Monday, August 25, 2014

Peak Bagging.. Jewel Basin - MT Aeneas

On Saturday I was supposed to hike Siyeh Pass in Glacier National Park but the weather forecasted 100% rain and rain in the valley can mean snow , wind and nastiness in the park so we cancelled. As it turned out, no rain came but it was cold and dreary. Determined to get some sort of hike in this weekend, I ended up going up into the Jewel Basin and hiked Mt. Aeneas (pronounced correctly Uh-Nee-Us because I know what it looks like :))

It was an 8 mile loop hike to the Mt Aeneas Lookout. This hike has been on my list for some time . I took my brother-in-law who is here visiting.

What an awesome awesome day..
Just starting out and heading up through an old burned out area..I think this is fireweed blooming.

first decent view. That small body of water is a slough, the big dark blue area is Flathead lake in the distance

Looking across a bowl to a distant ridge . The return trail runs along the very bottom of the pic, in the green treed area.
This is the weird Microwave Tower lookout station. See the goats behind and to the right ? See the steep drop off  just on the right side of the pic? There were more goats down below. One of the dogs with the group decided to go after the goats and launched herself down the cliff. It was a scary moment for all of us but the dog got stopped at the grassy part in next pic.

Some goats just below us ,that the dog went after. It a straight drop down about 50 feet. Then beyond the grass, it drops straight off again , for several hundred or more feet. Luckily the dog was able to stop her roll here in the grass and the owner was able to carefully climb down and get her. The goats climbed back up to the microwave tower when they saw the dog scrambling down the hill. Lesson: keep dogs on leash in the wilderness. 

Looking down to Picnic Lakes, return trail will take us right by these.

a look back towards where the microwave tower was, on our way to the summit..Definitely Ridgetop type trail here.. almost dizzying!

and a look up the trail to where I am headed.. to the far left of the pic you can kind of see the summit, still a long ways off

The summit.. see the three people at the top?? that is where I am headed.. 

while stopping to catch my breath, a cloud rolled in.. it was very very cold.. thought we were going to get wet!

Happy hiker, made it to the top. Tired but amazing view.. so worth it! See the microwave tower now?? 

Coming down the other side.Still snow there

More snow.. 

Beargrass field..

Weird cousin IT flowers. No idea what they were but they reminded me of cousin IT hair

More bear grass.. at the end of its bloom

an outhouse..roof accomodated for big snow..

from one of the other intersection trails, these signs.. fitting..

The Jewel Basin has a number of trails and lakes. Crater lake and Big Hawk lake are two additional hikes I would like to do before the snow flies but snow comes early in that country!  I am thankful I got to make this long awaited hike this weekend. It was beautiful and what was really amazing is that on one hike , so many different types of landscapes, from green, to cliff, to wetlands, and heavily treed to open meadows.

The only issue , other than the dog /goat situation was that my left knee flared up again. It started a year ago with the Spartan race .  It had been feeling better and I had done a couple of hikes earlier in the year without any issues with downhill . Not sure what the problem is but it's on the outside of the knee and whenever I hike any downhill for any length of time, it flares up. The MRI revealed no issues a year ago. I have spent the last year doing lots of strength excercised and I thought the issue was addressed. Yesterday, it only took about 5 minutes of decending, and there was that old familiar pain making it difficult to walk. When I got home I did the Ice/anti inflammatory thing. It helped but it's still pretty sore. Debating on whether to have it checked again or just try a knee brace and hiking poles next time. Nothing like feeling old..

1 comment:

Dom said...

Wow... so rugged and beautiful.