Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jackson Glacier- Glacier National Park

After about a week of planning a close to home trip. We settled on some Summer skiing on the Jackson Glacier. We are the Skier Boyz and this is what we do. Welz has come up to Whitefish for a month to get some work done on his Hydrology thesis and to escape the SLC burn. We have plenty of H2O up here and Jay has been sampling it in all forms. He has influenced his ways on Stefan and I and we have broken the trend of climbing on All of our days off. 

Mt Jacksons shoulder. The Glacier is on the other side of the ridge shown

Hiking in the 7 miles to camp

Camp on Gunsight Lake w gunsight Pass in background.
Notice the 2000 foot waterfalls.
After some mountain biking and almost losing Stefan when he cased a gap jump we drove from Home through GNP on the going to the sun road. After a quick dip in Lake MacDonald we crested Logan Pass and dropped to the trail head above St. Mary Lake. We put our shit show together and got on the trail by 5:30 p.m., heading to the most concentrated area of Glaciers still existing in the park. You can see both Jackson and the Blackfoot glaciers from the road. They are receding into the highest north facing elevations and may disappear in our lifetime so I felt a urgent need to visit this special place. We hiked in 7 miles to the gun sight lake and set camp as the Full Super moon was rising.

Happy to be on skis and shorts in July

Dropping in on our first line Jackson Glacier saddle 7,800
Further down skiing the runnel lanes
We scoped the main glacier run from the road and headed there first in the morning. It starts at a saddle before the ridge climb to the summit of Jackson. We crossed under some big seracs and onto the main path leading to the summit. It felt good and comfortable to be on the skis again. We got a 1600 foot run before the glacier broke up and we climbed back up and under the seracs again. Jay spotted a nice patch that we climbed next. The climb was a lot longer than it looked from below. Its always this way on glacier terrain. Things appear closer and not as steep until you begin to climb. We got another awesome shot off Jackson's north shoulder. The run was 2,400 feet. It was a bit difficult to find our trail out and we quickly got slapped by how heinous the shwacking can be in GNP. Luckily the trail was found rather quick and we made for the Lake. We took a quick dip and hit the trail out. It was a smash and grab summer hit. 26 hours, 20 miles, 4000 feet of skiing, 500 mosquito bites, 3 Glaciers. Not a bad place to live.
Climbing up the second line off Jackson's shoulder 8,200
Blackfoot Glacier in background
Stefan finding his groove on the fine glacial corn
-Kid Buffalo