Tag Archives: Glacier National Park

Nothing Petty Here

The HistoryPeople can easily get bent out of shape. You know the kind of people who complain about everything and never can find the good in anything.

Sometimes we need to just move on and let things go.

Noted park history expert L. O. Vaught, the namesake of Mount Vaught located above Lake McDonald, apparently had a thing or two to say about name changes in Glacier National Park.

Mahtatopa Mountain as seen from Going-to-the-Sun Point

Mahtotopa Mountain as seen from Going-to-the-Sun Point

Now keep in mind that L. O. Vaught probably was an expert at arguing and proving his point. He practiced as an attorney in Illinois when he was not in Glacier National Park. He also was great at researching history and wrote an informative treatise on the history of the Apgar area. The “Vaught Papers” contain fascinating reading about the numerous homesteaders around Lake McDonald. These important park documents, along with tons of other cool historical information, are located in the Glacier National Park Archives at the main park headquarters in West Glacier, MT.

Vaught apparently was perturbed at some “petty park official” for changing the name of a mountain on the shores of St. Mary Lake.

The peak that he was upset about was Mahtotopa Mountain (8,672 ft. / 2644 m.) located on the ridge line between Red Eagle Mountain and Little Chief Mountain.

This peak was originally called Four Bears Mountain and in 1932 the name was changed to Mahtotopa Peak. L. O. Vaught identified George B. Grinnell as having credit for naming the peak, Four Bears Mountain, in 1885.

 George Bird Grinnell with autograph, portrait, unknown date and photographer. Photo courtesy of Glacier National Park Archives

George Bird Grinnell with autograph, portrait, unknown date and photographer. Photo courtesy of Glacier National Park Archives

Mahtotopa was a Mandan Chief and the grandfather of Joe Kipp. Kipp was a hunting companion of George Bird Grinnell, Jack Monroe , and G. R. Gould in the Saint Mary Valley.

This is a pretty important crew of guys for park history.

Hugh Monroe was named Rising Wolf and he has a mountain in Two Medicine named for him.

G. R. Gould was a business associate of Grinnell and is the name sake of Mount Gould along the Garden Wall.

Grinnell has numerous places in Glacier National Park named for him as well.

I am not sure if L. O. Vaught ever moved on past his outrage about this name change, but he likely focused his efforts somewhere else where he could make a difference. That’s what people did back then. They found that we only have so many days in our lives and sometimes moving on is all you can do.

Things To Consider:

  1. LOOK for Mahtotopa Mountain above the shoreline of St. Mary Lake. It is across the lake from Rising Sun Point.
  2. ROUTES up Mahtotopa Mountain will be available in Volume 5 of Climb Glacier National Park that will be released in 2016.
  3. MOVE ON past those issues that are holding you back. Holding on to it is probably not doing you any good.
  4. FOCUS on what you can change not on what you can’t do anything about.

We can learn a lot from history and L. O. Vaught’s outrage against some “petty park official” can serve as an example to us today.

Move on and forget about it.

Read another story about forgiveness here in A Chief’s Apology.

Do you want to learn more about the history of Glacier National Park?

I am on a quest to learn more and I would be glad to help find answers to your questions. Drop me a line at info@climbglacier.com and I will see what I can find out.

Matotopa Mountain is featured in What They Called It. This book features stories about the names along Going-to-the-Sun Road and is available on our website.

Thanks for joining me on this quest for the story behind the History.

Blake

© Montana Outdoor Guidebooks, 2015

Whitefish and a Rose

 

The HistoryI might be related to a guy in Glacier National Park history.

If I could shake the family tree hard enough I possibly could find that I am related to Charles Rose.

You might ask who is he? and …

Why would you think you are related to this random stranger from Glacier’s past?

My grandfather was Harry M. Rose and he came from the Ohio many years ago. I have no idea where Charlie came from but he arrived in this area in the 1880s. I will never know if we are family but it is interesting.

FullSizeRender

My grandpa Harry Rose making camp coffee.

I think my grandfather and Charles would have had a lot in common. Both of them were men who made a living outside. Charles was a trapper for the American Fur Company and Harry made a living as a guide in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and when he was not guiding he worked as a woodsman.

My grandfather does not have any geographic places named for him but Charles Rose does.

