My Mountainsmith story

 

It is June 25th and most of the high country is still under snow. I’ve been itching to hit the trails and my wife hadn’t been to Glacier National Park since I proposed to her 5 months ago.

 

Jake heading up the trail

We load up our Mountainsmith Wraith packs. It’s a perfect bluebird day and we’re excited. Our destination is the aptly named Scenic Point in the Two Medicine area of the park.

 

As we approach the Continental divide, we enter clouds that are emptying themselves and hopes of a scenic hike are dissolving. We pray that they are taking up residence only by Logan Pass as we go over it, but find the low ceiling of gray clouds are shrouding any of the massive peaks all the way through St. Mary to Two Medicine.

 

Silver Tree with the clouds rolling in

After a rest break there are a few slivers of blue sky as the clouds are moving quickly and hope begins to well within. We take the fork to Appistoki Falls when we hear something behind us. We wheel around to see a bighorn sheep ewe whiz past up the other trail. We retrace our steps hoping for another view. The only evidence we have are hoof prints and the faint musky smell of the ungulate.

 

Can you see the sheep?

As we gain elevation we break out of the low trees to the incredible Appistoki drainage and spot a nursery of sheep on the hill. Some were coming down to the creek and we watch ewes and lambs jumping over the creek in cartoon-like hops. High above the hill a larger nursery entertains us as eight or so lambs frolicked around and resemble a school of fish.

 

There they are!

The clouds continued to clear and beckoned us on. With each switchback, the area lives up to its name giving us great shots of Two Medicine Lake. The veil was being lifted off of the mountains. We pass others coming down who started too early and never really got a view. We feel blessed.

 

We get up the ridge and start the traverse across to the point. Look into the drainage to see a herd of rams posturing, digging beds and just being awesome, then head out to the point. The clouds had kept the temperature just perfect but lifted as we climbed. We stop for lunch to views that take your breath away all the while keeping our eyes on golden mantled squirrels and hoary marmots that want nothing more than to steal our lunches or chew on the salty straps of our backpacks.

Kristen heading down with the Wraith

After a bit, we head down with rejuvenated spirits. You can’t put a price on days like this shared with best friends. It gets me excited to hike all of Waterton this summer. Oh how I love the mountains.

What’s your Mountainsmith story?

Jake Bramante lives in Kalispell, MT which is located a few miles from the Park’s west entrance. In 2011, he hiked every trail taking 3 pairs of shoes, 5 months and 1,200 miles to accomplish this goal. He is now busy blogging about all of his trips, putting together materials based on his trip and heading out on speaking engagements.

 

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