Mount Stimson - Southeast Spur (via Buffalo Woman Lake), August 2014
*Report by Paul Klenke
What do you do when you budget a dozen days to climb three big peaks in Glacier National Park and it's already halfway through that dozen and you've only got one peak done and you're bit chomping for more and you don't want to go home empty footed and you've paid out money to make it happen but the weather sucks? Well you suck it up and weather the storm. And we thus descended into the valley of brushy death and feared no evil. For we are peakbaggers and we cower to no one (that's a dig at Mr. McNerney). Well, we did cower in deep brush that's so tall I think I saw the Swiss Family Robinson tree houses perched in it. Or were those just mirages? And so it was that Sergio and I made an epic journey into the deep, dark Nyack to climb Mt. Stimson. "In the Nyack, no one can hear you cry!" was Sergio's refrain in a moment of murky reflection.
The trip started out well: a pretty boat ride across Two Medicine Lake with a pretty boat captain and some pretty weather and we were pretty sure at the time we were going to have an outstanding backcountry climbing adventure. We set out up the trail to Dawson Pass in nearly cloudless skies. But as anyone who climbs in the Rockies knows, cloudless doesn't always end with rainless. The hike to Dawson Pass begins from the North Shore Trailhead located in the campground at Two Medicine Lake. However, one can shave about 2 miles (one-way) by taking the shuttle boat across Two Medicine Lake. It's about 4.7 miles of easy trail from the boat dock to Dawson Pass. Looking east from just below the pass we could see Lone Wolf Mountain rising prominently at left with Two Medicine Lake far below and Appistoki Peak in distance right-of-center. Appistoki is the name for the Indian god who looks over everything and everyone. It was applied to the peak after a topographer who worked in the park during its early years asked a local Blackfoot Indian to translate the term "looking over something." Clearly a case of lost in translation... (more...)
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