Peaks: “Zodiac View” (12,505′), “Mount Silverthorne” – a.k.a Willow Benchmark (13,357′), “East Thorn” (13,333′) Date: July 18, 2015 Trailhead: Gore Creek Distance: ~ 15 miles Elevation Gain: ~ 6,000 ft. Participants: Chris Cronick, Dillon Sarnelli (guest appearance by Kristine Chalk and Kona)
This summer’s been a little different than year’s past for me. No real agenda. Hitting the big Park when I can, checking off a Centennial or two when it feels right, even carrying a rope on occasion and adding to the itinerary a top secret cabin in the San Juans when possible.
Way back in 2011 I made my first trip into Glacier Gorge and like most folks who exit their vehicles at the trailhead, I was there to see something called Alberta Falls. Don’t get me wrong, Alberta Falls is great. Heck, I even took my family there later that summer, but let’s be serious now. Others may even go as far as the Loch or Mills Lake, also pretty spectacular in their own right. But for those willing to make the 5 mile trek deep into the heart of Glacier Gorge to where the upper plateau begins, that’s where the crown jewel of the park gets real. Names like Longs, Arrowhead, Pagoda, McHenrys, The Spearhead, Chiefs Head, to name a few, scatter the landscape. Believe it or not, but it actually took me 2 years to get past Alberta Falls, a December 2013 summit of Pagoda, and still one of my favorite days in the Park to date. Since then I’ve been itching to get back, which just so happens to bring us to this episode. 🙂