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Ascent to Trapper Peak-Mink/Slide Ridge on 1992-09-19

Climber: Greg Slayden

Date:Saturday, September 19, 1992
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Trapper Peak - Mink/Slide Ridge
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:7840 ft / 2389 m
    Remaining Elevation:2317 ft / 706 m (54% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

I was disappointed when I crawled out of my tent this morning to see that it was very overcast out, looking almost like it would rain any second. I walked through the woods between my tent beside the Boulder Creek to the clearing beside the nearby trail and cooked up some breakfast, and then decided to go ahead with my planned assault on Trapper Peak despite the weather. Using my backpack as a daypack, I started hiking directly up the steep slope to the south of the trail.

Trapper Peak was the culmination of a long, complex ridge that was to the south of Boulder Creek, and the usual route of ascent was by a trail on the peak's east side that started at the end of a high dirt road. I was attempting to gain the ridge and then approach the peak from the west, and my starting point was much lower than if I had used the trail. As I bushwhacked up the steep ridge, fighting boulder fields, cliffs, bushes, and steep meadows, I wondered about the wisdom of my plan. I didn't have the greatest maps, and I didn't even know if it was possible to attain the ridge, let alone follow it to Trapper Peak. This was rugged, untracked country, and I was leaving any trails or normal travel routes well behind me on my climb.

After surmounting a couple of steep cliffs by pulling myself up with tree branches and getting high enough to see the Boulder Creek valley below me, I reached a relatively gentle area of talus with more cliffs above me. It was still very overcast, which worried me because Rocky Mountain weather tended to deteriorate towards afternoon. Therefore, after ascending only 1900 vertical feet or so from my campsite on the broad slope between the Mink and Slide Creeks, I decided to turn back, due to a combination of difficult terrain and poor weather.

I descended by first contouring over wild country to the Mink Creek ravine, and then, after crossing the steeply flowing brook, I hiked down on the neighboring steep, open rock slabs. Once the steep part was behind me I cut through forest to the trail, and then hiked along the trail to my campsite. It was about lunchtime, so I retrieved my hung-up food and cooked up a hot meal on my MSR stove, since I was now a pro at using it. Of course, the weather was now improving, with the sun starting to shine through the clouds. I'm positive, though, that if I hadn't turned back, it would have started raining immediately. While eating my lunch a couple on horses passed by on the trail, startling me.

Once I had finished lunch I returned to my tent and packed up my campsite, and then made the long, hot, downhill five mile hike back to my car uneventfully, arriving by about 3 P.M.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1960 ft / 597 m
    Elevation Loss:3340 ft / 1018 m
    Grade/Class:1
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1960 ft / 597 m
    Trailhead:5880 ft / 1792 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:3340 ft / 1018 m
    Trailhead:4500 ft / 1371 m
Ascent Part of Trip: 1992 - Trapper Peak

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Boulder Creek Col South Peak1992-09-18
2(Attempt) Trapper Peak1992-09-19
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

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