Peakbagger.com

Granite Peak, Montana


Prominence: 4759 ft, 1450 m

Elevation: 12,799 feet, 3901 meters


True Isolation: 86.03 mi, 138.45 km
Elevation Info:NAVD88 Elevation: 12,804 ft / 3903 m
SubpeaksGranite Peak-Northwest Peak (12,745 ft/3885 m)
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)45° 9' 48'' N; 109° 48' 27'' W
45.163453, -109.807609 (Dec Deg)
593711E 5001800N Zone 12 (UTM)
CountryUnited States
State/ProvinceMontana (Highest Point)
County/Second Level RegionPark (Highest Point)
Links

Search Engines - search the web for "Granite Peak":
     Wikipedia Search
     Microsoft Bing Search
     Google Search
     Yahoo Search

Other Web Sites
     Granite Peak at SummitPost.org
     Granite Peak at ListsOfJohn.com
     CoHP.org Trip Report for Park, MT by Scott Surgent
     CoHP.org Trip Report for Park, MT by Dave Covill
     CoHP.org Trip Report for Park, MT by Ron Tagliapietra

Weather and Snow
     National Weather Service Forecast
     NOAA Snow Depth Map

Lists that contain Granite Peak:
     USA Lower 48 Range5 High Points (Rank #46)
     Apex (Toughest) CoHPs (Rank #8)
     Montana Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence (Rank #5)
     United States State High Points (plus DC) (Rank #10)
     USA Lower 48 Peaks with 4000 feet of Prominence (Rank #71)
     USA Lower 48 Top 100 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #71)
     Montana Wilderness High Points (Rank #1)
     U.S. State High Points (Rank #10)
     Western USA CoHPs (Rank #62)
     Western Contiguous USA CoHPs (Rank #55)
     2000-foot Prominence CoHPs - 48 States (Rank #51)
     U.S. National Forest High Points (Rank #19)
     USA Lower 48 Top 400 Peaks by Prominence (Rank #71)
     CoHP High Five List (Rank #30)
     Montana 11,000-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
     Fifty Highest CoHPs in Lower 48 (Rank #48)
     Montana County High Points (Rank #1)
     5000 foot gain CoHPs (Rank #21)
     Peakbagging Montana List of 53 Peaks (Rank #1)

Selected Guidebook(s) for this Peak:
       Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone (Turiano)
       Fifty State Summits, Guide with Maps to State Highpoints (Zumwalt)
       Highpoints of the United States: A Guide to the Fifty State Summits (Holmes)
       Peakbagging Montana (Jones)

Selected Trip Reports from this site:
     1977-08-14 by Dan Dalthorp
     1991-07-27 by Dennis Stewart
     1991-08-26 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     1993-07-31 by Scott Cockrell
     2004-07-13 by Ben Lostracco (Unsuccessful)
     2006-08-23 by Ben Lostracco (Unsuccessful)
     2007-08-01 by Caj Svensson
     2007-09-14 by Dustin Stoltz
     2008-08-02 by Ben Lostracco
     2008-08-02 by Doug Urban
     2009-08-04 by Dennis Stewart (Unsuccessful)
     2011-09-24 by Darren Knezek
     2012-07-31 by Brian Friedrich (GPS Track)
     2012-08-07 by Jim Retemeyer
     2012-09-03 by Ken Johnson
     2013-08-01 by Lane Johnson
     2013-08-01 by Ken Johnson
     2014-07-14 by Grant Miller
     2014-07-30 by Marlin Thorman (GPS Track)
     2014-08-20 by Gustav Sexauer
     2014-08-27 by Craig Willis

View ascents of peak by registered Peakbagger.com members.

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Granite Peak
     Elevation Ladder from Granite Peak
     Prominence Ladder from Granite Peak


Description:

Resembling a huge, jagged meat cleaver, this rugged and remote peak, Montana's highest, is one of the most difficult of the state highpoints to climb. Besides some talus-strewn class 3 and 4 climbing, Granite Peak is notorious for the brutal thunderstorms that lash its slopes with predictable monotony on summer afternoons. Lack of a good high camp, a horrible access road, a short but dangerous ridge of snow, and lots of rotten rock are other factors making even the easiest route on this monster a real adventure.

Climbing Notes:

The most common approach to Granite Peak is from the West Rosebud trailhead, at the end of a long, dusty, washboarded road beginning near Fishtail, MT. A good trail leads uphill a few miles to Mystic Lake and its hydroelectric dam, a popular destination for fishermen. From the east shore of the lake another trail leads steeply uphill to a notch at the northern end of the barren, rock-strewn plateau of Froze-to-Death Mountain. This low notch can also be reached from the East Rosebud trailhead, but the distance and elevation gain are both greater.