Otokomi Lake is nestled in Rose Basin and Rose Creek is the creek that empties Otokomi Lake. Both the basin and the creek are named for Charles Rose. Sometime in the past some folks did not know how to spell and misspelled the name as Roes.

The 2015 Reynolds Creek Fire burned up the Rose Creek Drainage and below Otokomi Mountain.

The 2015 Reynolds Creek Fire burned up the Rose Creek Drainage and below Otokomi Mountain. Otokomi Mountain is on the right side of this photo.

Both Harry and Charles had sons who apparently loved the outdoors as well. Harry’s son, my Uncle Jim, was in the U.S. Air Force and loved fly fishing and hunting and Charles’ son Otokomi hung out with George Bird Grinnell in what was to become Glacier National Park. In fact, Otokomi, was a constant companion of Grinnell’s whenever he came out to these parts.

Otokomi’s mother was from the Piegan tribe and it seems that most of the trappers who made their way to Glacier country in the 1800s married Native American women.

Otokomi Blake R

Otokomi Lake, photo courtesy of Jake Bramante and Hike734.

When translated, Otokomi means “Yellow Fish” and both Otokomi Lake and Otokomi Mountain (7,935 ft. / 2419 m.) were named in the 1880’s for Grinnell’s good hunting buddy. The native name was “Otokomi Istuki.

I am not sure how the “whitefish” name got associated with this peak but the U.S. Geographic Board approved the name Whitefish Mountain in 1929 and then decided to change it back to Otokomi Mountain again in 1940.

This name change was likely due to there being another geographic landmark in the Whitefish Range named Whitefish Mountain. The ski resort now known as “Whitefish Mountain Resort” is actually located on a peak called Big Mountain. This is a little confusing too and no one got to vote on that name change.

Recommendations:

  1. WAIT: If you want to hike up Rose Creek and reach Otokomi Lake you will need to wait until the trailhead is open. The human-caused 2015 Reynolds Creek Fire has rendered access to the entire area closed for this year.
  2. GO: When you go plan on enjoying a full day there. The hike is 11 miles round distance and gains about 2,100 feet from the trailhead.
  3. TAKE: In addition to the normal backpack full of camera, lunch, water, and rain gear make sure you take Bear Deterrent Spray. This area is a hang out for black bears and there was also a grizzly attack on this trail a number of years ago. Use proper bear country hiking etiquette and enjoy your hike. I use CounterAssault Bear spray that is manufactured in Kalispell, MT.

Next time you are in Glacier consider visiting the places named for my “long distance family member” Charles Rose and his son Yellowfish. Hiking anywhere in Glacier is a magical experience and you can expect the same on this journey.

I am on a quest to know more about the place names in Glacier National Park and perhaps you want to know more about a particular place name. Leave a comment in the comment section and I will do a blog about your query.

Until next time,

Blake

© 2015 Montana Outdoor Guidebooks

Blue or Turquoise?

The HistoryThere is a special view of a lake that I never get tired of. Many people have enjoyed the same view but it takes a lot of work to get there.

Every time I see the lake it reminds me of just how incredible the colors of water, rocks, trees, and grasslands truly can be. I spend a great deal of time just soaking it in because I never know when I will be back there again.

Each time I have a hard time deciding if the lake is blue or turquoise.

Cracker Lake from the summit of Mount Siyeh

Cracker Lake from the summit of Mount Siyeh in 2012.

Cracker Lake is located about 4,000 feet below the summit of Mount Siyeh. I have been up there a few times and on all but one of the climbs I enjoyed looking at the glacier milk-filled lake. The 2010 trip to the summit yielded airplane views with peaks sticking out above the clouds but no view of Cracker Lake.

Cracker Lake is said to have been named in 1897 after two prospectors left their tin of crackers hidden in some rocks near a mineral lead they were examining on the shore of the lake.

L. S. Emmons and Hank Norris started calling the lead “where we left the crackers” and soon the area came to be referred to as Cracker Lake.

Before this event the lake was called Blue Lake.

“Blue” hardly fits as a descriptive name for this lake that is more turquoise in color than blue. The silt from Siyeh Glacier gets suspended in the water and sunlight refracts off of the particles and produces this beautiful color of blue. When the glacier is gone the color of the lake will likely change to dark blue.

Another lake in Glacier is named for its color. Can you tell me the name of the lake and who provided the name?

