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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 Cross, wanting up at Flinsch, and considering, “that doesn’t appear like 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 mountain climbing up the steep rocky slope, the frenzy of climbing the crux, and the sensation of exhilaration as I stood on the summit. I used to be hooked.

Nonetheless acquired 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 could be like – how would I reply? I additionally needed to do the Pitamakan-Dawson Loop, supposedly the most effective lengthy path hikes within the park (~18 miles). So, I made plans to hike the loop counter-clockwise, (Pitamaken Cross to Dawson Cross), 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 acquired 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 automobiles, no canine barking, not a peep out of anybody! We rose early Friday morning and hit the path at 6:20 am. Apart from a really gentle haze on account 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 Cross 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 on account of grizzly bear exercise, so we would have liked to be down on the lake by 5:15 to catch the final boat again to the campground. It took us 3 hours to succeed in Pitamakan Cross, then one other 2 hours to reach at Dawson Cross (round 11 am), giving us loads of time to have a chew to eat after which climb Flinsch. It was superb to be up there once more – felt like a full-circle type of factor. In truth, 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 Cross we acquired 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 – For those who 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 mountain climbing/climbing, 2 miles of boat-riding, and 4,600 ft of elevation achieve.

Under: This map marks hikes which have been featured on bigskywalker.com to this point, together with a number of in Glacier Park – Choose full display to develop, zoom in for extra element, or click on on a marker for a hyperlink to the put up.

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