The Chandler Family Get Together in Glacier 2018: Day 1

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
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August 4th 2018

Despite the Chandler Family Glacier Trip being a bi-annual affair for a few years now, its also been those few years that I have been working as a seasonal ranger during the summer. I was pretty psyched to finally get the chance to go back. So far it seems to be the one perk of my year round job, summers aren't busy so I can easily get away. So I got a whole week to hang out with @chandlerwest and @Jeffrey Chandler up in my favorite place on Earth.

As I said, these two have been coming up to Glacier a lot over the past couple years, and in that time my brother has become a bit more adventurous than the little boy who once refused to walk a trail because it had a bushy 30 degree slope next to it, one in which he would surely fall to his death from. We've since come to call that his "psychotic year" for similar behavior in that time span. Growing up... Now the darn kid does quite a bit of off trail stuff and he got my dad into it as well. Dad was the trail hiker, especially in Glacier. So as Jeff worked on getting dad to more places off the beaten path they've become even more attached to this place. In the approach and planning of this trip I was repeated asked "where have we gone that you might want to visit?" So we compiled a small list and figured them around other adventures planned, resulting in our first day being an easier day toone of the summits surrounding Logan Pass: Mt Oberlin.

Oberlin would be a good warmup day. Not too long, not too strenuous, it would give our acclimated to a long drive bodies a chance to realize we would no longer be driving seemingly forever. Waking up at a reasonable hour we caught the park's shuttle bus system and went to the pass.

Today would be the cloudiest day of the trip, making for really cool lighting and photography conditions. My giddiness of this and being back in Glacier probably made me seem like a madman to the rest of my family.
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But I mean, come on, who doesn't love it when morning sunlight pops in and out of clouds, spotlighting this and that and so many more pretty things?

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The route up Oberlin is very distinct, I would guess it is one of the more popular off trail routes in the park and being in the alpine ecosystem just a little concentrated use beats a trail in pretty well. That said, the Hidden Lake Trail looked like a crowded superhighway compared to what we were on, and we only had a couple groups pass us in our slow photographic journey up the hill.

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We quickly hit water and boy did that slow us down. Water+flowers+cool lighting+mountains+giddiness..... Yeah kinda the bread and butter up here.

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One of the fun changes that has happened since I've last been to Glacier is Jeff's growing desire to learn about the natural world, particularly geology. So while it used to be that he had a creepy ability to pull random hiking facts out of nowhere, now I can ask him questions about a far wider array of things and he has a fairly informed answer or postulates for future research. When I asked Jeff where one finds stromatolites, lithified ancient mats of algae and bacteria that are the earliest evidence of life on Earth, he quickly found me a couple when we hit the right rock layers.

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Fairly quickly we gained elevation and the mountain was before us. From a distance the cliffs looked imposing but on closer examination they were a blast of interweaving cracks to venture through.

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Soon we found ourselves on the summit, watching clouds move by, and fending off Golden Mantled Squirrels that were interested in our food. We hung out up there for a good long while, surprisingly without more human company. Twas quite nice.

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We had a pretty nice and easy mosey down from the summit too, back to the mayhem of Logan Pass. Holy cow, a lot of people visit this place. That was a big wakeup for me. I had been here once for a whole August trip and did not remember that part of the experience.

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On the way down I tried to get Jeff to drink from a waterfall without filtering it. He refused for a bit and then challenged me to do it. So I did, and feeling he was now locked in honor, he followed suit. So I captured the moment, Jeff drinking his first ever unfiltered water. As my friend Whitney vocalized the next day, "Where can someone drink clean water if not up here?"

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It was a good beginning to a week of adventure. The next day would be one of the greater outdoor experiences of my life I would say. Jeff and I were glad we had a warmup day for it. Click for Day 2, and Days 3 &4.
 

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SteveR

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Fire burning in or near Glacier I hear- road closed up to the pass from the west. One of our favourite parks, next to Waterton of course:), which sadly suffered an immense blow with last summers wildfire.
We had noticed that trail leading from the saddle below Oberlin, while returning from the Dragon's Back- always good to find out about a new un-official route!
Will stay tuned....
 

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
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LOL @Nick or anyone else who is an admin, the featured shot that went on the front page for this isn't really from this report. That is the preview for the next day. I don't want anyone getting confused now.
 

Nick

Spiral out.
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LOL @Nick or anyone else who is an admin, the featured shot that went on the front page for this isn't really from this report. That is the preview for the next day. I don't want anyone getting confused now.

I'm not sure who featured it. Why don't you pick one for us and one of the mods or I will fix it. ;)
 

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
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I'm not sure who featured it. Why don't you pick one for us and one of the mods or I will fix it. ;)

:roflmao:

Hahaha well this one is probably more appropriate for this particular day. The current feature is probably better for the next installment.
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Or the cute one of the squirrel wanting Jeff's food.
 

Artemus

I walk
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Great! This.

I will occasionally drink without filtering too. IF I can see the water coming out of the ground with no pasture or animal sign around it or IF I can see it running off the snow or out from the snow up high.
 

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
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Great! This.

