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Granite Peak, Montana - July
Timestamp Free: 2020.02.21 - 10:36:44
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / US Rockies / Wyoming Rockies / Absaroka Range
Participants: Richard Carey, Shelly Rogers Several steep 3rd class pitches, several pitches of rappelling on the way down.
Description of access to the peak and climbing it in mixed weather.
The trailhead for Granite Peak is about 40 miles NW of Red Lodge, Montana in long canyon with West Rosebud Creek draining northeast from Mystic Lake. We found a very nice spot in Pine Grove campgound the first one upon entering the canyon and hoped we could start the hike the next day. Again it was foggy and damp with no sun so this time we decided to be a bit smarter and delay one day so we drove back to Red Lodge and looked in all the tourist shops and had a great pizza lunch a Bogart's restaurant. At an animal farm near the town we saw animals rescued which could not be returned to the wild. They had two bears, elk, two wolves, and a fine mountain lion named Helen which Shelley really liked. I have seen them in the wild on two occasions, but never could see them very well. Helen had been raised in a home and was too tame they thought to be released. She was large and healthy looking and played with toys like a house cat. It was really interesting to see the lion so close, a worthwhile visit.
Monday we saw our chance and started the hike on a good trail to Mystic Lake, actually a man-made reservoir, and then south up many switchbacks to Froze-to-Death Plateau. The trail ends here and fog rolled over the plateau as we made our way to the camp area in a broad saddle at 11,600 ft. Visibility was 50 ft. at times in the cool fog and we got a bit high on the ridge into loose talus, not fun with a heavy pack. Groping along using the GPS we got to some rock shelters and thought we were the only ones on the mountain. It cleared during the night and Shelley stuck her head out of the tent to discover four goats sniffing around our camp. They came around later and are not too fearful of humans.
Tuesday we went for the summit since it looked fairly clear. We went to the top...
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