Whitefish Mt, Montana-Harpers 1st Summit

Whitefish-4

My First Backpacking Trip


We left St Mary KOA and drove through the forest fires on Route 2 toward West Glacier, and arrived safely at Columbia Falls RV Park to visit with Kevin and Ericka in Kalispell.

We met Kevin, Ericka, Harper, Linda and Panda at Whitefish Mountain Resort this morning to take Harper on her first hike. She started in the backpack on Kevin’s back and we began hiking up the Danny On Trail, which extends 3.8 miles one way from the base area of Whitefish Mountain to its summit. The Danny On Trail was dedicated as a memorial to Danny On, a renowned nature photographer, conservationist, and avid skier on the Big Mountain. He died at the young age of 55 in a skiing accident on the Big Mountain. Harper was content to stay in the backpack for a while but soon she wanted out. She put on her own backpack and took off up the trail. We followed behind at a very slow pace and Kevin figured we would be turning around soon to go back down. However, Ericka had different plans and was determined to get to the summit. Bob put Harper on his back for the rest of the way to the top and Harper was happy to be on Grandpa’s back, she was so high up above everyone. After 4 hours we all made it to the Summit House where we had a bite to eat and enjoyed the 360 degrees views of alpine wonder. Kevin had to take Panda back down the trail and the rest of us took the chairlift down. At the bottom we took a ride on the Alpine Slide, I took Harper in my sled and we raced down the slide controlling my speed through straight-aways and around banked curves. She loved it! She certainly is a trooper and when we got back to the car Kevin and Panda came racing down the trail. Linda took the Harps home for a sleep, while Kevin, Ericka, Bob and I went into Whitefish for lunch at Casey’s Bar, and we ate on the patio on the roof.

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After 4 hours we all made it to the Summit House where we had a bite to eat and enjoyed the 360 degrees views of alpine wonder. Kevin had to take Panda back down the trail and the rest of us took the chairlift down. At the bottom we took a ride on the Alpine Slide, I took Harper in my sled and we raced down the slide controlling my speed through straight-aways and around banked curves. She loved it! She certainly is a trooper and when we got back to the car Kevin and Panda came racing down the trail. Linda took the Harps home for a sleep, while Kevin, Ericka, Bob and I went into Whitefish for lunch at Casey’s Bar, and we ate on the patio on the roof.