2 months later: My first trip to Glacier Aug. 26 - Sept. 3

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

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scout7153
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2 months later: My first trip to Glacier Aug. 26 - Sept. 3

Post by scout7153 »

Posted in the wrong topic last night...classic.

First things first: HUGE thank you to Heff and Laura. The rental car swap worked flawlessly!

I took my Go Pro along for the trip, along with a battery pack and a solar charger....although I realized on the 2nd night that my charger cable for the camera was still plugged into my computer at home (womp womp). I somehow managed to keep it alive for 5 of our 6 days, so I present to you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbADpjGEV5c! I also threw in some pictures from my friends' cameras to fill in what I couldn't capture.

The forest fires were raging all around us as we descended into Kalispell. Visibility was 3/4 of a mile, and our energy was drained as we realized we might have a very rough go of it the next day. We were facing a 12 mile hike, (extremely) uphill from Packer's Roost to Fifty Mountain. Coming from the midwest, no amount on stair master training had prepared me for what lay ahead...and I could tell the other members of our group were realizing the same thing. It was time to get in the zone and get in those miles. I had my bandanna at the ready, since every breath felt like I was standing over a campfire. We got our first night at Avalanche Creek, ate a delicious meal at the Lake McDonald Lodge, and hit the trail first thing on the 27th.

I love this National Park. The smoke added a very cool element to the views that made them extremely unique: It gave off a completely different vibe from most of the pictures I've seen, so I really enjoyed it even if it did make breathing near-impossible for the first few days. A cold front came through on our short hike from Francis to HOL, and it brought 12 hours of rain/hail and temps dipping down to the low 40s (maybe high 30s overnight?). We woke up to a friendly Grizzly the next morning, and got on our way up over Boulder Pass. The cloud ceiling was just above our heads on the pass, so climbing up to the summit of Boulder Mountain wasn't really an option (next time); and once we got back down and out of the mountain range at Upper Kintla it cleared off into a beautiful night. Our initial permit had us going from Upper Kintla to Kintla Head the next day, but we decided to push on and hike all the way out....wanted to catch a bit of the highline trail on our last day, so we got ambitious. It really was an enjoyable, albeit long, hike out; and after heading into Polebridge for a delicious few beers, a burger, and huckleberry pie (read: pie & bear claws), we made our way back to Avalanche Creek. Unfortunately most of the other campsites around there were already filled by the time we made it back.

We spent about 2 hours on the highline trail on Sept. 2 (which was a breeze with no backpack on!), and drove out to Whitefish...but not before stopping back at Perfect Cuts to reload on jerky and sausages. Those guys are awesome! I might have some meat shipped to Chicago soon. We enjoyed many cold beers in Whitefish and crashed at a hotel to shower up and catch a flight out the next morning.

11/10 will go back again!

Permit list below:
In at Packer's Roost
Fifty Mountain
Kootenai Lake
Lake Francis
Hole in the Wall
Upper Kintla
Out at Kintla

Enjoy the video! It does a better job showing the hike than I can do writing out a synopsis.

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elscout198
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Re: 2 months later: My first trip to Glacier Aug. 26 - Sept.

Post by elscout198 »

Ok just how cold was the lake?
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scout7153
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Re: 2 months later: My first trip to Glacier Aug. 26 - Sept.

Post by scout7153 »

Actually it was strange: There were pockets of water in Lake McDonald that were like bath temperature, and then others like ice water. Kootenai and Francis were both suuuper cold...I didn't go in either of those past my knees, but they felt great on the feet after some long days!

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Re: 2 months later: My first trip to Glacier Aug. 26 - Sept.

Post by July Guy »

scout7153 wrote:Actually it was strange: There were pockets of water in Lake McDonald that were like bath temperature, and then others like ice water. Kootenai and Francis were both suuuper cold...I didn't go in either of those past my knees, but they felt great on the feet after some long days!

Great video of swimming. Where the pockets of warm water 'yellow'?


JG
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scout7153
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Re: 2 months later: My first trip to Glacier Aug. 26 - Sept.

Post by scout7153 »

July Guy wrote: Where the pockets of warm water 'yellow'?

JG

Hahaha they were all over the place and we were the only ones in the water! Made sure to swim out far to ensure it wasn't my friends leaving their mark. Can confirm. There was no rhyme or reason to their locations, but it made for a hilarious first few minutes.

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Re: 2 months later: My first trip to Glacier Aug. 26 - Sept.

Post by July Guy »

just the surface water warming up, and 'swirling' around from the current. Spring fed lakes in the area are different, you can find a warm spot and hang out there.

The lake itself is pretty fascinating - there is a petrified forest about 70 feet down, closer to the head of the lake.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnDHXhfv0Wc
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