Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wind Peak without the wind

Profile of Wind Mountain from the road

H. Wayne Phillips relaxes on top

On the summit
I took a quick climb of Wind Peak (elevation: 6,917 feet) on the Rocky Mountain Front northwest of Choteau on Tuesday with friend Wayne Phillips.
We were looking for something that wouldn't take much time, but would give us a mountaineering experience. This offered both.
We took it from the South Fork Teton side. The main Teton Canyon Road offers better views of this peak, that looks pointed and inaccessible from that side.
I had climbed this once before with Ralph Thornton, the late John Carr and Mark Hertenstein, during an especially open winter.
I remembered that we had to wrap around the mountain to attain the summit, but didn't remember how.
Luckily, I had Wayne with me who has a good sense of these things and helped choose a very direct and simple route that kept us out of the cliffs.
The top offers sweeping views of the high Teton peaks on the Front.
We had an unusual windless day, made all the more unusual in that we were climbing Wind Mountain.
The keys to climbing this peak include aiming for a saddle from the road at a point located about three-quarters of a mile beyond the Lewis and Clark National Forest sign, and looking for a good gully to scramble up to the northwest side of the large cliffs. Once above these cliffs the top is gained by following a small path at the base of the summit cap to the south and popping up on top!
It is about a 1,600 feet climb from the road.

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