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.