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Team: North
Friday, August 2, 2002
Hiking the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail
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A carpet of mountain wildflowers in Glacier National Park

A carpet of mountain wildflowers in Glacier National Park
Courtesy Dana Bell

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A fat, fuzzy marmot checks out Team North in Glacier Natl Park

A fat, fuzzy marmot checks out Team North in Glacier Natl Park
Courtesy Dana Bell

Team North is getting into the rhythm of backpacking, as they leave the waters of the Belly River, veering east on the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail, and emerging near the Many Glaciers Campground. They'll descend about 2300 feet as they hike, but they'll get some good looks at a number of glaciers to the west, capping the sharpened peaks.

This hike is a great introduction to the landscaping done during the last ice age. As glacial ice moves, it plucks rock and debris from the sides and bottom of the valleys. Rocks falling on the glacier from above mix with the glacial ice as well. A glacier is filled with rock and gravel. Over long periods of time the sandpaper-like quality of the moving ice scours and reshapes the land into, broad U-shaped valleys (cirques), sharp peaks (horns and aretes), and lake filled basins. Massive ancient glaciers grinding over he bedrock below produced the spectacular landforms the trekkers are seeing today.
for Friday, August 2
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