Haystack Butte

August 19, 2015

2282m

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.

Ascent routes for Mt. Gould and Haystack Butte

Ascent routes for Mt. Gould and Haystack Butte. GPX DL

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…

Very smoky views on this day...

Very smoky views on this day…

The Butte ahead

The Butte ahead

Contouring towards climber's left on a grassy ledge

Contouring towards climber’s left on a grassy ledge

Around the corner, starting ascending again

Around the corner, starting ascending again

Typical grassy hike leading to the summit

Typical grassy hike leading to the summit

Surprisingly this peak doesn't have a name

Surprisingly this peak doesn’t have a name

The W. Face of Mt. Gould looks exceedingly steep

The W. Face of Mt. Gould looks exceedingly steep

Looking west we couldn't see much. Heavens Peak at center

Looking west we couldn’t see much. Heavens Peak at center

Looking north towards Swiftcurrent Mountain

Looking north towards Swiftcurrent Mountain

The summit nipple of Bishop's Cap

The summit nipple of Bishop’s Cap

Another look at Bishops Cap

Another look at Bishops Cap

Reynolds Mountain will be my next objective

Reynolds Mountain will be my next objective

Mike approaching the summit

Mike approaching the summit

Me on the summit of Haystack Butte

Me on the summit of Haystack Butte

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.

Hiking back across this grassy ledge

Hiking back across this grassy ledge

Looking back at the lowly Butte from Highline Trail

Looking back at the lowly Butte from Highline Trail

Hiking back along the trail

Hiking back along the trail

Another view of Bishop's Cap and the Garden Wall

Another view of Bishop’s Cap and the Garden Wall

Sections of this trail goes into the forest

Sections of this trail goes into the forest

Sections are "exposed".

Sections are “exposed”.

One last look along the Highline Trail

One last look along the Highline Trail

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.

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