James Willard Schultz, who named a lot of places in Glacier, suggested the name Carrier Woman Lake. I am not sure who Carrier Woman was but she surely was influential since naming places for influential Blackfeet was part of Schultz’s agenda while naming peaks and places in the park.

The Cracker Lake Mine was a huge part of the mining operations in the Many Glacier area. A great deal of money was invested and a crude “road” was built up Canyon Creek to deliver mining equipment to the head of Cracker Lake.

Cracker Flats

Cracker Flats with Altyn Peak and Apikuni Mountain in the distance in 2014.

The Cracker mine shaft was dug some 1,300 feet into the mountain. In the end the whole business investment ended up yielding no ore and the investors pulled the plug on the mine.

The equipment that was hauled there was never used and remains at the head of Cracker Lake as a testimony to man’s fight to better themselves against a great deal of adversity. If you visit this site please leave everything the way you find it. Tampering with or removing property in any national park is a federal offence. 

Frank Bond of the National Park Service referred to the mine as the Cracker Jack Mine in 1929.

Cracker Lake is a sight to see. I personally have yet to visit the shores of the lake but I have seen it from all of the peaks surrounding it. I have had little time to just trail hike as my passion is climbing peaks in Glacier.

A trip to the shoreline of Cracker Lake is on the list as are most places in Glacier National Park.

Recommendations:

  1. Imagine hauling huge mining equipment through this valley.

    Imagine hauling huge mining equipment through the rock-filled Canyon Creek valley. 2014 photo taken during fire season on the Wynn Mountain climb.

    Take a Hike. There is one trail leading to Cracker Lake. The Cracker Lake Trail is a little over 6 miles one way and it climbs about 1,500 feet. The first half is also used by the horse concessionaires and it is littered with “road apples” and ruts from the numerous horses using the trail. Dodge the road apples and make the hike from the trailhead near Many Glacier Hotel. Once you pass the spur trail to Cracker Flats the horse traffic greatly diminishes and the smell gets much more pleasant. Get an early start and bring water.

  2. Stay out of the mine. Although it is super tempting please do not enter the mine shaft. This whole mountain is unstable and although it is unlikely a portion of the mine shaft could collapse at any time. Most mines have multiple shafts and drops and it would be unfortunate to get injured or lost up there. You also never know what kind of animals hang out in a mine shaft. I have heard of people running into grizzlies in this mine shaft.
  3. Carry Bear Spray and your Camera. Yes there are bears here and yes you will want your camera to capture the views.

Is the lake blue or turquoise? Let me know what you think and drop me a line if you know who named the other lake.

I am on a quest to learn more about the names in Glacier National Park and I have found a lot of super cool stuff. Let me know if you want to know the story behind the name of your favorite place in Glacier National Park.

Purchase What They Called It from my on-line store if you want to learn more about the names in Glacier National Park.

© Blake Passmore 2015

 

Seeing Beauty In Everything

The HistorySometimes I see things and go places in Glacier National Park that few other people ever get to experience.

There are a few moments that I will never forget such as being greeted by a pika on Allen Mountain, hearing elk bulging in Buttercup Park while we were ascending Mount Ellsworth in the Two Medicine Valley, and the spectacular view from the summit of Mount Cleveland.

I also will never forget seeing a wolverine in the basin east of Reynolds Mountain. Throw in a handful of encounters with grizzly bears and I can say that I have a lot of great memories. It is times like these that help me keep things in perspective and cherish the simple things in life. They also help me slow down and look for beauty in the most surprising places.

Natahki Lake from the Mount Henkel route.

Natahki Lake from the Mount Henkel route.

Over the last few years I had heard of a basin in the Many Glacier Valley that nestled two beautiful alpine tarns. It was said that this basin was difficult to reach and was protected by cliffs on all sides. It was also said that this place was magical. As a Glacier mountaineer that kind of description captured my attention.

This basin is as special as the famed Shangri La below Mount Wilbur in Many Glacier. I am pretty sure that it is good there is no hiking trail to this magical place.

This is the kind of place that I imagine the Blackfeet people would use to escape from the view of their enemies or just to go to get some rest and relaxation.

Last year I saw this place from above and then got to visit the valley as we returned from climbing Apikuni Mountain. We had no intention to ascend to the basin but severe weather forced us off the ridge into the valley.

