Northern Traverse 3

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

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paul
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Re: Northern Traverse 3

Post by paul »

Another change that I noticed this year was that the throne made out of stones on top of Boulder peak is no longer there. I think the rangers tore it down (which makes me sad).
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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Day 9 Boulder Pass to Upper Kintla Lake (with a side trip to Boulder Peak)

The last time I was at Boulder Pass camp I wasn't able to get up to Boulder Peak because of blisters on my feet. So I was adamant about getting there on this trip. I was the first one up at dawn and I told the other fellows that I was heading up to the peak before breakfast. They all decided to head up with me.

It takes about 40-45 minutes to get to the peak from camp in good conditions. Conditions were good, the day was clear of any bad weather although it was still smokey. The problem was the rising sun in the east was blinding us on the way up and when we finally summited we couldn't really see eastward because the sun was so much in our eyes. It's also difficult to take photos like that.

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On the way up to Boulder Peak

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Pocket lake

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Micheal on the peak

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One of my favorite photos of the trip. Heading down from Boulder Peak (Micheal, Jason and Tim)

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And a closer look

After getting back to camp we had some breakfast and packed up camp. I again was last to leave. I met our camp mates. Two of them climbed Kintla the day before and didn't return to camp until 2 am. The other guy was soloing a backpack around the Kintla Bowman loop looking to climb Chapman in between camps. He said the forecast had some rough weather moving in the next few days.

The hike down to the Upper Kintla lake was uneventful for me. I took my time. I met a couple of hikers coming up the other way. One group was a young couple day hiking from Upper Kintla. So they would be in camp that night with us.

I got to camp it was very windy, I think Winnie the Pooh would call it a blustery day. It wasn't very easy getting my tent setup with the wind blowing off the lake.

Upper Kintla lake camp sites were full that day. We had one site. The couple I saw earlier had another and the other two sites were taken by a group of young college age kids. I guess they aren't really kids but they just seemed so young that you call them that. I met them a couple of times before on this trip since they were camping at Hawksbill. I bumped into them on the hike up to Lake Francis and then when I hiked by Hawksbill the next day.

Earlier in the day someone said they that they spotted a black bear on the shoreline of the lake. So that afternoon I decided to head down the trail of the lake to see if I could spot it. I went into our site and grabbed my can of bear spray. Ironically, as I came out of our camp site, I walked pretty much right into the bear which was 10 feet away. I immediately, called out "bear" a few times and everyone came over to see. Evidently Tim was the first to spot it when he was at the food prep area. The bear went over to the beach where "the kids" were napping. I guess they were startled. It then headed up toward our camp and that's when I saw it.

We all had a good look at the bear who didn't seem to be too bothered by us and it headed up the trail toward the outhouse. After that everyone started chatting it up as it was our first exciting animal siting of the trip.

As the day ended we hung out on the beach to enjoy our last sunset of the trip.

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We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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paul
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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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Day 10 Upper Kintla Lake to the trail head of Kintla Lake (Day 8 of the hike)
The plan was to get up early for the hike out. It's only about 11 miles of hiking but Tim wanted to get an early start since he had a 5 hour drive at the end of it. So we got up in the dark and packed our gear. We didn't really have breakfast, just a few snacks.

It was just about dawn when we started the hike out and almost immediately we came across the same bear that we saw the day before. We continued on and this is the only picture I took the rest of the day. It's at the head of Upper Kintla lake looking back toward the rising sun in the east.

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For awhile I kept up with the guys about the pace was too quick for me and I felt there was no point of killing myself trying to keep up with the group. So I eased up a bit. I fell behind but not far enough to make any real difference in time. I also met up with them at Kintla Lake Backcountry site where they were taking a food break.

After the break, I took off early to get a head start but they over took me not long after that.

The last part of the hike consisted very strong winds going down the lake toward the east. At one point I heard and then saw a tree get knocked down by the wind. Luckily it was about 50 yard inland from me and not a threat.

