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Friday, August 4, 2017

Glacier Mountaineering Society: GMS Week

On the summit of Mount Henkel, Glacier National Park.
Every summer, the Glacier Mountaineering Society puts on GMS Week, with tons of climbs (3-5/day) every day for a week. I joined GMS for the first time this year and decided to go up to Glacier and participate in a couple of their climbs during GMS week, which was July 22-30 this year. 

The first climb was in the Many Glacier area. We hiked to Ptarmigan Lake, just below Ptarmigan Tunnel, and then left the trail, heading east, scrambling to the north ridge of Crowfeet Mountain. Once on the ridge, we walked it over to Crowfeet and then on to Hankel. From Hankel, the plan was to continue on to Apikuni, but an exposed ledge traverse held a few of the members back (myself included) and so we headed down to the cars instead, which already made for a big, awesome day. 

The second climb was in the Two Medicine area. I pulled into the trail head at Two Medicine Lake late the night before and slept in the back of the old 4Runner in order to easily make the 6am start time. From Two Medicine, we hiked up to Dawson Pass and then left the trail to bag Mount Morgan, to the south, and Mount McClintock, to the north. Mount Morgan has a class 4 section on it, but we took our time and it was no problem. 

The neat thing about GMS week is getting to know people from all over. The trip leaders for my trips were both from Kalispell, but the remaining participants were from Canada and all over the U.S., in addition to a few locals. A few people made long trips, from Midwest and East Coast just to climb in Glacier during the GMS week. It was a great time, and I look forward to doing it again next summer.

Crowfeet & Henkel Pictures:

Morgan McClintock Pictures:

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