Altyn Peak
Dinah Kruze, Bob Spirko and I headed to Glacier National Park in Montana on 1 August 2009 for an overnight peak-bagging trip.  Our first objective was Altyn Peak which is just north of Many Glacier Hotel near Swiftcurrent Lake.  Loosely following the route directions from J. Gordon Edwards' A Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park, we started up an obvious drainage which gives easy access to the open slopes of the upper mountain.  Higher up, we angled to the right along the base of the cliff bands guarding the summit.  There is one weakness here which is a little exposed.  While I scrambled up through this weakness, Dinah and Bob circled around the east end of the cliff bands looking for an easier line of ascent.  When they found none, they backtracked and followed me up the weakness.  We topped out very close to the summit and spent about 50 minutes there before descending the broad west ridge toward a saddle separating Altyn Peak and Mount Henkel.  Before reaching the saddle, we began descending south-facing slopes and eventually worked our way back to the original drainage we came up.  A quick descent had us back at my car after a round-trip time of less than 5.5 hours.

Be sure to check out Bob's photos of this trip here.
Bob suggested doing this peak as a half-day trip after the long drive from Calgary. Approximate ascent (red) and descent (green) routes are shown in this view of Altyn Peak from Many Glacier Hotel.
Mount Gould is on the Continental Divide. Not far from the road, there are already nice views of Swiftcurrent Lake and Grinnell Point (right).  Also visible through the gap is Mount Gould.
Many Glacier Hotel rates for 2009 range from $142-275 USD per night! Bob and Dinah climb up the drainage.  Many Glacier Hotel and Swiftcurrent Lake are visible behind them.
Unbeknownst to us, the Nugara brothers were actually climbing Mount Wilbur on this day. Mount Wilbur is the eye-catching centerpiece of the entire area.
All we need now is a bee. This arnica is one of many wildflowers adorning the south slopes of Altyn Peak.
We started angling to the right here. Dinah and Bob climb up a convenient rock staircase on the upper mountain.
It's best to make a beeline for the base of the cliff bands at this point. Dinah slogs up loose scree.  The pointy peak at far left is Grinnell Mountain.
Can you spot the goats? These are some of the cliff bands guarding the summit.
I guess they don't "lichen" the heat from the sun! The yellow lichen seem to prefer the shady side of the rocks.
The first step up the weakness is the trickiest to climb. Bob wanders along the base of the cliff bands.  The weakness is to the left of the highest patch of grass in the photo.
Go up for a bit and then escape out of the chimney to the left when feasible. A chimney above the weakness leads to easier terrain.
Even the baby goats are expert climbers! A young goat watches Sonny with some curiosity before disappearing up the cliffs.
Dinah and Bob tried to come up here but were stymied by exposed cliffs. Lake Sherburne stretches east all the way to the park boundary in this view from Altyn Peak's summit ridge.
Dinah looks so stiff in this photo! Bob, Dinah and Sonny stand atop Altyn Peak (2433 metres).
It's also apparently an easy half-day trip. Immediately to the west is Mount Henkel.
Makes you wanna climb it, doesn't it?? Mount Wilbur deserves another look.
There is an active lookout on top of Swiftcurrent Mountain. A host of lakes stretches up the valley toward Swiftcurrent Pass.  Grinnell Mountain is at left while Swiftcurrent Mountain is at right.
Peeking up just to the left of Allen Mountain is Mount Siyeh. Allen Mountain dominates the view to the south.  The west end of Lake Sherburne (left) as well as Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine (far right) are also visible.
A nice change of scenery from the Canadian Rockies. Bob and Dinah enjoy the fine panorama from the summit of Altyn Peak.
Very colourful mountain! The view north is dominated by Apikuni Mountain.
Even after being frightened away, it kept coming back! This butterfly seemed to relish having its picture taken.
Make sure to go far enough west to circumvent the cliff bands before dropping down. Bob and Dinah descend to the saddle.
Definitely better going down this way than going up! Bob and Dinah surf down conveniently loose dirt on the south-facing slopes.
Great place for a picnic! More wildflowers are encountered on the descent.
After our trip up Altyn Peak, Dinah, Bob and I checked into the motel at Thronson's General Store in Babb, Montana and got cleaned up before having dinner at the surprisingly upscale Cattle Baron Supper Club just a few minutes' walk down the highway.  Although the service was rather slow, the food was excellent.  Following dinner, we drove up Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan Pass and wandered partway up the boardwalk to Hidden Lake before returning to our motel for a good night's rest, or so we thought.  Unfortunately, this just happened to be the same night as Babb Fest 2009 (an annual outdoor party featuring live music and lots of alcohol) which was taking place across the highway.  With the motel's paper-thin walls, it would turn out to be a very long and restless night for us.
Dinah booked a room for the three of us for $90 USD. This is the motel at Thronson's General Store.
They probably do this everyday during tourist season. These Columbian ground squirrels seemed to know how to pose for cameras near the Visitor Center at Logan Pass.
There was a notice about a backpacker that went missing near here. Dinah and Bob read a trail sign beside the path to Hidden Lake.  Reynolds Mountain stands out in the background.
I definitely want to climb this mountain! Here is a close-up of Reynolds Mountain.
I think most of these are fleabane... The meadows of Logan Pass are covered with numerous wildflowers.