Apikuni Mountain

elevation: 2,763 m. height gain: 1,265 m.
area: Glacier National Park,Montana,USA map USGS 1:24000 Many Glacier,MT     
         48113G6
2016-Nov-11


Ref: Bob Spirko's Road not taken
trailhead


Apikuni Falls trailhead.
Scramble: RT 7.0; 4.0 up. When Raff invited me to go to Montana on Remembrance Day, I told him I was willing and able! I had already planned to explore the Castle Wilderness Area so this wasn't that far from my intended destination. I figured I could easily go climbing on friday in Montana and then simply drive to Pincher Creek for the rest of the weekend; it almost felt like a road trip. I left Golden thursday afternoon and drove to Fort MacLeod where Raff was to meet me early on friday. I was ready when he pulled in the parking lot by Tim Horton's; actually he was a passenger, who was he introducing to me now? I recognized Eric Coulthard the second he stepped out of his car, what a pleasant surprise. I was also introduced to Alison Sekera, a fine young lady that also hosts a website. It became clear that this trip would be well documented! We drove to the border where we were quizzed on our destination, Eric promptly said we were visiting Apikuni Falls. The border guard was baffled by all our equipment for a simple half day hike to the falls, Eric casually added we may go further... The guard let us by while Alison and I were giggling on the back seat in disbelief, why didn't Eric simply say we were scrambling Apikuni, we'll never know. The trailhead was desolate, yet a friendly ranger stopped by and wished us a good day. The trail to the falls is well defined, it was a pleasure hiking in a new area. From the beautiful falls, we continued on a decent trail that leads to the hanging valley and left the trail before reaching the back of the draw. We ascended the reddish mountainside on talus mostly, aiming for the eastern summit ridge. As we progressed the terrain got looser and the wind increased; there wasn't much stopping, we regrouped by a big boulder near the ridge. The ridge grants easy scrambling and it doesn't take long to reach the top. I was thankful for the sunny weather as it was crazy windy up there, we still managed to enjoy a fine stay on the summit to take in the sights. It's similar to the Front Ranges back home with majestic tall mountains to the west and flatland to the east. Our descent was fast, the scree and loose talus provided good plunge stepping. We stopped for a break at treeline, sheltered from the wind. It was really nice, we basked in the sun like marmots; you gotta take advantage of those moments when winter is just around the corner! It was with much reluctance that we resumed our descent. Once back at the trailhead, we drove to the border and crossed with no hiccups. Eric delivered me to my truck and we exchanged goodbyes. They drove off to Calgary while I made my way to Pincher Creek to discover another new area.
good trail

A short hike on a good trail leads to the falls.

apikuni falls

Apikuni Falls.

climbing to the hanging valley

Climbing to the hanging valley.

above the falls

We're already above the falls.

wynn mountain

Wynn Mountain beyond Lake Sherburne.

apikuni mountain


Apikuni Mountain's summit isn't overly distinctive.


off trail


Off trail and ascending towards Apikuni's east ridge.


quick break


Quick break to drink water, Eric has a fancy cup!


mount henkel


Mount Henkel at the south-west end of Apikuni's connecting ridge.


southern view


The southern view unfolds behind shaded Altyn Peak.


regrouping


Regrouping and putting extra layers on, the Chinook winds are brutal.


mount siyeh


Mount Siyeh behind Allen Mountain.


mount grinnell


Natahki Lake nestled at the foot of Mount Henkel and pointy Mount Grinnell on the left.


battling the wind


Battling the wind on the summit ridge.


looking back


Looking back with East Flattop Mountain and Napi Point in the background.


standing on a pinnacle


Standing on a pinnacle with Yellow Mountain behind me.


easy scrambling


Easy scrambling leads to the top.


really windy


This picture depicts how windy it was!


summit


Summit picture of a proud Canadian bunch.
Picture courtesy of Raff.


western view


Mount Wilbur (left) and Iceberg Peak (right) to the west.


view north


Gable Mountain to the north.


taking off


I'm about to take off...


the garden wall


The Garden Wall (Mount Gould) indicates the Continental Divide.


view north-west


View north-west with Mount Merrit-Old Sun Glacier and Mount Cleveland to the right.


heading down


Heading down.


quick descent


The descent is quick.
Picture courtesy of Raff.


stripping layers


Stripping off some layers lower down.


basking in the sun


Basking in the sun on a lovely fall afternoon.
Picture courtesy of Raff.


resuming our descent


Resuming our descent.


back on the trail


Back on the trail.


the falls again


Apikuni Falls again.


parked in pincher creek


Parked in Pincher Creek...
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