonus. Plus I wanted to rest up for Gunsight Pass tomorrow.

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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby Jay w » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:15 pm

Badgerhiker wrote:Image


I gotta say, there's something I really like about this picture. It gives perspective to the incredible view out the window of the hotel.

Obviously, the hike to Angle's Wing was a great day with some great photos, but this is the one I remember.

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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby Badgerhiker » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:15 pm

Jay w wrote:
Badgerhiker wrote:Image


I gotta say, there's something I really like about this picture. It gives perspective to the incredible view out the window of the hotel.

Obviously, the hike to Angle's Wing was a great day with some great photos, but this is the one I remember.

Jay


This is the first time I shot in RAW and processed my pictures in lightroom. That made a huge difference in the photo quality. As long as you expose the bright spots of a scene correctly, lightroom can pull the details out of the shadows like in the lobby of the hotel.
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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby Badgerhiker » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:38 pm

August 1 Gunsight Pass Trail

I walked over to the St Mary visitor center at about 6:40 too catch the 7am bus. I could have showed up at 7, there was plenty of open seats. On the way to the trail head we spotted a black bear before Rising Sun. The first part of the trail goes through some thick timber then crosses Reynolds Creek on a suspension bridge.

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Eventually the trail leads to a pretty meadow with a distant view of Gunsight Pass. The view was nice but the mosquitoes were horrible. I stopped for a minute and they almost ate me alive. This was the third time visiting Glacier and the bugs were by far the worst this time. It probably had something to do with the warm weather Glacier was having.

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I kept leap frogging a couple from Missoula Mt and started hiking and chatting with them. They were great people and we got along really well. They were only hiking part of the way but when they found out I had a car at the end asked if they could tag along and catch a ride back to St Mary with me. Of course they could, they were fun to hike and visit with. They promised to buy me supper at Lake McDonald Lodge when we were done. That wasn't necessary since I was going to St Mary anyways but they insisted. Awesome, I had great company and a free supper at a historic lodge at the end of the hike.

At Gunsight Lake we talked too a couple backpackers who spent the night there. They confirmed the bugs almost carried them away but the view more than made up for the inconvenience. I've gotta say that the section of trail before Gunsight Pass is one of the most photogenic spots in the park. The layered cliff face across the valley was absolutely stunning!

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At Gunsight Pass we took a break too have lunch. I'm sitting there when suddenly I feel something chewing on my butt. WTH! I jump up and a golden-mantled ground squirrel goes scurrying away. He must have been trying too get salt from my sweat. I sit down and the next thing I know it's licking my leg. Man these animals are brave! I shooed it away before it took a bite out of me.

The views on the west side of Gunsight Pass wasn't quite as good as the east side but they were still pretty nice. It was hazy which my have lead too me thinking that. Lake Ellen Wilson was still gorgeous and fun too shoot.

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I decided to pass on climbing Lincoln Peak because of the haze. Here's a view looking towards Lake McDonald. Sperry Chalet would be on your right. This was the first day the backcountry campground was open and we meet a number of backpackers climbing up from Lake McDonald.

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While eating supper at Lake McDonald Lodge we talked about what a special park Glacier is. We both agreed when traveling that we compared everything on the Glacier scale. We both found ourselves saying other parks were as pretty as Glacier but never better. Back at St Mary we exchanged phone #s and went to get much needed showers and sleep. That's what I like about traveling to national parks, meeting great people who love the outdoors as much as I do. I though that was the end of my day but far from it.

I'm sitting in my campsite relaxing when suddenly a fox bursts out of the brush and grabs a squirrel right in front of me! That's something you don't see everyday. All week ranger's have been warning people that a grizzly was in the area so lock up your food. Well about 15 minutes after the fox vs squirrel carnage I hear a big animal crashing through the brush right towards me. Uh-oh here comes that bear! I jump up and run behind the car too put something between me and whatever is coming out of the brush. Out pops a cow moose and she see's me and freezes. While relieved it's not a grizzly I keep the car between us until she runs off into the campground. That was a crazy way to end the day. Only at Glacier. Here's a terrible phone picture. It's getting pretty dark.

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Re: Badgerhiker's 2018 Trip Report

Postby Badgerhiker » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:35 pm

St Mary & Virginia Falls / Logan Pass

After my big hike from the day before I planned on having a nice relaxing day before the long drive back home. I slept to about 8am then had breakfast at the Snowgoose Grill. The food was fine, it's pretty hard to screw up breakfast. After eating I rode the shuttle bus to Sun Point. Sun Point was closed during my other two trips here so I wanted to hike the trail along the lake. It was windy which made for some big waves crashing on shore. At Virginia Falls I tried soaking my feet in the water and made it about 20 seconds before pain started shooting up my legs from the cold. After I wimped out a little girl walks past me and lays belly down in the water. :shock: I told her dad wow she's tougher than I am. He laughed and said yeah she's tougher than me too. I didn't take many pictures that I liked but it was a nice hike too relax and take my time.

After supper I headed up to Logan Pass. My go to evening spot came through for me again. Walking up the Hidden Lake trail there was bighorn sheep everywhere.

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I passed a group of about 15 sheep then had to stop because 5 more sheep were on the trail. People were starting to back up on the trail waiting for the sheep when a ranger came up and said let me move these guy's off the trail for you. A few hand claps and they moved on. I jokingly asked could you get them to turn around so I can get some pictures. She put her hands to her mouth and yelled hey turn around this guy wants to take some pictures of you. She shrugged her shoulders and said they listen about as well as my kids. 8) Walking for another 10 minutes I spotted two more groups of sheep and finally got a couple posing on a ledge above me.

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From the visitor center to the Hidden Lake overlook I think I counted 42 sheep. (give or take a couple) The ranger said that's the most sheep she's seen at Logan Pass at one time but they won't be sticking together much longer once the rut starts. On the way back a couple young rams were hitting their horns together. It was more like they were testing out their head gear than a full on fight. It must be an awesome sight too see two mature rams going at it.

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Well that's it for my trip report. I hope everyone liked it. It was another great trip to Glacier. I was a little disappointed I couldn't do Shangri La but the hike to Grinnell Glacier and Angel Wing more than made up for it. Mount Siyeh & Shangri La are still on my to do list so I have to come back maybe in two years. Next year I'd like to explore the San Juan Mountains in SW Colorado. Pictures from that area look gorgeous plus I'm hoping there's less people than the national parks. Take care and have fun hiking.
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