August 19, 2015
Glacier National Park, MT
The lowly Haystack Butte is merely a bump attached to the much-bigger Mt. Gould near the popular Logan Pass, Montana. Mike and I had ascended Mt. Gould earlier in the day and since we had some extra hours to kill we decided to bag this low bump as well. Oh the peak-baggers… On a clear day I’d say this detour would be well worth the effort as the summit offers the unobstructed view of the W. Face of Mt. Gould as well as the Garden Wall.
From the broad saddle between Mt. Gould and Haystack Butte the ascent was nothing science as we simply worked our way up the connecting ridge. It became apparent the direct attack wouldn’t work so we traversed along a grassy bench towards climber’s left side. This traverse involved fair a bit of elevation loss and side-hilling, but once around to the south side the terrain was nothing more than an off-trail hike on a steep grass slope. Thank to the smoke we didn’t get to see the exciting stuffs by much…
It was a hot afternoon and we were low on water at this point so went down fairly quickly. Mike took a short-cut route directly down to the Highline Trail but I couldn’t do so as I’d ditched my backpacks earlier. I had to slog back across that grassy bench (with elevation regain) and then down to Gould/Haystack saddle, and then rejoined Mike on the trail. We cruised down the trail at a fast pace passing a lot of tourists.
Once back to the car I still had roughly 4 hours daylight time left. Normally I would play lazy to save Reynolds Mountain for another day, but not this time. I had no idea when would be my next time visiting Glacier N. Park, MT, so this was pretty much my only shot at Reynolds Mountain. I had previously seen great pictures from friends’ ascents so while Mike decided to take a nap, I packed up the headlamp, and went up the 3rd objective of this day by myself.