Monday, February 27, 2017

Sunset Mountain off Rogers Pass

Approaching the Sunset Mountain summit, which has three telecommunications towers 
Tele turns in the clearcut beneath the summit

A sampling of the terrain along Little Wolf Creek Road

What was shaping up to be a wasted backcountry trip Sunday turned out to be the best trip of the season, although it was a short one.
We did a 6-mile up-and back, 1,100 feet elevation gain backcountry ski trip that started at Rogers Pass and ended at Sunset Mountain (elevation: 6,539 feet).  It followed the Little Wolf Creek Road to the top where there are communications towers.  There is no snowmobile traffic on this road.
This is generally a windswept area, so care needs to be taken to time the ski with a fresh powder dump.
The views in this area are exceptional as this road is located just to the east of the Continental Divide Trail.
There are numerous telemark opportunities from the top in the clearcuts to the south on BLM land.
We started hoping to do a Sun Canyon trip up one of the many gulches there, but when we got there we found no snow.
The route in blue from Rogers Pass
In a quick re-direct, we returned to Augusta and took U.S. 287 back to Montana 200 and Rogers Pass with hopes of finding something better.
We had long looked at that Sunset Mountain area up the Little Wolf Creek Road, but had always opted for the adjacent Continental Divide Trail on the west side instead.
The snow was coming down in buckets and we decided to give it a try.
The skiing was perfect ---- about a foot on top of a solid base, and the road rises steadily but gently.
We were quickly out of earshot from the Rogers Pass traffic.

Click here for a map and more details of trip:

A road with a view

One of several outcrops

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