The iconic Trapper Peak, the tallest peak in the Bitterroot at 10,157ft. The trail is very well maintained, additionally, its TH is accessible by most cars once the snow is gone. More details about this Bitterroot hiking mecca can be found at: http://www.summitpost.org/trapper-peak/353250
Joe joined me today in an effort to tag the northeast couloir from the summit of Trapper. Not much to say, as the tour went off without a hitch; aside from accidentally climbing the wrong [much more difficult] out couloir into the Gem/Middle/Baker Lake valley on our way out, but eh, it built character.
I avoid calling any tour "the best yet", as there always seems to be something that stands out from each tour that I love, and didn't experience on another. This time it was the thrill of skiing the main couloir and into the valley of East, North, and West [true] summits of Trapper; the ~10k ft peaks towering overhead was amazing, something I hope the pictures below can bring just a hint of justice to what the views looked like in person on such a gorgeous Montana day.
Side note: the previous week, I took a trip to Squaw [professionally speaking, "Cha-paa-qn"] Peak. Nearly nothing to report here, except the snow is nearly gone, requiring some minor downclimbing to get into the north facing bowl. Immensely cloudy as well. This would make for a fun, fairly easy summer hike, and if anything like McCormick Peak (~2 points west), one should be able to see Flathead Lake from the summit on a clear day.
|Peak looming through the clouds|
Now onto the Trapper Peak tour...
|Solid view of Boulder Peak to the south.|
|Making a b-line to East Trapper Peak for a vantage point of the NE couloir from the true summit.|
|South east, just below the east summit.|
|Our first beautiful look at the couloir in question.|
|Probably not the best place to get vertigo.|
|Taking a gander east from the east summit, Gem, Middle, and Baker lakes.|
|North Trapper Peak|
|Joe making the final push to the true summit.|
|Had just a few clouds blow in and trip over the peak, very fun to see.|
|The valley to which we'd ride into.|
|Last look back from where we'd come.|
|North, and Cave lake just visible.|
|Looking north over the beautiful Bitterroot Range.|
|Eyeing the route. :)|
|The entry, I suspect that within a week one will have to do some minor down-climbing to get into the main portion, that is until the cornice directly above breaks down a bit more.|
|Joe making light work of what the couloir had to offer.|
|Photos looking back up don't always do the steep justice.|
|Gazing back up at the eastern summit.|
|Hazardous slide not too long ago from the northern summit.|
|View from our lunch spot.|
|The very small couloir out, to which we would later discover was the wrong one; but it still worked in a 'pinch' <-- See what I did there? :)|
|Topping out of the character building exit route into the Gem Lake area.|
|The character building downclimb.|
|Found this beaut on the downclimb; exit route we meant to take in the first place.|
|The business end of an old tree.|
|A few weeks ago, this would have made for a fun little run to Gem Lake; now... not so much.|
|The next little out route.|
|Gem Lake couloir looking suave.|
|The route, love love doing loops. Adds so much to the adventure|
Thanks for looking! This will probably be the last post for a while...