Ascent of Montana Ridge on 2017-06-23

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, June 23, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Montana Ridge
    Elevation:1360 ft / 414 m

Ascent Trip Report

I do not usually visit county highpoints with multiple candidates, but I do visit named county highpoints, which most of the time is only a single spot. This is not the case with the Buffalo County highpoint, however, I must admit I only visited 6 out of the 7 candidates. The most southern candidate requires an extremely difficult bushwhack through a thick barrier of vegetation. I did find a faint trail here (at 44.39321 N 91.57302 W) that disappeared into the forest, but I was not motivated enough to follow the unmaintained path the 260 feet my GPS indicated I needed to traverse, especially when I was only getting an elevation reading of 1322 feet at the road. The terrain did not look like it would rise enough to be a contender for the highest point honors. I continued north and visited the other 6 candidates and 4 of those registered 1344 feet on my GPS, so I felt fairly comfortable I did reach the highest point in Buffalo County. The most interesting candidate of the seven was #6, which is located in an old cemetery with dates before 1850 on some of the tombstones. The highest point here appeared to be at the SE corner of the cemetery. Instead of writing text about each candidate, I summarize each spot below with elevation, distance from nearest road and terrain encountered: #1 - 1344 feet - 110 feet - In a cornfield #2 - 1337 feet - 130 feet - In a soybean field #3 - 1344 feet - 90 feet - In a pine tree grove #4 - 1340 feet - 90 feet - In a pasture #5 - 1344 feet - 0 feet - In the middle of the road #6 - 1344 feet - About 200 feet - SE corner of a cemetery #7 - Greater than 1322 feet - 260 feet - In a dense thicket of vegetation Based on my visit, I believe you could just visit candidates # 1, 3, 5 and 6, which I recorded elevations of 1344 feet each. Although that is quite a bit less than the 1360+ feet indicated on the topo map, I believe the relative comparison that my GPS provided for each candidate provides useful data for narrowing down the actual highpoint on Montana Ridge. For myself, I believe I made a good enough effort to claim success by visiting 6 of the 7 candidates and recording such a low elevation at the candidate that I didn't actually visit. My hat goes off to you if you manage to reach the highest point on candidate #7. You are truly one tough peakbagger!
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack

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