Saturday, July 23, 2011

Otokomi Lake

Saturday July 23 I hiked to Otokomi Lake in Glacier Park with Patti, Gene and Gene's ladyfriend, Ivy.  The length of the hike was 10.4 miles round trip.

Info Patti researched on Otokomi Lake:
  • Elevation gain of the trail is 1882 ft 
  •  Elevation at the trailhead is 4488 ft
  • Elevation of the lake is 6482 ft 
  • The big mountain at the head of the lake is Goat Mountain, 8826 ft 
  • The bowl the lake is in is called Rose Basin. That and Rose Creek are named for the red rocks, which are called argillite.

Since Otokomi Lake is on the east side of the Park we got an early start.    It was a cool morning with the temperature at 38 degrees.  Steam rose from the creek across the road and the river on the ranch.

This was my second trip over Logan Pass this year and in the morning sun lots of snow was on Heaven's Peak (obscured by the cloud) and its northern ridge and lookout (on the knob on the very right of the photo).  The Park was going to restore and stabilize this historic lookout but due to the heavy snow this year they have postponed the work until next year.

On the way we stopped for a bathroom break and I took this photo up Gunsight valley towards Jackson Glacier.

In the parking lot at Swiftcurrent Inn, and near the trail head, I saw this small trailer.  Man, I've seen tents larger than this trailer.  I don't see how an adult could sleep stretched out.

The view near the start of our hike.  I believe one of these mountains is Goat Mountain.

Apparently an old small dam used to be on Rose Creek near the start of the trail.  It is near the cabins.

The water was running high.  The previous time I hiked to Otokomi Lake I only remember seeing a few okay waterfalls.  This time there were lots of opportunities to see waterfalls.  Well.. a correction.  I just read my post on my hike to Otokomi Lake in 2007 and I had commented on the numerous waterfalls and had a number of photos of them.  I guess they didn't make a great impression as I forgot about them.

I have a YouTube video of the above photo: 

I have a YouTube video of the following photo:

In the video Gene is telling Patii and I that several other people wanted to join our hiking group because one person saw a bear on the trail ahead.  This guy was hiking alone when he saw the bear and he was pretty nervous about it.  We never saw the bear.  Of course when people were calling "Hey bear! Hey bear!" over and over, the bear left.

The following photos are of the same waterfall as in the preceding photo. Just a different view.
I have a YouTube video of the following photos:

I have a YouTube video of the following photo:

I have a YouTube video of the following photo:

Here is a waterfall from the mountains on the side of the valley.

It is amazing where some trees grow.

Our hiking group once the three other people joined our group after the person from Seattle saw a bear.

These are views towards the start of the Valley.  In the first photo I believe that is Otokomi Mountain. The "pointy" mountain in three of the photos is Divide Mountain.  I hiked/scrambled up it last year.

Otokomi Lake is at the end of the valley, below the snowfields.

We had to cross three snowfields on way to the lake.

Otokomi Lake.  The previous time I visited the lake was June 29, 2007.  I took a similar photo.  There is more snow this year than that year.

Two differences from the previous time I did this hike:
  1. No mosquitoes this time
  2. No fish swimming at the mouth of the lake.  While Jake said he saw the fish there when he hiked to this lake the previous Monday, I saw no fish.  I did see a half dozen or more adults and kids fishing in the lake.  That may explain why no fish this time.

Ivy only made to the first snowfield before stopping.  She quit a half mile from the lake.  Gene caught up to Patti and I, saw the lake, then went back to be with Ivy as she ate her lunch.  Patti and I found a spot somewhat out of the wind and ate our lunch by the lake.  The lake's water was very cold!  The air temperature was pretty chilly, especially when the sun went behind a cloud.

On the hike back to the trail head, not too far from the cabins, I spotted this a little ways off the trail. In between the foil pieces I saw a small credit card sized piece of plastic.  I don't know what it was or the purpose of this.  Some kind of monitoring device?

On our drive back over Logan Pass I took a couple photos of what was left of the "Big Drift".  Keep in mind these photos were taken July 23.

The view west from Logan Pass.  Lots of snow still.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Medicine Grizzly Lake

Tuesday, July 19, I hiked six miles (12 miles round trip) to Medicine Grizzly Lake in Glacier Park with Joyce, Patti, Gene, Ivy and Jake.

As you can see there is not a lot of elevation gain to the lake.  To Triple Divide Pass... that is another story... and another hike.

The photos with hike734 on them were taken by Jake. Jake has a blog and a Facebook page.

At the start of the trail.  The mountain in the left is "Bad Marriage Mountain".

Bad Marriage Mountain

Medicine Grizzly Mountain and the North Fork Cutbank Creek.

Atlantic Falls.

Here are two short videos I took at Atlantic Falls.

Jake getting a picture of a frog.  Water is still on the trail.

This is after the point where the trail splits.  I am on the trail to Medicine Grizzly Lake (ahead).  The trail to Triple Divide Peak (the far pointy mountain on the right) goes up along the mountain side on the very right.  The far large mountain on the left is Razoredge Mountain.

Wildflowers.  Even though this is July 19, snow was still here.

Looking back down the valley from where we came.

At Medicine Grizzly Lake, this is a stream from one of the waterfalls seen in the photo before the previous photo.  The logs in another stream (from the waterfall in the previous photo) was as far as we went.  We decided not to cross this stream.  There wasn't much further to go anyway.

Jake taking photos of waterfalls then a marmot.

The marmot posing for Jake.

The marmot posing for me - briefly.

The marmot was a bit of a pain.  One had to watch it at all times as it knew that people and packs meant food and it would circle around and around.  When we didn't feed it it would try to sneak up to our packs.


Patti can't resist going into lakes - no matter how cold the water is.

The Glacier Fund partnered with and sponsored Jake on his hikes. Here Jake is posing with "Billy Bowman", the Glacier Fund mascot, on his back.

Clouds started to come over the divide by the time we left the lake.  During the hike back to the car Jake planned to videotape and take photos of things he neglected on the hike to the lake.  Since Gene, Ivy, and Joyce had left the lake well before Patti, Jake and I, eventually Patti and I left Jake to film.  The clouds built and thickened as we hiked back to Patti's car.  Ten to fifteen minutes after we got back to her car the rain started.  It was a good rain and lasted a while.

During our journey home we drove over Going-to-the-Sun Road.  The road was only opened on July 13 this year.  This is the latest opening ever in the road's 78 years of existence even with all the workers and modern equipment available to clear the road of snow.

The mountain in the clouds is Heaven's Peak.  Near the right side of the photo is the end of the ridge and where Heaven's Peak Lookout stands.  The park planned in 2011 to restore and stabilize this historic structure originally built by conscientious objectors during World War II.  The plan was to start work the end of July and it would last until the end of August.  As you can see there was still a lot of snow on July 19.  The Park decided to postpone the work until 2012.

What happened to global warming?  According to the global warming believers Glacier Park's glaciers are suppose to be gone in a couple decades.  Kind of hard for that to happen when areas without glaciers are now having snow longer, and sometimes all year.  I know of a number of people who didn't hike Floral Park this year because the snow never went away.