I finally got back to the parking lot where Tim's car was parked but the guys weren't there and neither was the car. At that point I realized they must have come out at the lake trailhead which meant I had another quarter mile to hike. That wasn't the best way to finish my hike but that's the way it ended.

We drove back to Polebridge which seemed packed with people mostly older than 70 I think. They must have been dropped off by some tour bus or something. After that we went to Hungry Horse for some lunch. I forget the name of the place but the food was pretty good for a dive bar.

Finally, Tim dropped us off at the hotel which was right at the airport. We said our goodbyes to Tim and he headed off back to Dutton, MT (where he and his wife currently reside). It's also the location where they do a lot of the filming for the television show called "Yellowstone". I've seen the show a few times and I got to say it seems to be overrated.

The next morning Jason, Micheal and myself caught a 6:30 flight to Denver. This is where those guys headed to Houston and I headed to Boston.

It was nice to get home for sure. The first day of the backpack I said to myself this is the last Northern Traverse I will ever do, but by the time the trip ended I wanted to start planning for my next Northern Traverse. It really is the best hike in the park even thought it has many challenges. Maybe the next time it will be a west to east journey. Although I would be happy to get another trip in either direction.

The end
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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Paul,

Good on you for starting your trip report after me and finishing before me! I’ve got one more write up to do and I’ll have mine wrapped up for 2022.

Hiking up to the Sue Lake Bench with a 14 day hike the very next day would have been killer. Smart move to just relax and enjoy the Mokawanis area instead.

You (and Jason) took some amazing photos. Makes me want to revisit the Boulder Pass area. I’m really hoping Goat Haunt reopens one of these years so I can make it back there from Waterton.

Thanks for the report! I really enjoyed it. Nice to see you, Tim and Jason enjoying Glacier together.

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

Post by zozeppelin »

Nice finish - that had to be scary to freeze up all alone. Those last miles of Kintla seemed like they were much longer than the signs said - finishing that with a backtrack to campground - ouch!

I completely missed the “shelf” part of Sue Lake. Clearly day hiking from Mokawanis to the overlook (and back!) would be a marathon. Which, thank you Teapot for emphasizing the shelf, sent me down a 2-3 hour wormhole reading about the shelf that ended up with Joey’s thunderbird traverse video. Holy $%{#&$!!! That was unreal and this site has such a wealth of information. I need to do more reading! Oh and start my trip report for this year now that I finally finished 2021.

Cheers!

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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teapot57 wrote:
Mon Jan 23, 2023 5:08 pm
Paul,

Good on you for starting your trip report after me and finishing before me! I’ve got one more write up to do and I’ll have mine wrapped up for 2022.

Hiking up to the Sue Lake Bench with a 14 day hike the very next day would have been killer. Smart move to just relax and enjoy the Mokawanis area instead.

You (and Jason) took some amazing photos. Makes me want to revisit the Boulder Pass area. I’m really hoping Goat Haunt reopens one of these years so I can make it back there from Waterton.

Thanks for the report! I really enjoyed it. Nice to see you, Tim and Jason enjoying Glacier together.
Thanks Teapot,

I only had one trip to report so it was easier to finish than yours since you must have been to the park 4 or 5 times this season.

If my foot was feeling good I would have done the Sue Bench. My goal was to climb Pyramid peak from there which is very doable. The problem was my achilles tendon was killing me and I didn't want to make it even worse.

Unfortunately, I think the park service is not going to open Goat Haunt anytime soon, I really think they don't want people out there.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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zozeppelin wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:43 pm
Nice finish - that had to be scary to freeze up all alone. Those last miles of Kintla seemed like they were much longer than the signs said - finishing that with a backtrack to campground - ouch!

I completely missed the “shelf” part of Sue Lake. Clearly day hiking from Mokawanis to the overlook (and back!) would be a marathon. Which, thank you Teapot for emphasizing the shelf, sent me down a 2-3 hour wormhole reading about the shelf that ended up with Joey’s thunderbird traverse video. Holy $%{#&$!!! That was unreal and this site has such a wealth of information. I need to do more reading! Oh and start my trip report for this year now that I finally finished 2021.