IMG_4733 R

Apikuni Falls

This place called Apikuni Basin, a large hanging valley, can be found above Apikuni Falls in the Many Glacier Valley. A one mile walk up a hiking trail leads to the base of Apikuni Falls. The waterfall pours over a steep cliff that guards the approach to a beautiful basin above.

Something even more special is guarded by another set of more challenging cliffs further up the valley. The upper portion of the basin is the location of another smaller hanging valley that was carved out by glaciers many years ago. The glacier left two beautiful shallow bodies of water called tarns.

A place like this needs a special name and the upper tarn located below Altyn Peak has a great name.

For some reason the lower tarn is unnamed but the upper one is named Natahki Lake.  This shallow body of water is named for James W. Schultz’ wife, Natahki, which translated means Fine Shield Woman.

Natakhi Lake in the Apikuni Basin below Altyn Peak.

Natakhi Lake in the Apikuni Basin below Altyn Peak.

Schultz was instrumental for recording numerous volumes of information about the Blackfeet Nation and was adopted into the tribe. His Blackfeet name was “Apikuni” or “Appikunny” and the basin, creek, waterfall, and the mountain are named for him. Appikunny means Far-Off-White-Robe in the Blackfeet language.

Fine Shield Woman was the daughter of Chief Heavy Runner.  She was one of the survivors of the Baker Massacre (see V1- 55 of What They Called It). Schultz wrote that she was a person who saw beauty in everything.

It is fitting that this lake be named for a Natahki who saw beauty in everything despite surviving a horrible massacre. It is also fitting that Schultz and his wife Natakhi be remembered by having places in Glacier National Park named for them.

Perhaps we could learn something from Fine Shield Woman’s example. We have so much but most of us are never quite satisfied with what we have.

Natakhi chose to be happy in her life circumstances and this is the example we could all follow.

Life is not about having what you want,

it is about wanting what you have.

Do you want to learn more about the history of Glacier National Park? I am on a quest to learn more and I would be glad to help find answers to your questions. Drop me a line at info@climbglacier.com and I will see what I can find out.

Blake

© Montana Outdoor Guidebooks, 2015

 

 

Give Me Them Bones, Them Dry Bones – What?

The HistorySome people are just plain odd.

In my line of work as a mental health counselor I have met my fair share of interesting and colorful characters, but I have never met anyone who demanded to keep their brother’s bones in a sack.

This is the story about the Native American name for Flinsch Peak in the Two Medicine Valley just above Dawson Pass.

173 R

Flinsch Peak from near Dawson Pass

Flinsch Peak (9,225 ft. / 2812 m.) was named for a young Austrian, Rudolf Ernst Ferdinand Flinsch, who came to the area in 1892 with Dr. Walter B. James to hunt mountain goats. They were guided in the area by William Jackson the namesake of Mount Jackson.

Flinsch was quite surprised later when he looked at a new map of the area and found his name on a peak. It used to be called Flinsch’s Peak.

The proposed Native American name for this peak was No Chief Mountain.

No Chief must have been quite a character and was more superstitious than most of his contemporaries. This caused problems with some of his wives.

Here is the story as James Willard Schultz told it.

Flinsch Peak from Rising Wolf Mountain

Flinsch Peak from Rising Wolf Mountain

No Chief was said to be a great Piegan warrior who led many raid against the Crows. In one particular raid his younger brother Little Antelope came along and No Chief went against a vision that was given to him.

In the vision No Chief saw bodies of Piegan warriors lying in the underbrush, but he did not see their faces because he awoke before he could see them. He shared his vision with his party and most of them including Little Antelope did not want to turn back. In fact, Little Antelope stated that if No Chief truly loved him he would lead them up the valley.

No Chief could not refuse his brother’s request and he lead the party on foot toward the enemies’ camp. Eventually, the party was discovered by a great number of Crow warriors on horseback.

A battle ensued and Little Antelope and other Piegans were killed. No Chief fought bravely and led his force against the Crows to ensure that they did not scalp and dishonor on the Piegan dead. The dead were recovered and buried properly.

Months later No Chief went back to seek revenge. He stole a number of prized horses and belongings as well as counted coup on his enemy. He returned with his spoils and a bag that he refused to let anyone else handle.

He entered his lodge with the bag and told his three wives, who were sisters, that the bag contained the bones of his fallen brother Little Antelope. His wives then feared for their safety and only his oldest wife remained in the lodge. Eventually the other wives came back as well after they decided that Little Antelope was kind in life so they had nothing to fear from his bones.

