Mount Oberlin
Early on the morning of 28 August 2016, Zosia Zgolak and I left our camping spot just outside Montana's Glacier National Park and headed to Logan Pass to have breakfast.  Although there was ample parking available still, the area was already teeming with hikers and tourists coming and going.  After enjoying our breakfast amidst already glorious scenery, Zosia and I geared up to ascend nearby Mount Oberlin, a reportedly short and easy scramble that fit the bill for us after our marathon-like trip the day before.

Starting from the paved pathway north of the Logan Pass visitor centre, we hopped over a low chain onto a very obvious trail heading in the direction of Mount Oberlin.  This trail passes a shallow waterfall before crossing meadows to the base of Mount Oberlin.  We saw at least half a dozen goats in this area, and one of them even appeared to be leading us up the trail!  At the base of Mount Oberlin, we followed the trail westward and climbed up to the col separating our objective from Clements Mountain.  From the col, we scrambled up a series of reddish cliff bands before making a long rising traverse across Mount Oberlin's southeastern slopes to its summit.  I found the scrambling through the cliffs to be straightforward and actually a lot of fun, but the route is not the easy walk-up that I was expecting.  There are some Class 3 sections to negotiate and even some tricky route-finding which could possibly pose a challenge to non-climbers.

Zosia and I were fortunate to have the summit mostly all to ourselves, but by the time we descended back to the col, a big horde of hikers were muddling their way up the cliffs.  Instead of retracing our steps back to the parking lot, we traversed below the east face of Clements Mountain in order to visit Hidden Lake Overlook since Zosia had never been there before.  The initial part of the traverse is a little unnerving as it follows a narrow goat trail across loose scree slopes not that far above an intimidating cliff face.  Once past this section, we enjoyed a very pleasant walk across karst pavement and low-angled snowfields before intersecting the tourist trail to Hidden Lake Overlook.  After a brief visit to the Overlook, we followed the crowded tourist trail back to the parking lot without too much shoving.

A stop for ice cream later on at the Dairy Queen in Cardston, Alberta capped off yet another enjoyable weekend in Glacier National Park.
How about a Coors Light for breakfast? Zosia tends to her makeshift kitchen near the parking lot at Logan Pass.
This is the quiet side of Logan Pass! An excellent unsigned trail leaves the visitor centre at Logan Pass and heads to Mount Oberlin.
I wish I had this kind of weather when I climbed it last year! Clements Mountain is possibly the most photographed mountain in Logan Pass.
Ain't got no time for starin'! One of the resident goats of Logan Pass moves with some purpose across a stream.
Even the goats here are trained to stay on the trail to prevent erosion! Zosia follows the goat up the trail.
That traverse at lower left looks a bit daunting! Zosia approaches the col below the north face of Clements Mountain.
No worries...we got this! The south ridge of Mount Oberlin is more complicated than it appears.
Helps to be thin here! The first challenging section is a narrow chute.
Somebody carrying a baby just came up through here! It is Sonny's turn to climb up the chute.

Photo courtesy of Zosia Zgolak

And she didn't even bring her cel phone! Zosia tries to improve her cel phone reception high above Logan Pass.  Left of centre is Heavy Runner Mountain, and at far right is Reynolds Mountain.
Glad I'm up here and not down there! The Logan Pass parking lot looks full from the summit of Mount Oberlin.  At left is Going-to-the-Sun Mountain.
Can you spot Mount Stimson, the 2nd highest mountain in the park? Here is a more comprehensive view of the Logan Pass area.  The tourist trail to Hidden Lake Overlook is obvious.
Can you spot the figures on the ridge in the foreground? Clements Mountain dominates the view to the south.
Zosia is munching on an apple. Zosia enjoys the views of Mount Cannon (left) and Heavens Peak (distant right) to the west.

 A few of these peaks are high on my to-do list...

Mist partially obscures some of the peaks to the north including Stony Indian Peaks, Mount Cleveland, Ipasha Peak, Mount Merritt, and Iceberg Peak.  At centre in shadow is Swiftcurrent Mountain.


A must-do for any peak bagger! The 'gentler' side of Mount Gould is visible here.
Anybody wanna climb Bishops Cap with me? Bishops Cap, Pollock Mountain, Mount Siyeh and Piegan Mountain round out the views to the northeast.

 Yup, it's a little chilly up here...

Sonny and Zosia stand on the summit of Mount Oberlin (2492 metres).


Rush hour traffic! The cliffs of Mount Oberlin start to get busy.
It's actually easier than it looks, but it has to be dry. The traverse across the lower slopes of Clements Mountain is not for the faint of heart.
Just don't look down! A goat trail makes the traverse from the Clements-Oberlin col much easier.
Most tourists walk behind the moraine blissfully unaware of this wonderful area. Zosia hikes across karst pavement aiming for the trail through the gap in the moraine (centre).  At left is Reynolds Mountain.
I might try climbing this one again on a nice day like this... The east face of Clements Mountain is a route-finder's nightmare.
You could skinny dip here, and no one would know it! Mount Oberlin, Mount Gould and Bishops Cap are reflected in a secluded pond not far from the trail to Hidden Lake Overlook.
"Classic" meaning "tourist"! This is the classic view of Bearhat Mountain from Hidden Lake Overlook.
A short trip, but great bang for your buck! Total Distance:  8.1 kilometres
Total Time:  4 hours 18 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  499 metres

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