I will occasionally drink without filtering too. IF I can see the water coming out of the ground with no pasture or animal sign around it or IF I can see it running off the snow or out from the snow up high.

That's my mindset. A certain distance downstream encourages filtering, especially if there is human use upstream. I'll trust animal life over human life in the contamination factor. It is so nice to see water come from snow.
 

Artemus

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That's my mindset. A certain distance downstream encourages filtering, especially if there is human use upstream. I'll trust animal life over human life in the contamination factor. It is so nice to see water come from snow.
As I understand it most wild mammals can be carriers of the Giardia organism... and many of our pet canines can carry it and not exhibit symptoms.
 
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Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
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As I understand it most wild mammals can be carriers of the Giardia organism... and many of our pet canines can carry it and not exhibit symptoms.

I'm not terribly worried about giardia... It sucks, but there is worse out there.

But again, high up near the source of water the catch of potential poopy is less regardless.
 

Vegan.Hiker

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I love the pic of the chipmunk eyeing up Jeff’s sandwich as well. I immediately pictured a zoom in on the chipmunks face like the famous “dramatic chipmunk” video after being denied a bite. And why are you guys calling it a squirrel? Do the squirrels out in glacier look like the chipmunks out by me?
 
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I love the pic of the chipmunk eyeing up Jeff’s sandwich as well. I immediately pictured a zoom in on the chipmunks face like the famous “dramatic chipmunk” video after being denied a bite. And why are you guys calling it a squirrel? Do the squirrels out in glacier look like the chipmunks out by me?
Chipmunks tend to be smaller and have streaking on their head while the Golden-Mantled squirrel is a little larger, sleeker, and lacks the head streaks
 

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
Joined
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Messages
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I love the pic of the chipmunk eyeing up Jeff’s sandwich as well. I immediately pictured a zoom in on the chipmunks face like the famous “dramatic chipmunk” video after being denied a bite. And why are you guys calling it a squirrel? Do the squirrels out in glacier look like the chipmunks out by me?

Tis a Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel, that's why.

There are differences between chipmunks and squirrels, more numerous in some than in others. Chipmunks in general are smallest, have highly poointed faces and distinct striping on the head.

A resource: http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/facts/chipmunk_vs_squirrel.html
 

Vegan.Hiker

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Chipmunks tend to be smaller and have streaking on their head while the Golden-Mantled squirrel is a little larger, sleeker, and lacks the head streaks
Tis a Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel, that's why.

There are differences between chipmunks and squirrels, more numerous in some than in others. Chipmunks in general are smallest, have highly poointed faces and distinct striping on the head.

A resource: http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/facts/chipmunk_vs_squirrel.html

I get there are differences between chipmunks and squirrels. I'm just saying the lil guy in the picture closely resembles what chipmunks look like in NJ (in both coloring and size) and looks nothing like what squirrels in NJ (in neither color nor size). Just a not-so-interesting observation I should have probably just kept to myself.

These are the chipmunks near me: http://www.wildlifecontrolexperts.com/chipmunk.htm
Notice they more closely resemble the ground squirrel in your link (and in the TR) than it does the chipmunk in your link.

These are the squirrels look like around me: https://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/index.ssf/2014/02/new_jersey_wildlife_gray_squir.html
I believe its the same species shown in your link as the Eastern Gray Squirrel. They are about twice the size of the squirrel eyeing up Jeff's sandwich.

If you want to get real scientific about taxonomy though.. I mis-identified him as chipmunk due to his resemblance to Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Apologies for the inadvertent hijack.
 

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
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I get there are differences between chipmunks and squirrels. I'm just saying the lil guy in the picture closely resembles what chipmunks look like in NJ (in both coloring and size) and looks nothing like what squirrels in NJ (in neither color nor size). Just a not-so-interesting observation I should have probably just kept to myself.

These are the chipmunks near me: http://www.wildlifecontrolexperts.com/chipmunk.htm
Notice they more closely resemble the ground squirrel in your link (and in the TR) than it does the chipmunk in your link.

These are the squirrels look like around me: https://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/index.ssf/2014/02/new_jersey_wildlife_gray_squir.html
I believe its the same species shown in your link as the Eastern Gray Squirrel. They are about twice the size of the squirrel eyeing up Jeff's sandwich.

If you want to get real scientific about taxonomy though.. I mis-identified him as chipmunk due to his resemblance to Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Apologies for the inadvertent hijack.

LOL no worries. Golden Mantled Ground Squirrels and chipmunks are highly alike in coloration. I wouldn't be surprised if the genetic ties are closer. Or not, it's a great camouflage pattern.

Around my home area we have antelope ground squirrels. On occasion they trip me up as chipmunks. At least GMGSs are distinctly bigger than any chipmunk I've seen. AGS are the same size.

You're talking to a naturalist, this is my cake with icing. There are far different subjects that would be hijacking things.

Interestingly, I brought up the question to Jeff when we saw Columbian Ground Squirrels of whether GMGS lived up so high and he thought the answer was no. Then as we got higher we found more. So we wonder if there are some curious patterns afoot.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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Fantastic photos, as always!

Love that little chipmunk! What a brave little dude!
 
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