No Chief began to speak to his brother’s bones as if Little Antelope were alive. Some believed that the bones carried on a conversation with No Chief as well.

When No Chief died he was buried with his brother’s bones.

In conclusion, if someone you know wants to sleep with his brother’s bones try to steer clear of them. No Chief’s wives came back but I know of very few wives who would tolerate this in today’s culture.

Do you want to learn more about the history of Glacier National Park? I am on a quest to learn more and I would be glad to help find answers to your questions. Drop me a line at info@climbglacier.com and I will see what I can find out.

In the meantime, make sure you check out What They Called It. This book features stories about the names along Going-to-the-Sun Road and is available on my website.

The story featured in today’s  post can be found in Volume 2 of What They Called It that is planned for released in the Fall of 2015.

Thanks for joining me on this quest for the story behind the History.

Blake

© Montana Outdoor Guidebooks, 2015

 

Minor Major Makes Egregious Decision

The HistoryThe United States Army made a number of blunders in their relationships with Native Americans. One of the worst blunders near Glacier National Park was made by Major Eugene Baker of the Second Calvary Regiment of the United States Army.

Heavy Runner Mountain

Heavy Runner Mountain

Heavy Runner Mountain (8,016 ft. / 2444 m.) is named for Chief Heavy Runner who was killed in the Baker Massacre. On Sunday night, January 23, 1870, Major Baker gave orders to 55 soldiers to attack a village in the dark.

This all was the result of the murder of Malcom Clark in August of 1869 by Owl Child and a companion after they had eaten dinner with the Clark’s at their ranch. The white community was outraged and demanded justice. The immediate surrender of Owl Child was demanded; instead Owl Child fled to Mountain Chief’s camp.

After the Owl Child failed to surrender U. S. Army General Philip Sheridan sent a squadron of cavalry and ordered,

If the lives and property of the citizens of Montana can best be protected by striking Mountain Chief’s band, I want them struck. Tell Baker to strike them hard.

And so it was with these orders that Baker rode out with his troops and it was under these orders that Baker commanded them to strike hard. The troops struck the wrong camp. Mountain Chief’s was some distance from the camp the soldiers attacked.

Joe Kipp, a well-known figure in Glacier history and scout for Baker’s regiment, reportedly told Baker that this was not Mountain Chief’s encampment. He told him it was Heavy Runner’s camp but Baker gave orders to proceed.

Heavy Runner was friendly to the whites and many of the people in his encampment were sick from small pox. When the bullets started to rain down, Heavy Runner went out to meet the soldiers and was shot down. Some reported that he was carrying papers from the U. S. government as well as had a U.S. flag draped around his shoulders.

The troops then descended upon the camp and massacred nearly everyone in it.

Official records indicated there were 173 dead and 20 wounded. Nearly all of victims were women, children, or men too ill to defend themselves. This is one of the darkest deeds perpetrated on Native Americans of this region by the white man.

This is a sad bit of history. It is fitting that this beautiful mountain be named for Heavy Runner and let his legacy of peace live on in this International Peace Park.

For more stories about the places in Glacier make sure you check out What They Called It. This book features stories about the names along Going-to-the-Sun Road and is available on my website.

Do you want to learn more about the history of Glacier National Park? I am on a quest to learn more and I would be glad to help find answers to your questions. Drop me a line at info@climbglacier.com and I will see what I can find out.

Blake

© Montana Outdoor Guidebooks, 2015

Worth More Than A Wooden Nickel

The History

How would you feel if you saw your likeness on a coin? One man in Glacier’s history had that experience.

The son of a prominent Blackfeet chief thought his caricature was on the buffalo / Indian-head nickel that was released by the U.S. Mint in 1913. This Blackfeet Chief also has a mountain named after him.

 Chief Two Guns White Calf, circa 1933. T. J. Hileman photograph.“Photo courtesy of Glacier National Park Archives”.

Chief Two Guns White Calf, circa 1933. T. J. Hileman photograph.“Photo courtesy of Glacier National Park Archives”.

Chief White Calf was responsible for many of the Blackfeet Tribe’s treaties. He is the namesake for White Calf Mountain on the eastern border of Glacier National Park.

