Saturday, August 27, 2011

Angel Wing

On Saturday, August 27, Patti, Gene, Mary, Lynda and I went to Glacier Park and hiked up to the top of Angel Wing.

Trail distance: 
   7.27 miles one way

   Minimum:  4,905 feet
   Maximum: 7,472 feet

Accumulated height:
   Uphill:    2,671 feet
   Downhill: 272 feet

Difficulty level:  Moderate

Angel Wing is located in the Many Glacier Valley.  To get to Angel Wing you follow the trail to Grinnell Glacier.  After reaching the glacier the route to the top of Angel Wing is off trail which is not difficult as it is mostly over rock.  Off trail, the top of Angel Wing is in sight at all times and a route to the top is obvious (with a little common sense).

Angel Wing is the mountain in the foreground just right of center. Mount Gould is the high mountain behind Angel Wing.  Our destination is the top of Angel Wing.  The water on the left is Lake Josephine.

Lake Josephine.  A boat dock is located at the light white area across the lake to the left of center.

Grinnell Lake below Angel Wing.  On the right side of the photo is Salamander GlacierGrinnell Glacier is hidden behind the right side of Angel Wing.

The trail went through some water.  I think the water flows almost all year round.  A few years ago I hiked this trail in November and this spot was ice.

Two views of Grinnell Lake.

This is the valley we hiked through.  The first lake is Grinnell Lake.  The next lake is Lake Josephine.  That far lake is Lake Sherburne.  Swiftcurrent Lake is hidden behind the mountain on the left.

As you can see, the backside of Angel Wing is not so difficult.  Pay attention to the waterfall in the lower right side.  This water comes from the glaciers and something we have to cross later.

Another view of the waterfall.

The water below Grinnell and Salamander glaciers.  The body of water against Grinnell Glacier is called Upper Grinnell Lake.  Salamander Glacier is the snow to the left of center.

More views of Angel Wing.  This first photo was taken near Upper Grinnell Lake.

Our route.

But first... stromatolites.

My photos of the stromatolites.

To get to the route shown in blue earlier, first we had to cross where the water left Upper Grinnell Lake.  This is seen on the middle right edge.

After we crossed the stream we watched a guy take a swim in the cold water.  He wasn't in the water long but he did swim from the rocks out to the ice then back - much longer than I thought anyone could stand to be in the water.

No, the ground doesn't meet up with the snow.   FYI - we later walked on the rock between the snow fields.  Below a few photos I included a photo of water seeping out of the rock.

We tried to avoid walking through water.  I checked out this snow bridge but decided it was too risky to cross.

This is someone else's photo. They crossed the water the previous year. I included the photo to show our route as I forgot to take a photo of our crossing. I was too concerned with how we were going to cross the water to remember to take a photo.

Looking back at the glaciers and Upper Grinnell Lake.

Seeping water.

The two red Xs mark where each photo of the next two photos were taken.  The following photo also marks the spot where the two photos after that were taken.

This photo was taken at the red X seen in the earlier photo.   The top of Angel Wing looks like a small hill.  While it seems like we are almost to the top, the ground is much steeper than it looks.  The background seen in the middle right is where we had started our hike.

The view from the top of Angel Wing.

The first lake is Lake Josephine.  The second lake is Swiftcurrent Lake.  The far lake is Lake Sherburne.

Grinnell and Salamander glaciers and Upper Grinnell Lake.

The blue line pretty much shows our route on the Grinnell Glacier Trail.  (It is not completely accurate due to my poor hand coordination.)

Grinnell Lake and Lake Josephine.

Grinnell Lake.

Left photo: all four lakes.

Right photo: The white spot on Lake Josephine is the cruise boat.  One can take the boat on Swiftcurrent Lake, walk the short couple tenths of a mile between the lakes, then take the second boat on Lake Josephine.  I did it once.  Never again.  The distance covered is not that much (a few miles of walking) and the price was expensive at around $14.

Time to leave. We have a long way back to Patti's car before dark. Everyone else left while I lingered to enjoy the views some more.

We saw this bighorn sheep and a herd of mountain goats on our hike down from the top.

Another view of the stream we had crossed earlier.  The snow bridge I had photographed earlier is seen in the middle right of the photo.

Patti, Gene and I went to the right (off the photo) and found another large snow bridge across the stream.  We carefully crossed there and did not have to take our shoes and socks off to cross the cold stream.

Swiftcurrent Lake.

Here is one of Jake's photos.  This shows Upper Grinnell Lake and Angel Wing from above.  Jake took this photo from the Grinnell overlook off of the Highline Trail.

Going-to-the-Sun mountain

On August 27, I went with my hiking friends to Glacier Park for a hike.  This photo of the south side of the Going-to-the-Sun mountain was taken from a restroom stop along the Sun road.