Mount Siyeh
Glacier National Park, Montana
August 2, 2009

Despite being the fifth highest peak in Glacier National Park, Mount Siyeh is not a technical ascent. Neither is it a hike, however; it sports more hands-on climbing than I expected. The book, Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park, offered enough information for us to reach its summit, yet it also left us with enough uncertainty to make us work at route-finding.

The trail starts at Siyeh Bend and meanders to a valley called Preston Park below Mount Siyeh and Siyeh Pass. Apparently Siyeh Pass is a popular destination as we found little solitude on the trail. After reaching a bend in the trail (GR051990) in Preston Park we made our way through firs and meadows to the scree at the bottom of the ascent gully (GR053996). We spent several minutes there, wondering if we were at the right spot and where the route went.

After ascending a short way, we came across footprints; clearly we were on track. A little later, we saw the second gully we were to take. Here the rock was steeper although the scrambling was no more than moderate. Unexpectedly, this gully ended in steep, black rock. Exploring the terrain on the right, we discovered a gentle scree slope that ran along the base of a cliff band. Cairns marked the route.

The route led to a chimney in the cliff band: the crux. After negotiating the crux we had a long scree plod to the summit block. To skirt a huge snow patch, Sonny headed left while Dinah and I went straight up, avoiding it on the right.

After regrouping on the ridge below the summit block we made our way to the top of Mount Siyeh. The views were far-reaching although haze, likely from a forest fire, dimmed views of distant mountains. Even so, the scenery was well-worth the ascent. We stayed nearly an hour before returning the same way.

Having enjoyed our two day stay in Glacier National Park to climb Altyn and Siyeh, we agreed the park calls for more visits.

Sonny's Trip Report

MOVIE (posted on YouTube)

KML and GPX Tracks

The trail starts at Siyeh Creek.

Numerous creek crossings along the way.

The trail passes under Matahpi Peak.

The trail crosses Siyeh Creek just before Preston Park.

Wildflowers filled the meadows.

More wildflowers

Our first clear view of Mount Siyeh

We head to the scree cone where we'll begin our ascent.

More flowers!

Starting up the scree. Piegan Mountain on the right.

Sonny follows the gully (left) while Dinah and I hike up the slope.

At first, we weren't sure where to go.

The grade steepens.

Going to the second gully

There were few plants in the gully but rocky ledge penstemon was common.

Below is the scree where we started our ascent.

We reach black rock in the gully.

Not finding an easy way up the black rock, Sonny explores the right side.

We leave the black rock (above Dinah) behind.

Dinah ascends the crux.

The scree slope above the cliffs

After plodding up the scree for a time, the summit appears but is still far above us.

Skirting the snow below the summit

Sonny passes the snow patch on the left. (Mouse over to zoom out.)

On the ridge below the summit

Looking northeast towards Grinnell Lake (mouse over).

Almost on the summit

Cracker Lake

We enjoyed warm weather on top.

Mount Allen to the north

On the way back, Sonny begins downclimbing the crux.

Coming down the second gully

Big Mountain Gentian

We head back to the trail.

Mouse over to see our route.

Back at the car on Siyeh Bend

Logan's Pass 1:24,000 Topo (9.0 mi, 10,033 ft, 4,140 ft)

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