Sunday, June 08, 2014

Highwood Baldy via North Peak ridge

The hike, the scenery, the top, the flowers on the North Peak-Highwood Baldy climb
It would be hard to have a prettier, more temperate day for a climb in the Highwood Mountains, but it all came together on Sunday.
We've done this North Peak ridge several times before.  We save it for when the Highwoods are their greenest and the flowers the prettiest.  It was all that.
I knew we had picked the right day when after we had crested North Peak we looked down and saw a young bull elk and several blue birds skittering about.
This is a straight-forward climb ---- achieve North Peak from the Geyser side, a gain of nearly 1,500 feet, and then proceed along that ridgeline all the way back to Highwood Baldy (elevation: 7,625 feet).
The distance is 10.15 miles and the elevation gain and loss is in the neighborhood of 3,300 feet, a substantial day by any measure.
The only thing that could mar this climb is the development on the peak itself, a couple of broadcast transmitter towers and a road that comes up the Little Belt Creek Road from the south and west.
Because there is snow still drifted over part of the road, there was little sign that anyone had been this way yet.
The hike from the north, the Deer Creek route, is more robust, the 3,200 feet elevation gain done in about 3.5 miles.  It is a different experience than the ridge walk we took Sunday.

No comments: