Once I climbed Nice Northern on a cloudy summer season day in 2014, I used to be super-impressed by the number of circumstances alongside the 2-mile ridge to the summit – largely good path, with some scrambling, a pair quick class 3 climbs, and a good quantity of publicity. I hoped to do it once more with pals, however particularly wished to climb it with my adventurous daughter Amy. I’m again to instructing in Hays in a pair weeks (8/13/22), so once we discovered that she had Monday off (8/1/22) we determined to go for it. I drove over to spend Sunday night time together with her in Missoula, then we left her home at 5:30 am Monday, made the 145-mile drive to the trailhead, and began mountain climbing at 8:30 am.
Piece of cake?
Nice Northern Mountain is a ravishing peak located between Hungry Horse Reservoir and the southwestern fringe of Glacier Park. It’s a dusty 16-mile drive on a corrugated gravel street from Freeway #2 to the trailhead. From there, it’s simply 4 miles to the summit with the final 2.5 miles alongside a spectacular ridge that gives implausible views of Glacier Park and Hungry Horse Reservoir. So, you’re considering “signal me up,” proper? . . . Not so quick. The opposite essential element is that you’ll be ascending nearly 5,000 toes over these 4 miles, with half of that (2,500 toes) coming within the first 1.5 miles – one of many steepest stretches of path you’ll discover wherever!
In the event you can deal with the brutal first 1.5 miles, the slope turns into extra cheap for the ultimate 2.5 miles, plus you’ll be rewarded by superb views the remainder of the best way. The path is usually discernable, however you’ll must make a number of decisions (climber trails) and should do some scrambling and climbing to navigate each the false summit and the precise one. Take into account that you’re going to must stroll down these final steep 1.5 miles of path on drained legs – for me (by far) essentially the most difficult a part of the day. I’ve wholesome knees, however my quads had been spent by the point we reached the automotive. Don’t try if in case you have knee points, and should you go, be sure that your boots have loads of area to maintain your toes completely happy – and trim these nails earlier than you begin! (Picture Tour)
Picked a winner.
Regardless of the warmth wave that inundated a lot of Montana and the massive Elmo 2 Fireplace on the southwestern edge Flathead Lake (40 miles SSW of us), we loved snug temperatures and clear skies, and there was simply sufficient breeze to maintain the bugs away. Regardless of the depressing last 1.5 miles right down to the trailhead, it was an awesome day! We bought again to the automotive at 3:45 pm.