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HeyItsBen
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HeyItsBen
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PostWed Aug 18, 2021 6:07 pm 
Looking for partners for Mt Cleveland asap. I can arrive the day before and should be able to secure permits. Easiest route due to border closure is via the Belly River from the Chief Mountain trailhead then via Stoney Indian Pass. I'm thinking 4 days: 2 day approach, 1 day summit, 1 day out. 3 days also possible if needed. Starting this coming Sunday (Aug 22nd) would be preferable but I have some flexibility.

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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostThu Aug 26, 2021 6:46 pm 
Hey Ben, Luck with it. I've done Cleveland twice, once from each side. The ledge route from Stony Indian is elegant. We did it from a camp at Sue Lake (we had just done The Nervous Traverse/Ipasha Connection) and it was a very long day. Fresh Griz tracks on the summit snow. If you need to call an audible Mount Merrit is right there, and Kaina also. All are memorable.

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HeyItsBen
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PostThu Aug 26, 2021 9:14 pm 
Hi Eric thanks for the kind words. The ledges look intimidating. What other route did you take on Cleveland?

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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostFri Aug 27, 2021 5:45 am 
Ben, we did the southwest side which comes up from the Kootenai Lakes area, first on elk trails. Actual ascent is a moderate scramble. Memory has that being considered the standard route back then ( early 90's) Ledges have some exposure but I don't remember it as awful. As you exit the ledge onto the broader slope leading to the summit you may want to take a moment to look back at your exit route. I mistakenly began the wrong ledge on our descent. Bear in mind that my experience is near 30 years back and something may have slid in the time since. Glacier rock is not Sierra granite. Joke was one hand to climb, one hand to hold the mountain together. Edit: I googled "images for Stoney Indian ledge route to Mount Cleveland" and a number of pictures came up.

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HeyItsBen
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HeyItsBen
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PostFri Aug 27, 2021 10:34 am 
Thanks Eric! I'm on my way there now and looking forward to it.

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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostFri Aug 27, 2021 1:37 pm 
Hope to see a trip report.

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HeyItsBen
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protravel
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protravel
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PostSat Nov 13, 2021 7:56 pm 
hope to see few pictures.

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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostSun Nov 14, 2021 9:09 am 
Protravel, I wrote to Ben awhile back asking how it went. They bailed near the top seeing a sketchy, exposed part. Ben mentioned planning to do the west bowl next year. I've done both routes (years back) and remember the Stoney Indian ledges route as narrow. i.e. a minor rockslide, or similar event, could change the risk rating easily. I did a web scan and found a bunch of pictures of both routes posted.

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HeyItsBen
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HeyItsBen
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HeyItsBen
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PostSun Nov 14, 2021 9:54 am 
What Eric said is accurate. The exposure was severe on the east side ledges, but the footing was good and the holds were there when you needed them, so it felt easy and fun and my partner and I were making good time. Pictures make it look worse than it really is. We had less than a half mile left to finish the ledges but ran into a section that was covered in downsloping soft sand directly over the cliffs with no handholds, one slip surely would have been fatal. We couldn't see where the footing would improve again and it was just beyond our risk tolerance. It would have been an easy walk though and someone summitted by the same route a few days later but it just wasn't for us. Anyway it was spectacular and I'm looking forward to going back to the west side bowl. I believe it'll be lots of 3rd class scrambling but I think it'll be a better route for my partner and I next year. Also the walk in permits weren't that hard to get, you just need to be there at 4am. I was first in line and the guys who ended up behind me would have screwed up our plans (they were backpacking with a large group on the same route). I actually adjusted our schedule a bit to make their itinerary possible. Bring a camp chair. We hiked in from Chief Mountain on the NE side of the park, and I would recommend this approach for the Stoney Indian route. Most seem to prefer coming in from Goat Haunt (when its open), but the Chief Mountain approach makes a lot of sense. The hike in is almost completely flat, there are several campsites that you can make your summit attempt from, and you don't have to deal with going into Canada and taking a boat. The summit day is longer from the Chief Mountain approach, but its a very reasonable 3 days. The first picture is pretty typical on the east side. Footing was secure and the handholds were good. The part where we turned around was like that but with sloping sand and no holds. The second picture, you can see my partner who blends in. This is on the way back to the cross over notch after we turned around. You can see how bad the exposure is, but it felt very secure and easy.

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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostSun Nov 14, 2021 3:07 pm 
Ben, re Southwest Bowl approach. We followed a route description in Gordon Edward's Climbers Guide to GNP. That got us through the forest and onto good elk trails with a minimum of wasted energy. We set a camp in the bowl. I also remember verifying the route description with the local backcountry ranger. Back then the district ranger required backcountry ranger new hires at Goat Haunt solo Cleveland. You may want to scan for recent trip reports for the approach route or try getting the Goat Haunt ranger on the phone to verify the details. I remember other parties complaining of a lot of alders etc. but I suspect they were off route. My experience (back in the day) was that experienced rangers (as opposed to first season in the park types) would gladly talk over the route with you as long as you seemed reasonably competent.

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HeyItsBen
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HeyItsBen
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HeyItsBen
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PostSun Nov 14, 2021 7:08 pm 
Thank Eric, I think we'll also plan to camp in the bowl, but I'm not sure if that's technically legal these days. My friend picked up Edwards book and it does mention a good place to set up. Its been a while since I looked but I remember there being a good GPS track on Peakbagger that gets through the alders. Fingers crossed for next year! If I'm lucky it could be my Lower 48 Ultras list finish up.gif

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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostMon Nov 15, 2021 9:44 pm 
You see this page? Tanner Rodgers shows up with 6 ascents. https://www.peakbagger.com/peak.aspx?pid=4756

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HeyItsBen
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PostTue Nov 16, 2021 10:51 am 
Haha I did, and it looks like he mostly takes the West Bowl. Very cool.

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Eric Hansen
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Eric Hansen
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PostTue Nov 16, 2021 6:30 pm 
Seems like he is still part of the local scene. I found him on the FB page of the Alpine Club of Canada, S. Alberta section

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HeyItsBen
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Matt Lemke
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Matt Lemke
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PostFri Nov 19, 2021 1:54 pm 
Shame I missed this back in August...did you make it up Cleveland? If not, shoot me a message anytime I really want to climb that peak.

The Pacific coast to the Great Plains = my playground!!! SummitPost Profile See my website at: http://www.lemkeclimbs.com
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