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For anyone considering steep snow travel or climbing big mountains such as Rainier this is for you! A group of us will be doing Rainier again this summer so we want to get out and practice our rope team skills. Beginners would be welcome to join in and learn the basics while the others practice their technique. This is good technique to safely navigate steep snow that you find in Glacier in the early season if you want to get out before the trails dry and the crowds get overwhelming. We will be out on steep snow sliding around and you will need snowshoes, snow clothes, helmet, harness, crampons, and any rope gear you have. If you don't have any gear we have some extras you can borrow. This will be informal and a lot of fun!
From SuperOne we will head up to Glacier Park and park in the Lake McDonald Lodge parking lot. The trail is past the gate and a little less then a mile up Going to the Sun Road. The trail is very easy with minimal elevation. It starts off in the woods but opens up to the Creek with some nice views. Round trip is approximately less then 6 miles but does end with the last 2-3 miles heading back on the Going to the Sun Road....which still has some unqiue views in the Winter if you haven't been up there during this season. The snow is usually "crunchy" as it is a well used trail, but works fairly good with snow shoes. Please bring bear spray (yes- bears have been seen out), snacks or lunch if you'd like, and either an insulated water container.
Round trip: 12 miles Elevation Gain: 2,700 from All Trails Rating: Hard We will divide into groups of less then 8 if there is a lot of Interest in this hike. (Stay within site, just split so we follow park rules). Please bring plenty of water as there is none available on trail or at the lookout. Bear Spray Lunch/snacks Snowshoes in case we run into snow towards summit. Trekking poles Know your limits. This is rated a by All Trails as a hard hike. We will not be going at a very fast speed. Accessed by the West Glacier entrance via Camas Road, the trailhead is easy to get to and nestled amidst pristine park areas. The well-groomed trail first meanders along the McGee Creek before beginning the moderate and sustained traverse to the ridgeline 2,000 feet above the valley floor. After 4.5 miles, the trail hits a saddle between peaks in the Apgar Mountains and turns north, running along the range’s ridgeline for about 1.5 miles until it reaches the lookout. If you keep a reasonable pace, you can bag the summit and be down just after lunch. The big views of the staggering mountains to the east and north are a little far off, but the sights, full of sky and the lush valley below, are worth the trip.
Date is tentative right now. Plan is to ride bikes up to Logan pass or as far as the plows are then hike in and climb bearhat. This will be a big day and might require an earlier start. The hope is to be able to take off from avalanche campground and ride up. Be prepared to ride up under head lamps at the beginning. There will be a lot of snow so ice axe, helmet, crampons, maybe snow shoes, and possibly a harness. I will update as the date gets closer as well. I would recommend riding the road a few times before doing this with weight as it will help you understand what it's going to take physically to make it up the road