For our first day in the Many Glaciers area Matt had his heart set on a hike through the Ptarmigan Tunnel. The Ptarmigan Tunnel was built in the 1930's to accommodate horse travel into the backcountry. The tunnel is 240 feet long and takes a hiker through a mountain. When you emerge on the other side there is an entirely different mountain range to behold. Matt thought that sounded pretty cool. Plus, you have to hike along some gorgeous trails to get there. So, off we went!
five-species eradication effort. I didn't know that until I got home though. They are beautiful flowers though, I must say. They look liked two-toned snapdragons. The St. John's wort were my new favorites. They looked like tiny red balls until they bloom into small yellow flowers. There are apparently invasive varieties of St. John's wort, too, but I didn't see any of them.
Not long after leaving Ptarmigin Lake we were above the treeline taking in the awesome view of the Ptarmigin Wall. The Ptarmigin Wall is an arête which is basically an extremely thin ridge of rock that separates two valleys that were carved out by glaciers. They look so near. Like razor thin walls of mountains. They always have great lines to them. Out in this treeless area we saw our very first hoary marmot. We don't see many "new" mammals these days so this was pretty exciting. And the marmot seemed to know she owned the mountainside. She laid out on a rock, perfectly flat and adorable, as we walked past.
|The marmot overseeing the switchbacks below and seemingly oblivious to us.|
|I really like this shot as we were coming back down from the tunnel. You can see the trail so well.|
|Grinnell Point on the right with Mt. Gould to the left. Gem Glacier is in there between the two, but its hard to see in the photo.|