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Ascent of Highwood Baldy on 2016-05-08

Climber: Brian Oelberg

Date:Sunday, May 8, 2016
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Peak:Highwood Baldy
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:7000 ft / 2133 m

Ascent Trip Report

Highwood Baldy - North Ridge.
Didn't follow directions. Drove the Subaru through Highwood Creek but water came up over the hood on this 80 degree day, so turned around and parked at the Y on Upper Highwood Creek Road, at the turn to Thain Creek Campground. Jumped the fence and forded Highwood Creek where it gets narrow. Followed cattle trails up the ridge north of McMurty Creek, jumped a second fence marked National Forest Boundary and picked up well-established cattle trails. Followed the ridge trending south towards the peak through meadows and old growth Doug Fir. Trail stays below ridgeline until the saddle between 5742 and 6044, passing several old salt licks. Up the treeless ridge to 7000' timber line. At that point the dense alpine forest had several feet of fresh snow, with about a mile to go up the 670' to the tower, so I chose to keep my boots dry and descended without making it to the summit. Great views to west, north and east over the prairie. Smoke from Canadian Fort McMurray fire obscured view to the west, could barely make out Square Butte west of Great Falls, no views of the Rocky Mountain Front on this day. 5-10" of snow in the forecast, so this might be a better route later in the year, or with snowshoes. Would make an excellent ski tour in the winter.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Highwood Baldy - North ridge route follows left skyline to summit (2016-05-08). Photo by Brian Oelberg.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:3000 ft / 914 m
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:3000 ft / 914 m
    Route:North Ridge
    Trailhead:4000 ft / 1219 m
Descent Statistics



Other Photos

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
topo of route (2016-05-08). Photo by Brian Oelberg.
Click here for larger-size photo.



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