Views from the Summits:
Heavy Runner Mountain
This is what the day looked like before we started our ascent. Clear blue skies and a good forecast. This is a view of Heavy Runner from the east. We are on the Going-to-the-Sun Road heading up to Logan Pass. Behind Heavy Runner is Reynolds Mountain. (The camera is facing west)
Heavy Runner Mountain (8,016 feet) is located just east of Reynolds Mountain in the Logan Pass Area. There are usually great views from it's summit, but the day we climbed it there was a serious storm brewing. The clouds were very dark, and we had very little time to anything else but get on top and then get out of there as quickly as possible!
When we left the parking lot and headed toward Heavy Runner, the skies were completely clear. But once we got on the ridge toward the summit, things began to take a turn for the worse. Fortunately, there was no lightning or thunder present, so we hurried to summit before things changed. Well, the instant we got up the tricky chimney on the final approach and summitted, a HUGE bolt of lightning hit right next to us and nearly deafened our ears. Needless to say we got out of there immediately. Lightning is one of a climbers worst enemies, and we didn't want any part of it!
(Note: On Heavy Runner, we knew of an extremely quick exit strategy. Otherwise, the first time we saw dark clouds we would have turned around. Most of the time on Glacier Park summits, there are no "quick" exit strategies, and lightning can prove to be deadly high on these peaks.)
By the time we got back to the truck on Logan Pass, the clouds were socked in so badly that you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.
All in all, this wasn't the best day we ever had, but it was still fun and we took a few photos along the way for you to take a look at...And by the way, these photos were taken in the fall, so the coloring is quite different than what most people are used to. And because the clouds really darkened things up, the lighting was quite difficult to photo in.
Views from the Summit
The sky started looking quite ominous on our way to the ridge. Heavy Runner is just to the right of Shannon in the distance. The peak to the far right is Going-to-the-Sun Mountain.
This is a view of Blackfoot Glacier from the ridge on Heavy Runner Mountain.
We are now on the ridge of Heavy Runner Mountain, looking back towards the west at Reynolds Mountain.
This is a view to the east from the ridge of Heavy Runner. Saint Mary Lake is far below in the valley.
We really enjoyed these Mountain Goats along the way. We kept bumping into them on several occasions going up and coming back down the ridge. It seemed like they liked our company.
This is a view to the north. Notice the Going-to-the-Sun Road working its way up the east side of the divide.
Logan Pass is to the northwest of us.
Reynolds Mountain is to the left, and Clements Mountain is to the far right. We are facing west along the ridge of Heavy Runner.
Another view of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, to the north of us.
This was the last of the sunshine for the day. Mount Siyeh is to the left and Matahpi Peak is to the right. The camera is facing northeast from the ridge on Heavy Runner.
This photo was taken just after a HUGE lightning bolt hit right next to us. Needless to say we got off the summit as fast as humanly possible! So much for enjoying the summit! By the time we worked our way back to the truck on Logan Pass (which much of it is a bushwack), the clouds filled up the valleys and then completely covered Logan Pass, and we couldn't see our hands in front of our face. Good thing we use a GPS!
We saw this Bighorn Sheep (barely) on our way back to Logan Pass. As you can see, the clouds really rolled in. If we didn't have our GPS, it would have been quite difficult to determine which way to go.