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Sat, Aug 18 2012 - Mount Grinnell via Swiftcurrent (View Original Event Details)

Coordinator(s): Greg Kushnak
Participants:Greg Kushnak, David Schuler, Ray Allen, Jeremy Rossman, Dennis Eaves, Steve Patitsas, Michael Halm


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Write Up:
We approached Swiftcurrent Glacier & Mt Grinnell from the Swiftcurrent Trailhead. Shortly after the last switchback beyond Devil’s Elbow, we crossed a small stream near its outlet from a small tarn. Uphill and about 150 feet beyond that stream, we left the trail, taking a path that slices thru the trees and goes down to a pair of streams in a green meadow 200 feet below. Instead of dropping to that meadow, Jeremy took a higher route along some cliffs, saving some elevation loss, and reported “it wasn’t that bad”. I’ve been a member of GMS long enough to never trust a conversation that includes the words, “it’s not that bad”. Then we enjoyed a glorious walk across the glacier basin. Numerous melt-water streams were lined with iridescent-green moss & flowers. Steppingstones were plentiful, allowing us to cross these areas without trampling sensitive plants & soils. The steep side slopes of the west lateral moraine presented difficult footing. It was much easier to go around the moraine, either at its lower or upper end. Walking along the moraine’s sharp ridgeline was sort of a tightrope experience, requiring good balance. I (Greg) was nursing an injured ankle, so I roamed (limped) and explored the glacier basin while the rest of the group slogged up to the high saddle for marvelous ridge-top views on their way to the summit. Blue ice was exposed in the center portion of the glacier. Near the exposed ice and beneath the snow, the hollow, echo-like sound of water pouring into crevasses & moulins inspired me into a quick retreat. We retraced our approach route for the return, except for Jeremy, who took a direct route from the east lateral moraine and down the headwall, rejoining the trail at the bottom, below all the switchbacks. I assume his route was similar to the headwall route described on Summit Post.org. In spite of the long 18-mile and 12-hour day, no one seemed to be thinking, “why am I doing this?”, as it was a fascinating and glorious experience. Pictured in the Mt Grinnell summit photo, L-R: Steve Patitsas, Ray Allen, Jeremy Rossman, Dennis Eaves, Mike Halm, & David Schuler. Not pictured, Greg Kushnak.



Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Tim Anderson at twamontana@gmail.com. Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.




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