Marc Ankenbauer's 10+ year quest to jump in every named lake in Glacier and Waterton National Parks for charity.
168 lakes. Only 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
-- Marc jumped into Fisher Cap Lake on Sunday September 8th, 2013 to complete his goal! --
Read about Marc and how this project started...

Sky Lake Bid – A whole lot of straight up

Good Morning everyone,
Can I see a show of hands…Who here has been to the Two Medicine valley of Glacier National Park? It’s in the southeastern corner…Huh…..
Great, that’s actually a good amount of you.

Yes, Maam? You in the back with the blue shirt on…Do you have a question?

Dmoiunamdklsdfjlkoiwekdfasdklfj (enter Charlie Browns teacher sound.)

I’m going to repeat your question, I’m not sure everyone understood, uh…..heard it…

She asked: What is the highest mountain in the Two Medicine area? Also, is it true that the highest elevation named lake in the park is in a hanging basin on that mountain?

Well, you are very correct. The mountain is called Rising Wolf and the highest elevation lake in the park is nestled in a hole on the east side of it…

I know I’ve got a picture around here somewhere of that mountain…Gimme a second… While I look for it, allow me to recount the day my friend Laura and I scrambled up to it…

*(enter dream sequence sounds from movies like Wayne’s World..)

It was a slow start to a hot and sunny day, as the residents of the St. Mary trailer park awoke. There was the normal scramble at the end of the night before attempting to figure out what to do for the next day. Laura and I had the day off and we were staring at the Glacier map that is tacked on the living room wall. This thing is tattoed into our subconscious but it’s still nice to have map. We could, blah, blah..or maybe blah, blah….

As the morning drug on I was enjoying too much coffee and lazy conversation…Laura was being patient, but forced me to decide… we decided that the only day hike left on the east side of the park that ends in a lake and could be started at noon is Sky Lake in Two Med.

Off we go, zooming down the east side border of the park in Laura’s trusty steed TT. As we approach Two Med we peer down into the valley at our day’s project.

The mountain on the far right is Rising Wolf. The red scree slope in the center is directly above Sky Lake in a small hanging valley. During the early season there is a spectacular waterfall that jets right out of the hanging valley and runs a couple thousand feet to the main valley below.

This is a very short yet angular route. I looked at it every day while I worked down here in 2005. From the Two Medicine Ranger Station you can see that you simply walk straight up the side of Rising Wolf for 2500’ to the top of that ridge to the right of the summit. Easy as that…huh?

It can’t be more than a mile but you raise 2500’. From the second you walk off trail and head through the brush you are headed up hill.

We picked our way through the cliffs and loose rock.

If there is a positive, it’s so steep that every time you take a step you are about a foot higher on the mountain than you were before. You gain some serious elevation quick.

Here we are looking back down on Two Medicine developed area. The campground is to the left next to Pray Lake and then the ranger station, picnic area, camp store and boat docks are to the right on Middle Two Medicine Lake.

Nearing the top you can see that this was an amazingly steep incline.

We are happy to gain the top of the ridge.

We could not drop down the other side at this point, so we had to climb around on the top of the ridge to a better spot for decent on the lake.

We got further down the ridge and we found a spot that was “acceptable” to try and climb down.

Laura led the way through the cliffs, this girl is a goat.

She quickly was down bottom waiting for her slow hiking partner.

So, a quick interjection. I lost my sunglasses right before this hike. You don’t go hiking around in the windy/sunny mountains with out sunglasses. Well, what do you do then?
You take sunglasses from anyone that can offer them, and that includes your female friends. That is how this picture came about. Thanks for the glasses Anna.

While we were climbing back up to the ridge top, I snapped a picture of where the waterfall normally comes out of the lake. So, remembering back to the first picture, this just reinforces how much this basin is just perched on the side of a mountain.

From the top of the ridge you can see out into the plains that start rolling east as you get out of the park.

After a good boot picture we started climbing back down.

There was a band at Charlie’s which is the best bar on the planet. We got things to do..

So, down, down, down it is…

When we got back down to Laura’s car I ran in to a good friend.

Mr. Pat Hagen who is a naturalist in the Two Medicine Valley and has been since before Rising Wolf dated Sinopah. Sorry, a little Two Med humor.

Pat wrote a book a few years ago called Seasonal Disorder, well worth the read. It’s about the mental and emotional affliction that is seasonal work addiction, but using well more funny words. Check it out on

So, anyway, he read my blog and knows of my deranged lake idea, and he is under the impression that I should take my stories and write a book. He has gotten in my head since then, I have been thinking about it a lot since. Any opinions? I’m open to them..

So, to all of you… I miss you much and wish you well. Summer smells of fall and cooler temperatures. We got our first light dusting of snow in the highest of the peaks the other day. It went virtually unnoticed and burnt off within hours.

Go enjoy that summer weather while it’s still’s fleeting in some peoples backyards.

Other than that,
Thanks for taking care of us, Rising Wolf..
You have always been a good mountain to me….

To Life,