This popular climb during GMS week gathered much interest. Despite a proposed limit of 12 hikers, I expanded the group due to the mountain's popularity, the timing during GMS Week with many out of staters and the help from some experienced climbers signed up. Although we would experience some slow going through the cliff areas, the overall climb was manageable with a larger group.
Seventeen climbers assembled at the Siyeh Bend parking area on the east side of the Divide to begin the trek. The group consisted of Jim Foster, Vernon Garner, Marc Hugunin, Aaron Johnson, Doug Mead, Kevin Mikelson, Debra Reed, Ellen Ritt, Susan Schwartz, Rick Thomas, Dean Stensland, Kim Stensland, Jim Strandberg, Alexandra Strandberg, Gordon Swenson, Frank Wesolovski and Ann Williamson.
Leaving the parking area about 8 a.m., we enjoyed the cool shade of the forest before breaking into the alpine meadows and dry streambeds leading upward as the sun broke over Going-to-the-Sun Mountain (9,642 feet) to the east. After picking through broken cliffs and a grunt up the steep slope to the saddle at 8,300 feet around 11 a.m., more than half the group took the opportunity to climb Matahpi opposite Going-to-the-Sun while the remaining trekkers enjoyed the surrounds including the vertical drop down to Sexton Glacier on the opposite side of the saddle.
Upon regrouping, one member decided to remain at the
saddle. The remaining climbers continued on by traversing
from the saddle up and below the high cliff band past the
long diagonal talus chute still filled with considerable snow
before navigating up some Class 4 through a break in these
cliffs. Once above them, we spread out for the final scramble
through scree, ledges and finally the broken cliffs near the
summit. Pleasant weather beckoned our spending about an
hour on the summit for lunch enjoying the views, including
St. Mary Lake directly below, Little Chief to the south, Logan
Pass area to the west and the Siyeh massif to the north, not to
mention many distant but recognizable peaks. We descended
via the same route to rejoin our colleague at the saddle and
continued back down to our vehicles. My thanks to Jim
Foster for his help as co-leader and to all participants for a
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