Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Lockhart ridge was a 'breeze'

Up we go

On the ridge with Lockhart behind Mark Hertenstein

Down we go!
It felt like autumn was yielding to winter Saturday as we climbed Mount Lockhart (elevation: 8,691 feet) in the Rocky Mountain Front northwest of Choteau.
The wind howled during the entire hike, with extra velocity on the 8,400 feet ridgeline.
The sky was a steely gray with rapidly scooting storm clouds.
It even spit tiny specs of snow.
The mountain is already spotted with streaks of shallow snow.
Our route was up the North Fork of Waldron Creek to the large bowl beneath the headwall. There’s a steep ridge that reaches the headwall from the bowl.
When we hit the ridgeline we also hit gale force winds that were sweeping a cold front across the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area.
We were able to inspect the farthest reaches of the Fool Creek Fire that Mount Lockhart blocked from Waldron Creek. We could see where the fire had burned from the Wrong Creek area into Nesbitt Creek.
To the east we could see the fire’s marks on the backside of the Teton Pass ski area, stopped at the ridge just above Waldron Creek.
We stopped at less than 200 feet from the top because of the hurricane-like winds.
Then it was straight down the east face of the mountain and out.
Lucky for us that we got this mountain climbed Saturday because even stronger winds are predicted Sunday --- in the 90 mph range.

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