White Calf’s adopted son John Two Guns White Calf was convinced that his likeness was on the buffalo/Indian-head nickel that was released in 1913.

Two Guns White Calf was a colleague of James W. Schultz. In addition to being an influential Blackfeet tribal leader in the early 1900s White Calf assisted with providing Native American names for places in the park.

So next time you are in a foreign country and are digging through your loose change don’t surprised if you see your likeness on a coin.  You will better be able to relate to John Two Guns White Calf.

Things To Consider:

BuffaloNickel

Do you see the reason why White Calf thought this was his profile?

1. White Calf Mountain is located between the St. Mary and Cut Bank Valleys and on the eastern boundary of Glacier National Park.  It can be seen along the Looking Glass Highway.

2. We will have a climbing route for White Calf Mountain in Volume 5 of the Climb Glacier National Park that will be released in 2016.

3. The story featured in today’s  post can be found in Volume 2 of What They Called It that will be released in the Fall of 2015. Look for pre-release information in future blogs and on our webpage.

4. Sign up for the Glacier National Park History Blog, on the side bar of this page, and we will send you a new Glacier History Blog every Thursday.

5. Consider signing up for ON ROUTE, a monthly email that features information about visiting Glacier National Park. ON ROUTE has tips and techniques as well as suggestions to make your next trip to Glacier even better.

Do you want to learn more about the history of Glacier National Park?

I am on a quest to learn more and I would be glad to help find answers to your questions. Drop me a line at info@climbglacier.com and I will see what I can find out.

In the meantime, make sure you check out What They Called It. This book features stories about the names along Going-to-the-Sun Road and is available on our website.

The story featured in today’s  post can be found in Volume 2 of What They Called It that will be released in the Fall of 2015.

Thanks for joining me on this quest for the story behind the History.

Blake

© Montana Outdoor Guidebooks, 2015

Climb Glacier Education Series: Preventing Sun Damage

EducationAs we all know sunlight is a powerful source of energy. While sunlight is crucial for many processes on the earth such as heat and production of oxygen through photosynthesis; sunlight can also be damaging to the human body with just a little exposure. 

Sunlight is measured in what is called “solar constant” which is equal to the amount of power the sun deposits in a specific area. Without the atmosphere protecting the earth, the solar constant would be 1,370 watts per square meter. But due to the atmosphere the solar constant drops down over 20 percent to 1,000 watts per square meter. The higher in elevation the less protection we receive from the atmosphere. In comparison consider that a toaster requires about 1,000 watts to toast four slices of bread. 

Some observations about sunlight:

The main culprit for damaging skin and eyes is ultraviolet light (UV).

 

UV light is separated into at least three spectrums: UVA, UVB and UVC.

In addition to a sunburn, UV rays can also cause skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.

The eyes can also be permanently damaged by prolonged exposure to sunshine without protection.

UV light is also beneficial; it acts as a natural sterilizer for both instruments as well as water. 

Exposure to UVA is more constant than UVB — it is present at all times and seasons.

UVA is useful for treating certain medical conditions such as psoriasis and healthy exposure to UVB is crucial for production of vitamin D.

Conversely, too much UVA and UVB can also be detrimental and cause such conditions as skin cancer, permanent eye damage and damage the immune system.


UVC rays are the highest in energy and the most dangerous type of ultraviolet light. Little attention has been given to UVC rays in the past since they are filtered out by the atmosphere.

Natural Protection of the Skin

Skin is the human body’s largest organ; on each square inch of skin there are approximately 19 million skin cells.

Skin creates an amazing barrier that usually is impervious to moisture and creates an amazing barrier against infection, cools the body through perspiration, as well as protects vital muscles and bone structure.

Some exposure to sun is healthy for the skin as it produces melanin. Melanin gives the skin its normal color. Exposure to sunshine produces extra melanin which creates a darker pigment to the skin. It is this darker pigment, a sun tan, that helps block UV rays from damaging the skin. But the natural protection of Melanin can only go so far. Too much exposure can cause a number of serious problems.

Problems Associated with Prolonged Sun Exposure

Dry skin is a common cause of itching. Generally, the skin appears dry, flaky and slightly more wrinkled than skin on other parts of your body that have not been exposed to the sun. 

Sunburn causes pain and redness on sun-exposed skin with a clear distinction between where skin is protected and where it was not. More severe cases of sunburn produce painful blisters and may associated with nausea and dizziness. 

