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  • Writer's pictureJoel Anderson

Mile of Smiles

As everyone was leaving after a fun evening with friends, we started making plans for the upcoming days. Ice climbing perked my interest over skiing and Stefan and I committed ourselves to venturing into Glacier.

There is no easy way to get around in Glacier National Park. The access in winter is challenging. Although with a very fit partner like Stefan, who oddly prides himself with his bootpacking capabilities, a mere mortal like myself can get around a touch easier following his lead.

The climbing was fun, simple, and the perfect way to get the rust off the tools. After lots of easy ice soloing in the gully, we roped up and placed four screws on a pitch of WI3.

For getting a late start we made good time and reached the west ridge of Mt. Brown around 3:30pm. Stefan already had the water pot going by the time I reached him on the windless ridge. We discussed our options and concerns. The summit of Mt. Brown was in sight but I felt it was out of my reach. Had I better fitness and one more hour of daylight I would have gladly pressed on to finish the route to the top. With the desire to summit in his eyes, Stefan listened to my position and agreed to head down. We watched the sun set from Mt. Brown Lookout, then caught the trail just before dark.

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