Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mount Wright, so satisfying

John Kranick on his way to the top

Taking a break

Conquerer of Mount Wright!
I can’t think of a peak anywhere that’s more easily climbed and offers as much instant gratification as Mount Wright (elevation: 8,875 feet) in the Front.
There’s a 3,000 feet elevation gain over about 4 miles on good trail --- a rarity for a Front peak.
John Kranik of Seattle and I took a quick run up Sunday for this spectacular peak. I hadn’t been up since March 2005 on a late winter climb from the West Fork Forest Service cabin where I was staying.
Kranik and I reached the top in 2 hours and 45 minutes without rushing, and were down in 2 hours.
Along the way we were treated to quite a wildflower show that included beargrass, Jones columbine, Indian paintbrush, and scads of alpine forget-me-nots.
From the top I don’t know which direction holds my favorite view.
To the east, the Front is below you, dominated by Choteau Mountain. To the north, it’s the mountains of the Bob Marshall and Glacier Park. You can clearly see Rising Wolf and Mount St. Nick, Patrick Gass and Heart Butte. To the west, it is a mindboggling show across the entire Bob Marshall. We could pick out numerous high points ---- Pentagon, Great Northern, Pagoda, Wrong Ridge, Corrugate Ridge, Holland and Swan peaks, the North Wall; the list could go on. There appeared to be plenty of snow on east faces. To the south, Ear, Rocky, Old Baldy, Teton, Lockhart.
On the way down we bumped into the only other party we saw all day --- two Helena acquaintances, Gayle Joslin and Jim Posewitz --- both of whom are well known as advocates for Montana wild country.
We found it amazing that only two parties were on the mountain on this glorious summer day!

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