Glen Lake: This sublime lakes basin burned this summer of 2006, making ski access pretty good while there is little blow down on the ground. West of Victor Montana take the Big Creek access rd west to the Glen Lake rd and follow this road to the trailhead, cutting off switchbacks as necessary or desired. The trail from 6600 feet makes a sweeping contour to the north and passes through a gap in an old burn. At the gap is a Wilderness Boundary sign. Descend from here to the pass and ridge separating Glen LakeÕs drainage south to Sweathouse and the basin north dropping to Big Creek. Follow this ridge west to the divide between the two lakes. At this point there is glade skiing north and below and an obvious series of short bowls to the west. Touring up the northernmost ridge to the summit provides inspiring views of the Big Creek drainage and Bass Peak and is entirely free from avalanche exposure. At the summit there are great views to the south of Gash Point, upper Sweathouse and Sky PilotÕs north face. The journey to the summit is a great tour and the return out is likewise a tour with more downhill but a few spots where skins are necessary. The skiing in the upper basin has everything from mellow glades to steep open faces and cornice drops. The glades to the north below the upper lake provide an additional vertical and the propect of longer runs. There is also an extreme bowl dropping due north for 4000 feet to Big Creek off the summit and beyond a treed glade descending to Hidden Lake. A very enjoyable tour this one can be accomplished by a variety of abilities with a good margin of safety.
February 11th- Skinned up Big Creek for the day and skied up a north facing bowl that we had been curious about for years. The entrance had quite a bit of willow, aspen thicket and was a challenge to get up into the lower basin. From there the views began opening of the upper bowl with its series of chutes and cliffs and ice falls. What a beautiful quiet obscure bowl we were welcomed into as we made it to about 6000' From there the snow got better and progressively deeper POWDER until we were breaking trail in about a foot of good snow on slopes that eventually raised the eyebrows as they approached 45 degrees. We topped out six hours after leaving the trailhead thankful that we could begin what turned out to be an excellent falline descent for about 4000' vertical. The powder was sluffing very manageably and we enjoyed some of the best snow of the season...go figure where it blew in from but there it was. Back at the car three hours later for a full nine hours on the trail.
photo by John Lehrman of large north facing bowl descending 4000 to Big Creek. Glen Lakes Basin to the left.