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Ascent of Crazy Peak on 2018-05-26

Climber: Alex Lennon

Date:Saturday, May 26, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Crazy Peak
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:11209 ft / 3416 m

Ascent Trip Report

2018's best adventure thus far took place in Montana's Crazy Range, with a large and unwieldy but highly skilled team of some of my very favorite people. On the occasion of Duncan's 30th birthday, at least ten of us converged on the Crazies from such locales as Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, and Laramie. Six of us ended up summiting, as others had their own agendas in the area.

Duncan and I had both heard that the ideal time to climb Crazy is in late spring, once the snow has generally stabilized but there's still plenty of it. After yesterday's climb, we can confirm that this made for a very pleasant (though still challenging) outing. The northwest slope leading to the false summit seems like it would be atrocious without snow as it is covered in loose and dangerous scree. That being said, the section between the false and true summits was definitely serious as a snow climb, and there is considerable exposure as well as snow travel in narrow, 45-degree-angle couloirs. In fact, from the false summit, an unroped traverse to the true summit looks impossible.

Fortunately, it's very possible, as long as one has a decent amount of mountaineering experience and is comfortable with very steep snow and some exposure. We were as happy to be on the top as we had been for any summit in recent memory. Like Hilgard last year, Crazy Peak had loomed large in our minds for quite a while by this point, and when we got the opportunity we jumped at it. In the preceding days Duncan and I had been apprehensive about the size of the group as well as the condition of the road; our fears proved mostly unfounded as we each made it up the road in our respective small Toyotas, and the group of six became three speedy and skilled teams of two. Everything really came together perfectly, and we were all stoked to celebrate Duncan's birthday in such an amazing mountain range with such amazing people. Next Crazies trip: skiing everything!

**I should note as well that if we had to do one thing differently, we should have started hiking by 5am at the latest- we started at 6:20 and the snow conditions started deteriorating significantly on our descent of the northwest face. After triggering a small wet slab slide in our descent gully, we had to move over onto a poor-quality talus ramp for the majority of the descent to the snow-filled basin. An earlier start would have probably prevented any sketchiness and maybe even allowed us to glissade the whole face. Now we know for next time, though...
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5000 ft / 1524 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:5000 ft / 1524 m
    Route:Northwest Slopes
    Start Trailhead:6209 ft / 1892 m
Descent Statistics



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