Think of blisters as the body trying to put the burn out from the inside out. Persons with large areas of sunburn could possibly be at risk of dehydration as well. The key here is to cool the sun burn with cool water just like a heat burn. Cooling aloe gels are also useful for providing comfort as well as replenishing moisture in the skin. 

Proper hydration is key here as well. In strenuous activity in hot conditions, such as fighting forest fires on Hot Shot crews, it is not unusual to require one quart of water per hour. Although most activities are not that demanding this can be used as a guideline.

Actinic keratosis

Actinic keratosis is the first step to developing skin cancer. Actinic keratosis appears as small bump that feel like sandpaper or a persistent patch of scaly (peeling) skin that may have a jagged or even sharp surface and that has a pink, yellow, red or brownish tint.


Seborrheic keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is characterized by tan, brown or black growths have a wart-like or waxy, pasted-on appearance and range in size from very small to more than 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) across. The precise cause isn’t known, but these lesions are seen in aging skin. Typically, seborrheic keratoses don’t become cancerous, but they can resemble skin cancer. 

Damage to the skin’s Collagen. Collagen is called the glue that holds our bodies together. It makes up about 25 percent of the amounts of proteins in the human body. Without it, the body would, quite literally, fall apart. 

Sun damages the skin’s collagen which is indicated by fine lines, deeper wrinkles, a thickened skin texture and easy bruising on sun-exposed areas, especially the back of the hands and forearms. 

I am not a doctor but I am concerned about skin cancer and understand the importance of protecting my skin.

Look for the conclusion of this article in next week’s blog titled: Prevention of Sun Damage (part 2)

© Montana Outdoor Guidebooks, 2015

Belton – Andrew or Daniel?

The HistoryBefore 1949, West Glacier, MT was called Belton.

Belton served as the starting point for visitors coming to the west side of Glacier National Park.

For a short span of time, Belton was home to the park headquarters at Belton Chalet.

There are a few theories about who or what inspired the name Belton.

DSCN4982

The Belton Hills

Some suggest that Belton was a trapper, a town, or even a cook.

The cook theory seems most likely, and there are two possibilities.  One of the cooks was named Daniel Webster Bell.

Bell reportedly took up a claim by the camp being used to build the Great Northern Railway and cut ties for the railroad to pay the bills.  He was a veteran of the Civil War and served as a cook for the Great Northern Railway survey parties.  The area was referred to as Bell’s Town or Belton.

Another possibility is that Belton is named for a cook named Andrew Belton.  This particular Belton was also a camp cook at a regular stop on the railroad.

Pick your favorite and go with that.

Here’s what we do know for sure.

In 1934 and 1935, residents of Belton decided they wanted to more closely identify their town with the park.  A petition to change the name to West Glacier was drawn up and was supported by both the National Park Service and the Great Northern Railway.

For some reason, it did not happen at that time.

In 1949, the West Glacier Lions Club once again brought up the idea, and the petition was passed, well almost.  This time the Great Northern Railway did not support the petition. The railway station and the town on the south of the tracks became known as Belton Station.  The portion of town on the north side of the tracks was called West Glacier.

The town had two names for quite awhile, and the railway depot is still called Belton.

Schultz wrote that this small rounded set of hills above the Middle Fork of the Flathead River were called the SPOTTED FOOT MOUNTAINS by the Kootenai.

The Belton Hills were burned in the 1929 Half Moon Fire that claimed so much of the timber in this area. One benefit of the fire was to open up the southeastern slopes as winter grazing areas for elk and deer.

Here’s what I think.

I think the town Belton was named for Daniel Webster Bell.  This story has more facts and therefore, at least in my mind, more credibility.

The Andrew story is a lacking juicy details that we historians like and requires little imagination to make the leap from Andrew’s last name to a town named Belton…BORING!

I imagine that Daniel learned how to cook during the Civil War when there were not many women available on the front lines and he figured that he would ply his unique set of skill for the railroad and made his way west after the war.

The railway came to the Flathead Valley in 1891 and this would have made Daniel to be a minimum of 44 years of age if he was only 18 when the Civil War ended in 1865.  It would not be uncommon for a railroad to hire cooks and other support personnel to aid in the effort to push the tracks west.  Imagine the numerous survey parties that needed to eat everyday.

