Attempted Norris Traverse, Glacier National Park, Montana, 1998

In early July, 1998, I travelled with my sister Rosalind

and brother Robert to the Cut Bank trailhead in Glacier National Park to attempt the Norris Traverse.

On our second day we made a short snow climb (up the prominent couloir) to reach our first stunning ridgeline campsite, and the slopes of Triple Divide Peak.

The next day we headed up Norris to traverse under its south and then west cliff bands.

We ended up camping on the edge of a ridge on Goat Mountain...

but afternoon cirrus clouds and strong nighttime winds warned us off the imminent ridge climb. We rose at 4:00 ...

and packed up our tent, watching our planned route grow crowns of lenticulars.

With some regrets,

but no doubts, we headed down from the high country

and into the innocent-looking forest, with plans to bushwhack 4 km down a steep valley to meet an unmaintained trail. Certainly the worst bushwhack of our lives, it took us sixteen hours to descend the short distance to the trail.

The next day, we headed along old trail and new bear tracks back up above treeline into more gorgeous alpine meadows, to cross two high passes (in even higher wind!), and descend to beautiful Morning Star camp site, where we saw humans again.

On the way we crossed the diorite sill that cuts through upper Glacier, and saw some ancient dessication cracks, re-weathered after millions of years to look almost fresh.

Since Robert is gone, I've decided to add a few more photos of him from this trip, below: