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North America, United States, Montana, Glacier National Park, New Ice and Alpine Routes

Glacier National Park, New Ice and Alpine Routes. New routes in Glacier National Park often come in flurries, largely because they depend on rare combinations of fair weather and minimal avalanche hazard. Such was the case in 1998, when climbers established several new ice and alpine routes during brief windows at the end of one winter and the start of the next. On April 1, Marc Venery and Blase Reardon climbed The Bohdi Tree (IV WI4, 450') in Avalanche Basin. This climb shares a first pitch with Monument Falls. The route diverges left at the snow ledge, then ascends a sustained headwall for two pitches. Though the fall was warm and dry, a polar front arrived the week before Christmas, diverting locals from moist-tooling experiments on mossy boulders. Routes formed within days, and climbers established three new routes in Avalanche Basin. On December 20, Kirby Spangler and Marc Venery climbed Contrarian Investment (IV WI5, 400') in bitterly cold temperatures. The route is the leftmost of three drips on Bubba’s Moonshine Wall, and like the remaining two routes, rewards a long, dangerous approach with an airy, fantastic position. Two days later, Spangler and Venery returned with Ryan Hokanson. The trio climbed The Fountainhead (IV WI4, 275'), a steep pillar below and left of Monument Falls. Spangler and Hokanson rested another day, then followed Kelly Cordes up Treehugger (III WI4, 200'). This route is located 300-400 feet above the outlet of the lake, in an amphitheater on the lower reaches of Bearhat Mountain.

Blase Reardon, unaffiliated