Over Gunsight Pass

To me one of the most stirring sights in all Glacier is the view of Gunsight Pass from the foot of Gunsight Lake. The immense glaciered uplift of Mount Jack-son on the south of the pass, the wild whitened sides of Gunsight Mountain opposite dropping to the up-turned strata of red shale at the water’s edge, the pass itself—so well named perched above the dark precipice at the lake’s head, the corkscrew which the trail makes up Jackson’s perpendicular flank and its pas-sage across a mammoth snow-bank high in air—these in contrast with the silent black water of the sunken lake produce ever the same thrill however often seen. The look back, too, once the pass is gained, down St. Mary’s gracious valley to Going-to-the-Sun Mountain and its horizon companions ! Sun Mountain (for short), always a personality, is never from any other point of view so undeniably the crowned majesty as from Gunsight Pass. And finally, looking forward, which in this speaking means westward, the first revelation of Lake Ellen Wilson gives a shock of awed astonishment whose memory can never pass.

Truly, Gunsight is a pass of many sensations, for, leaving Lake Ellen Wilson and its eighteen hundred feet of vertical frothing outlet, the westward trail crosses the shoulder of Lincoln Peak to the Sperry Glacier and its inviting chalet (where the biggest hoary marmot I ever saw sat upon my dormitory porch), and, eight miles farther down the mountain, beautiful Lake McDonald.