|Range/Region:||Central Montana Rockies|
|Best months for climbing:||Jul, Aug, Sep|
|Nearest major airport:||Great Falls, MT|
|Convenient Center:||St. Mary, MT|
Thanks to Ronald James for adding this peak.
Heavy Runner Mountain is located in Glacier National Park in northwest Montana. Part of the Lewis Range, Heavy Runner is situated along the east side of the Continental Divide immediately east of Reynolds Mountain and west of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain. The mountain is an east-west trending ridge with steep slopes on the eastern end of the ridge. When seen from the east the mountain takes on a horn-shaped appearance with significant relief above the head of the Saint Mary valley.
The sedimentary rock of Heavy Runner Mountain was shaped by 1.6 billion years of geologic processes from sediment deposition, uplift, thrust faulting, and erosion by glaciers. The major geologic event that sculpted the landscape of Heavy Runner Mountain and the other peaks in Glacier National Park began approximately 2 million years ago when large ice sheets of the Pleistocene Ice Age repeatedly advanced and retreated until about 12,000 years ago.
Heavy Runner Mountain named in honor of Heavy Runner, a peaceful Blackfeet Indian Chief, who was massacred along with most of his camp by Col. Eugene M. Baker's detachment on the Marias River on January 23, 1870. A column of cavalry and infantry under Brevet Colonel Eugene M. Baker, accompanied by the two Clark boys, left Fort Shaw to find Mountain Chief and his band of some fifteen hundred Blackfeet and settle a score once and for all. On the night of January 23, they came upon an Indian village in the dark and surrounded it, presumably thinking it was the camp of Mountain Chief, who was camped farther down the river. The camp was, in reality, a smallpox camp headed by Heavy Runner, an Indian who had been unswervedly friendly to the whites. Heavy Runner went out to meet the men and was shot down. The troops then descended upon the camp and massacred nearly everyone in it, which resulted, from official records, in 173 dead and 20 wounded, nearly all of whom were women and children or men too ill to defend themselves. Some reports state that Baker was informed when the shooting started that this was the wrong camp. Whether it be true or not, the fact remains that the Marias Massacre (aka Baker Massacre) was one of the blackest deeds perpetrated upon the Indians by the white men of this region. (source NPS)
Refer to a Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park, by J. Gordon Edwards for special dangers because this is grizzly bear country.
Thanks to Ronald James for this description.