|On the Logan extension to the Norris traverse.|
Needless to say, I jumped when weather, conditions, and time aligned to make it happen. After a week of resting, dreaming and scheming, Jeffrey and I left work a few hours early on Friday afternoon and set up the car shuttle. Sleep came easily, but we were both excited enough to easily hop out of sleeping bags at 2:30 am.
The trail up to Triple Divide pass went quickly by headlamp. We spooked a large animal of some kind, but otherwise it was just walking and easy running, waiting for first light. From the pass, there was just enough light to scout a route on the steep east face of Triple Divide peak. We had to do a bit of routefinding on the face, but the climb went quickly, with just a few 4th class steps, and we were on the summit at sunrise. The traverse to Norris mountain was quick, and we easily climbed classic stout 3rd class GNP terrain to the summit.
|Already in interesting terrain at first light.|
|One of many.|
|Jeffrey a few steps below the summit of Norris mountain.|
|Looking ahead along the traverse from Norris Mountain.|
|Off route on the descent to Red Eagle pass.|
|Looking back to Clyde peak and the early portion of the traverse from Logan.|
|Looking out to Blackfoot and Jackson from Logan.|
|Careful traversing above the bergschrund on the Blackfoot glacier.|
|Wild scenery below the Blackfoot glacier.|
|Back on the trail and cruising.|
This was a great outing, and the first big day I have had in almost a year. The length and technical difficulties of the classic Norris traverse are quite reasonable. At the risk of sandbagging, I believe this outing is in reach for strong hiking parties and normal running parties with excellent routefinding skills, and would encourage people to do it in a day, as opposed to the traditional three days. The classic Norris would also be easier in the normal Gunsight to Cutbank direction.
Our extension was a lot of fun, and I would recommend it. However, I would not recommend the standard bergschrund descent off Blackfoot mountain, as it was dangerous. In fact, it would have probably been more logical to simply add Logan and not Blackfoot. Adding Jackson would be pretty amazing. It looked reasonably doable, at least as long as one detoured out to the standard Northeast ridge route. The south ridge would provide a steep and spectacular end to the outing, but I was worried about it being too ledgey and technical. Would love to hear from anyone with more knowledge of the route.