Thursday, November 23, 2023
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Flinsch Peak close to East Glacier – Large Sky Walker


Life-Changer.
About twenty-five years in the past I bagged my first Glacier Park peak as a part of a summer season workshop for lecturers. We have been studying in regards to the historical past and geology of the park as we hiked and climbed across the park over a 4-day interval. I nonetheless keep in mind standing on Dawson Move, trying up at Flinsch, and pondering, “that doesn’t appear to be one thing I can climb”. Fortunately, the trainer thought in any other case – and I trusted the man, so off we went. I’ve by no means forgotten the ache of mountaineering up the steep rocky slope, the push of climbing the crux, and the sensation of exhilaration as I stood on the summit. I used to be hooked.

Nonetheless received it?
I’ve climbed many peaks since that day, together with a number of that have been rather more spectacular than Flinsch Peak, however these days I’ve  been wanting to go to Flinsch once more. Though I’m not as sturdy as I was – age does that, I’ve much more confidence, and am less-bothered by the ache that comes with climbing steep slopes. I needed to see what it will be like – how would I reply? I additionally needed to do the Pitamakan-Dawson Loop, supposedly among the best lengthy path hikes within the park (~18 miles). So, I made plans to hike the loop counter-clockwise, (Pitamaken Move to Dawson Move), going off-trail at Dawson to climb Flinsch as I had 25 years in the past. Murray, my go-to buddy for something “Glacier” agreed to affix me.

It’s true.
Murray (retired) drove up from Helena Thursday morning to nab a campsite on the Two Drugs Campground 20 miles west of Browning. I received off work at midday, then made the 270-mile drive from Hays. He in his camper and me in my tent, we loved one of many quietest nights of sleep I’ve ever skilled – no loud autos, no canines barking, not a peep out of anybody! We rose early Friday morning and hit the path at 6:20 am. Aside from a really gentle haze as a result of wildfires someplace, the day couldn’t have been higher. The climate was splendid and the loop lived as much as its billing. The path from Oldman Lake as much as Pitamakan, after which on over to Dawson Move is without doubt one of the most spectacular stretches I’ve walked – a lot of it on or alongside the Continental Divide.

A matter of perspective.
The a part of the loop path alongside the north shore of Two Drugs Lake was closed as a result of grizzly bear exercise, so we wanted to be down on the lake by 5:15 to catch the final boat again to the campground. It took us 3 hours to achieve Pitamakan Move, then one other 2 hours to reach at Dawson Move (round 11 am), giving us loads of time to have a chew to eat after which climb Flinsch. It was wonderful to be up there once more – felt like a full-circle form of factor. In reality, I feel I loved and appreciated it much more than I did 25 years in the past – age does that.

No worries.
After getting again right down to Dawson Move we received again on the loop path and hiked 4.5 miles right down to the dock, arriving there at 3:20, simply as one of many boats pulled up. Nevertheless, there have been far more hikers than there have been seats on the boat, so the pilot hauled one load throughout the lake, then got here again and picked up the remainder of us at 4 pm. FYI – If you happen to plan to make use of the boat (enjoyable, and cuts a pair miles off the loop hike), remember to get your tickets forward of time. Our day included 18 miles of mountaineering/climbing, 2 miles of boat-riding, and 4,600 toes of elevation acquire.

Beneath: This map marks hikes which have been featured on bigskywalker.com to date, together with a number of in Glacier Park – Choose full display screen to increase, zoom in for extra element, or click on on a marker for a hyperlink to the publish.

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