Running on ...

HOME OF THE 'TALL MAN'... (And you can see the blog pictures below in much greater detail simply by clicking on them)

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Divide, with hikers and lots of pictures

Today I went early to Rogers Pass in order to run far and get back to town before the Fourth of July parade blocks the highway for an hour. I went south from the pass, which confirmed itself as still the most beautiful of the trails in these parts. This view gives you both the cliffs and rocks of the Divide and the prairie to the east. Note that it's a little smoky, and we're told it's from fires in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

At the trailhead, I met a young (35-ish) couple from Switzerland who were camped there, preparing to head up the same trail I was going up. They're hiking the entire CDT from Canada to Mexico. They'd started 18 days earlier at Waterton Park on the Canada border and planned to keep at it until late November.

Later, as I was coming back, I met another similar-aged couple from Helena out for a day hike (with a rifle strapped on the wife's back, presumably so the guy could get quick access to it. Silly.

This is a very altitudinous run, going from the pass's 5,610 (actually a little lower than the actual pass) to, today, around 7,000, and getting there fairly quickly. I did it no problem, happy to report, though I was breathing hard when I reached the ridge. This picture is the final stretch to the ridgeline after emerging from the trees after, maybe, a couple of miles.

The visual rewards once you're on the ridge are fantastic. This is looking ahead from one of the small peaks you cross to the next one that you go around. The trail mostly skirts the little peaks along the way, though it's a short hop from the trail to the tops.

The trail goes right to the cliff tops of the Divide in several spots, especially in the small saddles between the peaks.

The eyes are naturally drawn to the peaks, cliffs and prairie views when you're on this trail, but the view out toward Lincoln to the West isn't shabby, either. This is down one of the little valleys that comprise the headwaters of the Blackfoot River.

The trail actually crosses a few little springfed rivulets, one of them several times.

Here's one of the peaks that the trail goes over, and it's where I turned around today. I might try a longer one soon, but not on a day when the parade might impede my return to town.

Here's the view to the west of Red Mountain. Note again the haze, which is smoke from distant fires.

Red is the highest point in the three-wilderness Bob Marshall Complex, something just below 9,400 feet.

When I met the Swiss folks again as I came down into the trees, we talked again and I suggested to them that they camp on the high ground tonight at a spot where they can see down into the Blackfoot Valley. That's because Lincoln's fireworks — which have become legendary — might be pretty cool from this high-altitude vantage point 15 miles or so to the east.

The flowers to the right are a better example of harebells than the one I posted a few days ago.

Of course it occurred to me after I got down that I should have photographed the Swiss folks.

Anyway, the true distance of this run was probably closer to 8 miles, but I inflate it because of the vertical (aerobic) aspect, using my usual mph method of estimating distance. Therefore, I'm calling it 10.

10; 26; 19; 597
Posted by Mose, 9:25 AM


Add a comment |

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]