The 6 10 project

My A-list project for the summer: hiking all six of the 10k+ foot peaks in Glacier in one elegant, self-supported traverse. I opened the can on this a few weeks ago, so I might as well put it on the net. Public exposure will keep me from being lazy in the next 6 months.

The idea came to me last June, and the governing principles followed easily. A hiking trip, meaning nothing over class 4 and no spikes, to make the kit light and simple. Self-supported, because hiking in and out and driving a bunch is no fun, but if I’m passing by Many Glacier I’m not going to not get a cheeseburger. An elegant traverse because if I’m going to use a week of vacation, I want it to be the best kind of trip. That is, hard but with plenty of sleep, and hitting as many high points (in several senses) as possible, and as much new terrain as possible (most of the off trail stuff will be on-sight). That being said, here is the plan.

You can look at the map here.

Day 1: In at Coal Creek, up Pinchot Creek, camp at the saddle. Leisurely.
Day 2: Tag Stimpson, bushwack down to Nyack and up to Red Eagle Pass. This is the crux; if I can make the pass by noon firing on all cylinders the rest of the route will fall into place if the weather holds. Camp will ideally be up on the shoulder of Jackson.
Day 3: Summit Jackson, hike trail, summit Siyeh, ridge traverse, burger and re-snack in Many. Camp either in the valley or up atop Iceberg Notch.
Day 4: Traverse from Ahern Pass to Mokowanis Lake, summit Merrit, camp at lake. Still working on the route here.
Day 5: Up towards Stoney Indian Pass, Cleveland via south route, down the west route, up to camp at Boulder Pass.
Day 6: Glacier basin traverse, summit Kintla, high traverse west above Akokala, down to Akokala Lake, out to Bowman, hitch to Polebridge, celebrate.

Simple. Flannery already said she’d sponsor me. If I’ve missed something, let me know.


17 responses to “The 6 10 project”

  1. How many bear claws did we decide a “sponsorship” for this trip entailed??? I think, at least enough to disqualify you as ultra-light : )

  2. Sorry I’m Australian. Were about’s are you planning on doing this?? Sounds like an awesome idea!!

    1. Glacier National Park, NW Montana.

  3. Cool trip idea. I’m positive that I can come up with something similar along the Sierra crest in Yosemite. Time to look at the old maps in a new way…

    If this is up your alley, I really think you’d like the Sierra High Route.

    1. The SHR is on the short list.

  4. Not a lot of people hitting Kintla from that angle I suppose. What month are you planning this?

    1. Early as no-crampons with allow. (for max daylight)

  5. Dave, do you ever chat with Don from Rocky Mountain Outfitters? I think he would be pretty stoked to see this route. I’ve been drooling over it myself the past days and if I come up with any suggestions for the parts you’re unsure of I’ll let you know. Personally I’ve only been one of the 10k’s in GNP (Stimson) so not sure if I’ll be of much help. It may behoove you to chat with the Middle Fork trail crew prior to your attempt to get a feel for what shape that zone is in because as you know it has the most potential to cause failure in terms of speed of travel.

    1. The key is to have just enough beta to make it efficient, without taking away the adventure.

  6. Very cool idea, nice new way to look at a map. You’ve inspired me to think about my stomping ground in the Lost Creek Wilderness in a new way. I was thinking of a short trip in the Lost Creek Canyon but now I’m thinking of hitting all the major peaks there and circling back to my car through Lost Creek Canyon. This trip would involve a nasty forest bushwack, some minor canyoneering, and hikes up several trailless peaks. It would change a Lost Creek traverse from a hum hum weekend trip into something fairly epic.

  7. Epic, Dave. How many miles? Looking for a partner? :)

    1. Hillmap says aroudn 100. I’m thinking more like 120-30 on the ground.

  8. Sounds like a fantastic trip Dave! Stimson’s always one I never thought I’d do but I’ve been contemplating it quite a bit lately, especially via Pinchot Creek. I saw one trip report that said it was a 6-7 hour shwack from the Middle Fork to the base of Stimson. I’ll be very interested to read about this trip!

    1. Let me know when you’ll have time to go climb Walton this summer. ;)

      1. Another one I’ve never really considered but maybe should…. Are crampons necessary for that one? A Blackfoot/Jackson basin trip is definitely in order this summer as it’s part of the park I’ve never seen.

        1. Reports conflict. I think bringing spikes for Harrison Glacier and a rope and small rack for the final ridge to Walton would be wise. Go lateish summer so the snow is melted.

        2. hmmmm… Not sure I’m the ideal partner for that one. I don’t have crampons, have used them only once, and don’t really have much technical experience… let me know what you hear about it though. I’m always up for improving my skill base. I’ll be quite the novice though.

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