Cheers!
Thanks zozeppelin,

I guess all's well that ends well! The hike from Upper Kintla to the trailhead is 11 miles so it's not piece of cake.

I've done the Sue Lake bench from MOL and back. It's not that bad of of a hike. But if you have a foot problem and the next day is a killer hike it probably isn't a good choice.

Joey's thunderbird traverse video is awesome!
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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One of my favorite photos of the trip. Heading down from Boulder Peak (Micheal, Jason and Tim)
agree!
We continued on and this is the only picture I took the rest of the day. It's at the head of Upper Kintla lake looking back toward the rising sun in the east.
love this one as well. You captured the sun perfectly.

Quite an end to your awesome trip. I can't imagine. Thankfully you got back safe and sound.
Thanks Teapot,
I only had one trip to report so it was easier to finish than yours since you must have been to the park 4 or 5 times this season.
We all envy her, lucky girl! All I can say is good for you Tina! I'm glad I got to share two times with you.

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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tibber wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:08 am
One of my favorite photos of the trip. Heading down from Boulder Peak (Micheal, Jason and Tim)
agree!
We continued on and this is the only picture I took the rest of the day. It's at the head of Upper Kintla lake looking back toward the rising sun in the east.
love this one as well. You captured the sun perfectly.

Quite an end to your awesome trip. I can't imagine. Thankfully you got back safe and sound.
Thanks Teapot,
I only had one trip to report so it was easier to finish than yours since you must have been to the park 4 or 5 times this season.
We all envy her, lucky girl! All I can say is good for you Tina! I'm glad I got to share two times with you.
Thanks Tibber, This trip was definitely the highlight of my summer. I'm looking forward to more trip reports from Teapot and zozeppelin.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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Nice trip report, Paul! I enjoyed the narrative as well as all your pictures. It sounds like you had a great trip!
Too bad the throne had been taken down on Boulder. From what I recall, it was a cool feature.
Blanka

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

Post by Jay w »

Hey Blanka. Haven't seen that name for a while.

Paul, it's been a week or so since I read the report. I can relate to hiking up Boulder into the sun, the bear in Kintla, hanging out on the beach and the long hike out. It just seems like a lot of roots to step over and then hitting the wrong trailhead. Done? yeah, nope.

Anyway, I appreciate the effort on writing up the report and the time spent on getting all the photos in. Enjoyed it.

Jay
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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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Thanks for the pics and trip report! I've enjoyed tagging along on your adventure!

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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MISSY wrote:
Sun Jan 29, 2023 12:10 am
Thanks for the pics and trip report! I've enjoyed tagging along on your adventure!
Thanks Missy, I'm glad you liked it.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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Jay w wrote:
Sat Jan 28, 2023 8:28 pm
Hey Blanka. Haven't seen that name for a while.

Paul, it's been a week or so since I read the report. I can relate to hiking up Boulder into the sun, the bear in Kintla, hanging out on the beach and the long hike out. It just seems like a lot of roots to step over and then hitting the wrong trailhead. Done? yeah, nope.

Anyway, I appreciate the effort on writing up the report and the time spent on getting all the photos in. Enjoyed it.

Jay
Thanks Jay,

Yeah, next time (hopefully there will be one) I hike up to Boulder peak, I will try it a little later in the day.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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Re: Northern Traverse 3

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liketohike wrote:
Sat Jan 28, 2023 7:41 pm
Nice trip report, Paul! I enjoyed the narrative as well as all your pictures. It sounds like you had a great trip!
Too bad the throne had been taken down on Boulder. From what I recall, it was a cool feature.
Blanka
Thanks Blanka,

I was bummed out about the throne being torn down. I've been up there a few times and it's nice to see it there and wonder who built it and when. Now that is all lost. I don't think it was doing any harm. It must have been there for years.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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