Ascent of Chalice Peak on 2013-07-28

Climber: Ryan McCandless

Others in Party:Ryan VanCleave
Mark Charlton
Bruce McCandless
Sheryl McCandless
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, July 28, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Chalice Peak
    Elevation:11146 ft / 3397 m

Ascent Trip Report

We started at the Initial Creek / West Fork Stillwater Trail #90. The trailhead is just West of Nye, MT behind Stillwater Mine. Take Nye Road just South of Absarokee, MT on highway 78. Go to the Stillwater Mine on Nye Road and turn North (Right) just past the mine onto FS-846. Follow FS- 846 for 5.5 miles and turn West (Left) onto FS-2846 and follow to the trailhead. These Forest Service roads are very rough and rocky at points. You can make it with a passenger car but it would be very slow going.

We hiked 8 miles the first day to Breakneck Meadows. Breakneck meadows is a huge, mile long meadow with excellent camping along the West fork of the Stillwater River and great fishing. The first 8 miles to the meadows is very easy. It gains 900 feet over the 8 miles. We were able to hike this in 2.5 hours.

The second day we hiked another 8 miles to Wounded Man Lake. This is a large lake on the lake Plateau with great camping sights and decent fishing. This 8 miles is more difficult than the first days hike. The trail climbs 2100 feet and includes two sets of switchbacks. The trail tops out at Lake Diaphanous at 9600 feet. It then drops 300 feet down to Wounded Man Lake at 9300 feet.

The third day we summited Chalice Peak. We started in the morning by hiking back to Lake Diaphanous following the trail. At Lake Diaphanous we left the trail heading Northeast towards Chalice Peak. There are clumps of trees here and there that you walk around on open ground. Heading Northeast you climb open tundra and scattered rock fields angling up towards the peak. It is steep at times but relatively easy going. It tooks us about 2 hours to travel the 2 miles and 1800 feet to the peak. Beautiful views.

The fourth and fifth days we followed the same path out with a camp at breakneck meadows the fourth night.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5166 ft / 1574 m
    Total Elevation Loss:5166 ft / 1574 m
    Round-Trip Distance:35 mi / 56.3 km
    Grade/Class:class 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:4 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4866 ft / 1483 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4566 ft / 1392 m; Extra: 300 ft / 91m
    Loss on way in:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:17.5 mi / 28.2 km
    Route:West Fork Stillwater / Lake Plateau
    Start Trailhead:Initial Creek / West Fork Stillwater Trail #90  6580 ft / 2005 m
    Time:2 Days 2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4866 ft / 1483 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4566 ft / 1392 m; Extra: 300 ft / 91m
    Gain on way out:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:17.5 mi / 28.2 km
    End Trailhead:Initial Creek / West Fork Stillwater Trail #90  6580 ft / 2005 m
    Time:2 Days 2 Hours 

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