What were the conditions like?
MF: We had rain, snow, sleet, heat, cold, wind, calm, and more. Each day was dynamic and the terrain we covered was the same. We were constantly navigating steep snow, rock, and sometimes ice to get to a spot for a photo or to access the glacier to collect water samples.
JL: It ranged from sunny, to cloudy, to straight-up rain for three days. Glacier (National Park) was getting ready for winter, so the weather was kind of unpredictable! As far as terrain, it was definitely technical when we weren’t on designated trails. The off-trail travel was slow with lots of side-hilling. Sometimes we hit snow which made it sketchier and the days longer. We had to be especially careful when planning our route so that we all ended up safe.
Can you talk about the importance of having each other on this trip?
MF: Jenn brought a lightheartedness and goofiness to the journey that was much appreciated. More than anything, all three of us (including photographer Steven Gnam) have a deep connection to the place and came of age in these mountains. That mutual reverence and respect for the land was the connecting thread for us all.
JL: This was the first off-trail, route-finding-sort-of-trip that I’d ever done, so having experts like Mike and (photographer) Steven (Gnam) was really important for me. Their guidance helped me tremendously... especially through the toughest terrain.