The sun finally popped out from behind the clouds late Wednesday afternoon and Will decided a hike was up the mountain was the plan. So, off we went.
We arrived at the summit just before the sun was setting, prime golden hour. I am extremely glad that I grabbed my Canon 60D from my car and EFS 70-300mm lens to take some shots on the hike. Between the golden hour light, the gondola cabins placed so perfectly in line with the sun, and the alpenglow in Glacier National Park, I was stoked. The photos below don't do the scenery justice.
Fiery sky surrounds a lone gondola cabin
The view east into Glacier National Park
Alpenglow throughout the Livingstone and Lewis Ranges
Layers of mountains to the west
The sun was still shining Thursday morning and I was committed to making it to the top of the mountain, with my bike, for daytime views of Glacier. On the climb, the snow stopped me at the same place as Tuesday, but two women, who were also on their way up, kept charging forward, hike-a-bike style, so I followed along. The trail cleared up two switchbacks above where I had initially stopped and climbing was back in order. The two women were much faster than I was on the uphill so they sped through Ptarmigan Bowl and over to Inspiration well ahead of me. I had stopped to take a photo from Inspiration and they passed me on their way down saying "the trail was not passable ahead", so naturally I opted to send it. The remaining half mile of "trail" was 80% covered with snow, certainly not passable for anyone not fully committed to topping out. I was left with one option: hiking my bike straight up the mountain. For those of you who haven't had this experience, it's not the best option, especially when you are on sliding around on soft snow.
The frustration from the hike-a-bike escapade was well worth it. Glacier National Park was brilliant, per usual, displaying all it's glory. Snow capped peaks stretched for miles on the horizon. Once again, the photos simply don't show how majestic these mountains are.
Northeast view from the summit of Whitefish
East view from the summit of Whitefish
On the way down, it was awesome. I'm not sure if it was allowed, but I took Freebird. It's safe to say Freebird is made for anyone who wants to go mach 10 and has a full face helmet. Much steeper than Kashmir, much faster, and more jumps. It was intense, but super fun. Definitely will need to revisit Freebird in the future.
And with that, I am packing up my Subaru for an early departure Friday morning for Washington. Luckily, I planned it so I have all weekend to explore the new area I'll be living.
More updates to follow, stay tuned!