From the notch, an infrequently-cairned route leads south and southwest across the desolate, wind-swept expanse of the plateau. The actual summit of Froze-to-Death Mountain (11,765') is off to the right. The eventual goal is a fairly prominent "gateway", a small notch on the side of the plateau where the route leaves the rolling surface and starts to slab down towards Granite Peak itself. The Peak is visible for the first time from the "gateway". If the sight of this monster's sheer north face and the inevitable thunderstorm have dissuaded you at this point, you can stroll south to Tempest Mountain (12,478'), the high point of the plateau.

An exceptional party could perhaps make Granite a day hike, but it's best to seek shelter from the afternoon storms by pitching a tent before you get to the "gateway"--there are some rough stone walls that offer some protection from the incessant wind. Just watch out for lightning strikes on the flat, exposed plateau.

From the gateway, follow a rough path slabbing down to the col between the plateau and Granite Peak. From there ascend about 800' up a triangular slope of steep, blocky talus to near its top, where you will be near the incredibly jagged crest of Granite's east summit ridge. The idea is to stay to the south of the ridge, as close to the crest as possible, crossing over several rock ribs and avoiding falling to your death by slipping on all the loose rock. The only really hairy part of this section is where the route actually goes along the ridge for ten feet at a narrow saddle. There's quite a drop-off on both sides, and if the saddle is snow-covered, a belay and an ice-axe are strongly advised--presence of snow is a factor of snowpack depth and season, but I think that by mid-August in most years the snow is gone.

Eventually the route leads you to a point about 75' below the summit. It looks pretty sheer from there, and good rock climbers may want to try the chimney that leads directly up to the top. The easiest route winds around to the right (as you look up), and it involves hanging on to a big crack on a short traverse. Confident scramblers shouldn't have any problems, but the timid may want a rope. Once past the lower parts, a minute of easy rock- hopping brings you to the summit of Montana.

The summit naturally offers a fantastic view of the desolate high tablelands of the wild Beartooth-Absoroka wilderness, but you shouldn't tarry too long--thunderstorms are often on their way, and its best to be back on the Froze-to-Death plateau by 1 PM or so. Granite Peak itself, with it's steep sections of loose rock, is no place to be when it gets wet or the lightning bolts are flying. A strong party should be able to make it back to their cars after summiting in the morning, but everyone should at least try to get down to Mystic Lake to avoid another hellish night on the windswept plateau.

There are other approach routes: You can reach the Granite-plateau col from the brushy Huckleberry Valley to the north, or via a long overland haul from Cooke City. Either way, the route from the col along the summit ridge is the same, unless you want some serious rock-climbing challenge on the much more jagged east ridge or the sheer north face. This face features a constant rain of rockfall cascading down to the small glacier at its feet.


Granite Peak under ominous leaden clouds, from the slope of Froze-to-Death plateau (1991-08-26).
Web Map LinksAcme Mapper   MyTopo   Gmap4   MS-Research
TopoQuest   Bing Maps   MSN/Encarta   Google Maps
ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 4759 ft/1450 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 4799 ft/1462 m
  Line Parent: Francs Peak
  Key Col: Colter Pass    8040 ft/2451 m
Isolation86.03 mi/138.45 km
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Francs Peak  (SSE)
Isolation Limit Point: 43° 57' 47'' N; 109° 20' 28'' W
    ILP Map Links:
Bing Maps   MSN/Encarta   Google Maps
RangesContinent: North America
Range2: Rocky Mountains
Range3: Greater Yellowstone Rockies
Range4: Absaroka Range
Range5: Beartooth Mountains (Highest Point)
Drainage BasinsYellowstone
Missouri
Mississippi
Gulf of Mexico
Atlantic Ocean
OwnershipLand: Custer National Forest (Highest Point)/Gallatin National Forest (Highest Point)
Wilderness/Special Area: Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area (Highest Point)
Topo MapGranite Peak O45109b7 1:24,000
Route #1 Exposed Scramble
Trailhead: Mystic Lake Trailhead 6557 ft/1999 m
Vertical Gain: 6822 ft/2078 m
Distance (one way): 11 mi/17.7 km
Google Maps Dynamic Map

 Granite Peak    Other Peaks
Click Here for a Full Screen Map



Other Photos

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Montana's apex, Granite Peak, from the Froze-to-Death plateau (2008-08-02). Photo by Ben Lostracco.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Celebrating on the summit of Granite Peak (2008-08-02). Photo by Ben Lostracco.
Click here for larger-size photo.


Click on photo for original larger-size version.
East face of Granite Peak (1984-08-09). Photo by John Vitz.
Click here for larger-size photo.



This page has been served 58545 times since 2004-11-01.



Questions/Comments/Corrections? See the Contact Page
Copyright © 1987-2014 by Peakbagger.com. All Rights Reserved.