Swiftcurrent Pass/Summit*

 

Swiftcurrent Pass (12)

Swiftcurrent Summit, Glacier NP

Date: 06/28/2015

Location: Glacier National Park, MT

Distance: 14+ miles (one way from Many Glacier to the Loop)

Elevation Gain: 3300+ feet

Highest Point: 8400 feet

Time: 7 hours

I am not one who looks for deeper meaning in things. Hiking big mountains in elements for me is simply looking for great views, probably similar to fashionable women collecting trendy handbags.

Swiftcurrent Pass (39)

Red Rock Lake

Red Rock Falls

Red Rock Falls

 

However, once in a long while, completing a trail, like Swiftcurrent Summit, would provoke within me an existential affirmation about life’s meaning and self worth.

Swiftcurrent Pass (28)

Bullhead Lake at 4 mile with Swiftcurrent glacier hanging high up on the headwall.

On this blistering hot day, I set to traverse a very challenging terrain.  How I accomplished this goal had little to do with the usual things that defined who I am – name, race, belief, occupation, net worth, friends or relations.

It's now 2200 feet up to the top of headwall.

It’s now 2200 feet up to the top of headwall.

Ascending the headwall accompanied by the view of Swiftcurrent Glacier

Ascending the headwall accompanied by the view of Swiftcurrent Glacier

Swiftcurrent Valley

Swiftcurrent Valley from below the Pass

Shortly after the pass, junction to Swiftcurrent Summit with the Lookout beckoning on top.

Shortly after the pass, junction to Swiftcurrent Summit with the Lookout beckoning on top.

White Bark Pine Ghost forest on the way up to the summit.

White Bark Pine Ghost forest on the way up to the summit. The trail gained 1000+ feet in 1.2 mile

Heavens Peak and Granite Park Chalet in the distance

Heavens Peak and Granite Park Chalet in the distance

The Lookout at Swiftcurrent Summit

The Lookout at Swiftcurrent Summit

Overcoming heat and altitude, I looked down on Swiftcurrent Glacier which just hours ago hung dominant above me.

From the Summit looking North

From the Summit looking North

Swiftcurrent Glacier to the south

Swiftcurrent Glacier to the south

Link to video from the summit: https://youtu.be/3EoT2V44y4s

Though all downhill now, the challenge was not over.  Hyperthermia lurked as I descended the bone dry inferno of the Loop trail at hottest time of the day.

on the way down, wild flowers dotted landscape around Granite Park Chalet

on the way down, wild flowers dotted landscape around Granite Park Chalet

Then, I was there.  No external accolade awaited except a life time of visual and visceral memory and somewhere in the recess of my soul hung a plaque of contentment.

One thought on “Swiftcurrent Pass/Summit*

  1. Pingback: GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – Beautiful Hikes

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