If you’re a regular reader, then you know that I often post photos of my frequent forays into Glacier National Park. After all, I live just a few miles from the St. Mary, Many Glacier, and Chief Mountain entrances, and I consider the Park my greater backyard. You can check out the “Glacier National Park” category, to the right, for the archives of “what we saw” on any given day in Glacier.
This winter … well, Glacier County declared itself to be in a state of emergency. A tribal spokesman asserted it “the worst in 40 years.” My own husband, who is calm and loves winter, told our almond growers down in California that it was the most extreme winter he remembered in his lifetime. I’ve only spent 2 winters here, but I know this one to be nothing like the one before it, when I lived down the long, winding driveway at Hillhouse and didn’t know the meaning of “cabin fever.” Currently, Hillhouse is wholly inaccessible, boasting drifts that put one at eye-level with the roofline. And Hillhouse has vaulted ceilings.
As a result of this insanity, my trips into Glacier National Park have been … sporadic, shall we say. Especially in light of the fact that winter began in October this year! My recent posts have centered around snow and wind and closed roads. Currently, Glacier is fairly inaccessible from the east. Now, if I weren’t seven months pregnant I might consider a winter camping trip, a chance to cross country ski through the sparkling silence of the Many Glacier valley, or to snowshoe up the fabulous Going to the Sun Road. But I am, and that’s that. Still, I’m a little tired of posting photos of the snow and wind and drifts, and not of Glacier’s interior – though I delight in watching sunlight shatter off of icicles and I adore the way the dawn can make the mountains look like gods, platinum and alabaster and twice as big as they actually are, I am weary of winter.
And so Brother Dear and Pseudo Sista and I have talked nonstop of spring, summer, the mountains we’ll climb, the trails we’ll tackle, the backcountry meals we’ll create. I’d be willing to bet that the first peak bagged this year will be Divide, as in every year, since it has good access and tends to melt out more quickly than the Park’s interior. Divide’s summit, about 7300′, forms the borderline between Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation/Glacier County, great symbolism for me. It’s not a particularly hard climb, as you can drive old logging roads to a fairly high saddle. Which is, of course, at the same time not to say that it’s easy. Summit views this good are never truly “easy.”
These were taken on June 25, 2006, but I can state with certainty that the views remain much the same. Such is the beauty of a national park.
Who’s ready for summer?
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