|On Leota peak, looking out to Crescent, Marshall, and Pyramid peaks (from right to left).|
These are the prominent peaks visible from downtown Seeley Lake.
|Or maybe a little before first light. Heading out.|
|Bob Marshall sunrise.|
|Good view of the southern half of the Southern Swan traverse.|
|On Pyramid, ready to head home.|
|The west face/torture chamber of Divine peak.|
It was a great day, but this route is a little contrived. It would go more logically as an out and back from Pyramid to Crescent (and back), or as a traverse from Pyramid to Crescent, descending to the Morrell falls trailhead, or backtracking to Marshall and descending straight to the Pyramid Pass road. Also, a traverse from Pyramid to Crescent, then around the head of upper Morrell creek to the Sunday Mountain trail looks engaging and reasonably high quality. Speaking of quality, the ridgeline traversing was fun today, but it was nothing like the clean, spectacular knife edge ridges of the central Swan. Also, the Bob is big and wild.
|The route, according to Google maps.|
I walked past quite a bit of good looking ski terrain, especially the big obvious southwest facing avalanche paths. Unfortunately, road access is poor in the winter, but nothing that couldn't be overcome with kicker skins or (gasp) a snowmobile.
In terms or strategy and performance, everything worked out well. There is a lot of water along the way, and I drank somewhere around 7L, and consumed about 1,500 calories of GU and Perpetum. Between the early start, soaking the shirt, and multiple stops to ice my legs with snow, the heat was a non-issue, and I was able to maintain a 2,000 vertical foot per hour climbing pace throughout the day. By forgoing a few essentials like a jacket, map, sunscreen and bear spray, I was able to go sans pack, which makes running much more enjoyable. For stats, the day was about 9,500 vertical feet, roughly 22 miles, and done in 10 hours 3 minutes car to car.