Grinnell Glacier Basin

Climbing Mt. Gould 2014

Grinnell Glacier Basin

Most of Glacier National Park’s visitors are familiar with the Garden Wall. Mt. Gould is the highest point along this particular stretch of alpine spine that dominates the skyline as the Highline Trail traverses it and cars cling to the cliffy edge as they head up towards Logan Pass. Climbers frequent the wall’s peaks for the fantastic views and peaks that are accessible as wonderful day long adventures.

After a brief debate on what to climb earlier in the week, Mark, Ashley, Kristen, and myself settled on climbing Mt. Gould along with some new friends Taylor and Marie. We left Kalispell in the morning and were on the trail by 9am. We parked at Big Bend and climbed the climber’s trail up to the Highline, then followed the Highline Trail to the saddle between Haystack Butte and Mt. Gould.

Kristen wasn’t feeling 100%, so we sent ahead the other four members of our group and we took our time, all the while willing to turn around if need be. After working our way through cliff bands, around boulders, and up scree chutes, we made it to the top.

The views from Mt. Gould are exceptional. Particularly stunning are the views down into the Grinnell Glacier basin. Upper Grinnell Lake is an other-worldly green and a waterfall silently falls from Salamander Glacier perched above Grinnell Glacier. People look like little ants as they arrive at the glacier.

You can also see people at Granite Park Chalet and Swiftcurrent Lookout is a miniature building on top of Swiftcurrent Mountain. Down into the many valleys you can look into, you see wonderful lakes such as Lake Josephine and Swiftcurrent Lake. Morning Eagle Falls looks amazing. Little birds such as Gray-crowned Rosyfinches and Chipping Sparrows flit around in the updrafts caused by the mountains (called orographic lifts). This morning had clouds forming out of thin air that would rise in stacks and then dissipate.

After enjoying the views, getting some calories, photos, and video, we headed back down to the car with tired legs and silly grins.

Mt. Oberlin

Get our sweet newsletter!

(and your free “10 Insider Tips for Glacier”)



5 responses to “Climbing Mt. Gould 2014”

  1. Nicholas Fu Avatar
    Nicholas Fu

    How do u think this compares to climbing Mt. Siyeh? I am not sure which to climb because I can only do one of them, which one has better views and is easier? Thanks.

    1. Jacob Bramante Avatar
      Jacob Bramante

      I think that Gould might be faster as the approach is shorter. The views from both are amazing. I think that Siyeh is a bit more interesting because it’s one of 6 in the park that is over 10k and you are looking down on Cracker Lake. Just make sure you brush up on the route, give yourself plenty of time, and look out for griz as you get to the base of the climb and once again on the epic scree field to the top!

  2. This was a great hike/climb, just did it Sunday 9/6/20. Went up on the right side to the notch, which probably took longer than if you went up left, which is how I came down and it seemed much easier and less technical. Starting from Logan Pass and also checking out the GG overlook, the chalet, and swiftcurrent pass/mountain makes for a long day!

  3. Marshall Avatar

    Hi Jake. What did you use to navigate? I have the All Trials map downloaded, which has a climbing route. Just curious if this is what you used and nature of the route it suggests.

    It’s a solo trip for me. Unless I can find someone on the trial, it will be a solo ascent.

    1. hike734 Avatar

      Not sure what AllTrails says, but we did the route based upon landmarks, not GPS. We parked at Big Bend and ascended the dry creekbed to access the route sooner, then took off from the saddle at Haystack. Not sure how much experience you have with scrambles in Glacier, but it’s helpful to have done enough to be able to look up at a slope and create a gameplay so you don’t end up getting cliffed out. Also, sometimes GPS gets a little squirrelly right alongside those big ridges, so make sure you’re using your head and not just relying solely on GPS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.