That’s my opinion based upon absolutely nothing except a little math and some notion that the more facts a story has the closer it MAY be to the truth.

What piece of Glacier National Park real estate do you want to learn more about?

Send me a message and I will get to work.

Thanks for joining in for this small bit of fun history about Glacier National Park.  Not all of it is true but it is interesting.

Blake

© Montana Outdoor Guidebooks, 2014

Sources:

Schultz, W. R., Signposts of Adventure, Glacier National Park As the Indians Know It, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1926

Robinson, D. H., Through The Years In Glacier National Park, West Glacier, MT, Glacier Natural History Association, 1960

Buchholtz, C. W., Man In Glacier, West Glacier, MT, Glacier Natural History Association, 1976

Heavy Shield Mountain

The History Mount Wilbur (9,321 ft. / 2,842 m.) is the showpiece of the Many Glacier Valley.

This peak received its current name in 1885 when George Bird Grinnell named it for a business partner, E. R. Wilbur.

Mount Wilbur from the false summit of Mount Grinnell

Mount Wilbur from the false summit of Mount Grinnell

The peak was unclimbed until Norman Clyde summited it in August of 1923.  In those days it was thought to be impossible to climb to the summit of Mount Wilbur.  Clyde, an accomplished mountaineer, climbed it solo and built a huge cairn that was visible the next day from the patio at the Many Glacier Hotel.  This removed all doubt that he accomplished this incredible feat.

James W. Schultz wrote that peak was to be called Heavy Shield Mountain.

Iceberg Lake from the summit of Mount Wilbur

Iceberg Lake from the summit of Mount Wilbur

Heavy Shield was a chief of the Bloods and was also known as Many Spotted Horses because of his preference for pinto horses.  Heavy Shield was the chief of the one of the wealthiest bands on the Blood Nation, they were sometimes referred to as the Many Fat Horses Band.  Heavy Shield amassed a large herd of horses while on the warpath.  It is said that he personally owned around three hundred pintos when he signed Treaty Seven in 1877.

View to the northeast from Mount Wilbur

View to the northeast from Mount Wilbur

Heavy Shield was a man of action. In response to learning of the death of his youngest brother at the hands of the Kootenai Heavy Shield rode out of camp with two companions to “make peace” with the first Kootenai he met.

Here is how Hugh Dempsey told the story.

The Kootenai he met was White Horse, who had been scolded by his aunt for trying to ride his uncle’s horse so he went and stole one from a nearby Piegan Camp.

When White Horse saw Heavy Shield and his companions approaching he was worried but relaxed as soon as he realized the party were Bloods not Piegans. The parties met and Heavy Shield asked White Horse to smoke with them.

While preparing the pipe Heavy Shield told his companions to kill White Horse while speaking in sign with White Horse. When his companions failed to shoot, Heavy Shield stated, “I have killed nine enemy,” he sighed and said, “I guess I will make it ten” and he killed White Horse.

It was said that “the peace Heavy Shield had made was with himself, not with his enemies.”

Interestingly, Heavy Shield Mountain was a proposed name for Heavy Runner Mountain as well.  So please do not associate the name given for a peak as the exact peak that the name was originally provided for.  Names have bounced around … a lot.

Recommendations:

1) Don’t climb this one unless you have skills using ropes, harness and the proper gear to safely rappel.

2) Enjoy it from a distance.  Mount Wilbur is easy to spot from various places around Many Glacier and along the Continental Divide.

I want to thank Roger Wolfshorndl; from Kalispell,MT for asking me to write about this spectacular peak. We are planning to climb Mount Wilbur this summer.  I will let you know how it goes.

What piece of Glacier National Park real estate do you want to learn more about?

Send me a message and I will get to work.

Thanks for joining in for this small bit of fun history about Glacier National Park.  Not all of it is true, but it is interesting.

Blake

Sources:
Schultz, W. R., Signposts of Adventure, Glacier National Park As the Indians Know It, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1926
HAER No. MT-79, National Park Service Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 20013-7127
Ring, Dan, et al, James Henderson: Wicite Owapi Wicasa, The Man Who Paints The Old Men, Mendel Art Gallery, 2010
Dempsey, Hugh A., The Amazing Death of Calf Shirt and Other Blackfoot Stories: Three Hundred Years of Blackfoot History, University of Oklahoma Press, 1996

© Montana Outdoor Guidebooks, 2014