Glacier in 2 Weeks!!! (Boulder Pass Questions)

Bob Morris

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Aug 7, 2016
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Has anyone been up in the Boulder Pass area recently? We are doing the Bowman Lake to Kintla Lake circuit starting on 8/22. Our itinerary is: BOW>HOL> 2 nights at BOU>UPK. We are curious if there are any lingering snow hazards between Hole in the Wall and the Boulder Pass campground. Also we plan on tackling Boulder Peak and either Mount Peabody or possibly Forum Peak. We assume it is late enough in the season that ice axes/traction will not be necessary but want a little local wisdom if any is available.
 
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Well, my dad and I were nowhere near that area, but Siyeh pass and the Allen ridgeline at 8,000 feet was completely free of snow and that is similar to boulder pass in elevation. Any snow hazards on the trail will be minimal, and will more than likely have tracks in them to follow. In two weeks I assume most of the snow on north facing slopes will be gone so the initial climb to get to boulder peaks ridgeline will easily be clear. Not sure on how Peabody or Forum would be mainly because I have no clue on the topography of those mountains but I assume they should mostly be clear of snow. It's late season Glacier, so you should be golden.

Enjoy your trip! Glacier is a wonderful place!
 

Jimmy

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Oct 7, 2014
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I'll be doing the Loop to Kintla, with Boulder Pass as a stopping point from 8/12 - 8/17, which will cover your trail except the Bowman Lake segment. I'll report back upon my return. We plan on heading up Boulder Peak and are not bringing ice axes or crampons. They did get some snow above 8,000 Ft this week, but with temps in the 80s in the valleys, I cannot imagine that snow lasted long.
 
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They did get some snow above 8,000 Ft this week
From what I saw the snow above 8,000 feet wasn't much at all, we went to the ridge southwest of Reynolds and there was no snow along the whole southwestern talus slope of Reynolds and Gould looked to have no snow from the west. So the weather didn't bring much at all.
 

Joey

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I was through Boulder pass 2 days ago. There is no snow along the trail.

Boulder Peak is an easy scramble, weather permitting. Weather has been all over the place lately.
Peabody won't require an ice axe. There is an un named peak between Peabody and the Boulder pass campsite that you either need to climb or find a route around. That un named peak is what you see from the Upper Kintla backcountry campsite. Its worth a scramble by itself. I've seen people confuse this peak for Peabody.
 

Jimmy

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I was through Boulder pass 2 days ago. There is no snow along the trail.

How were the crowds? We're planning on taking the shuttle from Apgar to the Loop, and I saw 2-3 hour wait times for the shuttles. :eek:
 
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How were the crowds? We're planning on taking the shuttle from Apgar to the Loop, and I saw 2-3 hour wait times for the shuttles.
I'm not sure what Joey will say, but the shuttle from apgar to the loop will hopefully be easy to get if you are right when it opens, but there will be some amount of waiting. Any more will spell disaster on any time because I felt the crowds were absolutely atrocious. The shuttles were basically full all day (so lots of crammed in standees on the east side atleast) and the hidden lake trail was flat out cancerous. Even Siyeh Pass had its fair share of people (not sure if that's normal or not)

in summary, get there super early and waits will be in the 10 to 50 minute range depending on the day
 

Joey

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How were the crowds? We're planning on taking the shuttle from Apgar to the Loop, and I saw 2-3 hour wait times for the shuttles. :eek:
Still crowded. But I don't ever remember having to wait that long for the shuttle. Does seem like more people than ever right now.
 

Bob Morris

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Still crowded. But I don't ever remember having to wait that long for the shuttle. Does seem like more people than ever right now.
The crowds are definitely a concern for us as we were considering the shuttle at least once.. We have the opportunity for serious day hikes/climbs on the 20th and something less ambitious on the 21st after we pick up our permits and also a big day on the 29th. We want to take a shot at Mt. Siyeh, probably on the 29th. How early would we need to get tot he Siyeh Bend parking area to get a spot? We would be getting as early a start as possible anyway). We will be staying with my aunt and Uncle in Whitefish before we go into the backcountry. For the 20th we are considering a couple of options which would be a bit of a haul from Whitefish. Possibly hitting a peak near Firebrand Pass, or either Sinopah, Mt. Helen or possibly Flinsch Peak out of Two Medicine. We would really like to get over to Swiftcrrent and check out the goat trails by the Ptarmigan Tunnel (as far as our skills and nerves will allow, but that may be a bit ambitious. We would welcome any thoughts or suggestions.

I'm having a great deal of difficulty staying focused at work. We fly out on Thursday.
 

chandlerwest

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The crowds are definitely a concern for us as we were considering the shuttle at least once.. We have the opportunity for serious day hikes/climbs on the 20th and something less ambitious on the 21st after we pick up our permits and also a big day on the 29th. We want to take a shot at Mt. Siyeh, probably on the 29th. How early would we need to get tot he Siyeh Bend parking area to get a spot? We would be getting as early a start as possible anyway). We will be staying with my aunt and Uncle in Whitefish before we go into the backcountry. For the 20th we are considering a couple of options which would be a bit of a haul from Whitefish. Possibly hitting a peak near Firebrand Pass, or either Sinopah, Mt. Helen or possibly Flinsch Peak out of Two Medicine. We would really like to get over to Swiftcrrent and check out the goat trails by the Ptarmigan Tunnel (as far as our skills and nerves will allow, but that may be a bit ambitious. We would welcome any thoughts or suggestions.

I'm having a great deal of difficulty staying focused at work. We fly out on Thursday.
Two weeks ago we parked at Siyeh Bend at 8:00AM and there was plenty of room. We did the Siyeh Pass Trail. The shuttles have always been a concern of mine but they have always worked out. It is the giving up control that stresses me.
 
Last edited:

Joey

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The crowds are definitely a concern for us as we were considering the shuttle at least once.. We have the opportunity for serious day hikes/climbs on the 20th and something less ambitious on the 21st after we pick up our permits and also a big day on the 29th. We want to take a shot at Mt. Siyeh, probably on the 29th. How early would we need to get tot he Siyeh Bend parking area to get a spot? We would be getting as early a start as possible anyway). We will be staying with my aunt and Uncle in Whitefish before we go into the backcountry. For the 20th we are considering a couple of options which would be a bit of a haul from Whitefish. Possibly hitting a peak near Firebrand Pass, or either Sinopah, Mt. Helen or possibly Flinsch Peak out of Two Medicine. We would really like to get over to Swiftcrrent and check out the goat trails by the Ptarmigan Tunnel (as far as our skills and nerves will allow, but that may be a bit ambitious. We would welcome any thoughts or suggestions.
The crowds should really be starting to thin out a little. I really don't think you're going to have to much trouble with the shuttle system. You could use that to get to the Siyeh trailhead too. Those trailheads and the shuttles on the east side seem less crowded than the west side.

Sinopah, Helen, and Flinsch are all pretty basic out of Two Med. You could do Helen and Flinsch together. You can also go up Two Med Pass, and do Mount Rockwell or Grizzly Mountain, and combine it with Painted Teepee. Or create a loop with Grizzly Mountain dropping down into buttercup park area.

I've been wanting to do those goat trails from Ptarmigan for years, but never have. Its a very long day. Everything i've read says to aproach from the tunnel side, since it will be easier that way to locate the route. Some people hike from Ahern pass all the way back around by trail, and some climb back over and drop down to Iceberg lake. But i've heard thats sketchy going down that way. I'd love to hear about it if you do go up there.

You've probably already seen this, but some great sources for Glacier on summitpost.
http://www.summitpost.org/ptarmigan-wall-goat-trail/543213
 
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