Bishops Cap on the Garden Wall

 

Bishops Cap; The rocky jagged dramatically jutting tower formation that looks like a particular type of religious hat, (in the middle of the ridge above) known as a mitre, which Roman Catholic bishops or abbots wear. No one has a clue when it was named. This formation that sits atop the Garden Wall in Glacier National Park and as seen above from Logans Pass,  it is one of the most iconic scenes in the park. In the image below, Bishops Cap sits atop the Garden Wall between the trees. The rugged rock face on the right is the lower part of Polock Mountain.

The Garden Wall is the name given to the steep alpine covered area along the west side of the Continental divide that runs north from Logan Pass, over Pollock Mountain past Bishops Cap and over Mount Gould then along the Continental Divide before ending at Swiftcurrent Mountain.  In the image below starting from the left along the ridgeline is Swiftcurrent Mountain then moving to the right along the ridgeline is Mount Gould, the Bishops Cap and on to Polock Mountain.

Bishops Cap is usually viewed from the high alpine meadows atop Logans Pass or as in the following image; from down below in the valley along McDonald Creek as it flows towards Lake McDonald. These rocky crags take on different shapes when viewed from different positions, here Bishops Cap juts out in the middle of the ridgeline with Mount Gould on the left and Polock Mountain on the right. Below the rocky cliff faces lay the near vertical alpine meadows that cling to the steep mountainsides for which the name Garden Wall was given.

From Above and Behind the Garden Wall

There is a radically different view of Bishops Cap provided from above the eastern or “back” side of the Garden Wall. The image below was lensed from a diametrically opposite view (from the first image up top) of Bishops Cap. The Continental Divide runs along that sharp ridgeline (also called an “arête”) from Pollock Mountain on the left to Bishops Cap in the center and along that jagged precipitous backbone to the right, which is the beginning of the south ridge of Mount Gould.

Below in this closer image of Bishops Cap, the precipitously narrow arête or rocky spine trails off to the northern side towards Mount Gould. This monumental rocky backbone separates the region known as Many Glaciers on the west side of the Continental Divide from the Lake McDonald Valley to the west.


In this sequence of images above and below; across the valley to the west of Bishops Cap rises the sharply sloping triangular shape of Mount Oberlin, and behind is the long rising projecting prominence of Clements Mountain, and behind that still is the northeastern face of Bearhat Mountain.  On the left side of the image lay the Hanging Gardens of Logan Pass.

And in this final image below, this unique vista of Bishops Cap reveals the dramatically sharp ridgeline that traverses Polock Mountain on the left, passing Bishops Cap and then continues an even more rugged and craggy journey northwards towards Mount Gould.

 

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