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Ascent of East Rimrocks Skeleton Peak on 2016-08-11

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, August 11, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:East Rimrocks Skeleton Peak
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:3445 ft / 1050 m

Ascent Trip Report

There aint a lot to do in Billings in terms of hiking or climbing so I was disappointed in flying all the way to Montana and not seeing even a warm up hike anywhere in town in the peakbagger index but then stumbled across this sheer formation on the way back to the airport. This small public park is well used by the locals in Billings and a favorite place for local kids to drink beer and spray graffiti on the cliff edges apparently. Bummer to see the formations defaced but so well is the urban hikes on this planet.

This is a subpeak of the Rimrocks feature in Billings. But this subpeak is on public lands and undeveloped whereas the true peak has been eliminated by the construction of a house and subdivision not shown on the USGS (see aerials). I parked down by the Applebees restaurant as figuring out where the entrance was - was confusing with all the one way streets. It gave me the opportunity to get more vertical climb hike this way and attack the wall directly. I hiked across the road and found many local herd trails heading up to the bike trails and many local un-maintained trails up the side of the wall that allowed for some scrambling. Near the top I found a couple of false peak bumps with views of Billings below. To the west you could see the rim rock ridge climbs higher so I hiked over there disturbing several large tame rabbits along the way.

It is hard to tell which spot within the closed contour at the top is taller between the grave site, the tower, or the monument to the west that are all above the closed 3440 contour. But there are three humps within this closed contour. There is thus, more elevation than the 3440 contour so calling the peak of this feature 3445 is reasonable. Despite the great views and steep cliffs in over 300 degrees, there is little prominence for this subpeak as it is on a ridge that gains elevation to the west and the top peak of the Rimrocks feature is west at elevation 3853 but on private land much further to the est beyond the airport (a home site). On the way down to my car I found some dirt bike trails along the cliff edge and some kids that had scrambled up the face. They said there was a trail through some cave that winded down to the bottom but i did not see it so i hiked back down to the car.

See "Rimrocks" peak added by others for details of the highest point on the feature.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:305 ft / 92 m
    Total Elevation Loss:110 ft / 33 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Grade/Class:1,2,3
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
80F beautiufl day
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:295 ft / 89 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 265 ft / 81 m; Extra: 30 ft / 9m
    Loss on way in:30 ft / 9 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:bike trail to open country to scramble to hike tra
    Start Trailhead:lower end of Applbee's parking lot  3180 ft / 969 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:80 ft / 24 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 70 ft / 22 m; Extra: 10 ft / 3m
    Gain on way out:10 ft / 3 m
    Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Route:trails
    End Trailhead:saddle between park HP  3375 ft / 1028 m
Ascent Part of Trip: rimrocks

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1East Rimrocks Skeleton Peak2016-08-11 b305 ft / 93 m
2Swords Park High Point2016-08-11 c293 ft / 89 m
Total Trip Gain: 598 ft / 182 m    Total Trip Loss: 598 ft / 183 m



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