Monday, December 7, 2015

Bitterroot - Highest 25 peaks

Late in the summer, I made an informal goal of climbing the last of the remaining high points in the Bitterroot before ski season. Armed with insufficient research which indicated I was only four peaks shy, I put in took two link up days to get 'em all.

Since spending and evening or two combing through maps (one of my all time favorite pastimes), I now have a preliminary list.  And a handful of unnamed remote peaks that I didn't previously know about for future adventures. The list is fairly arbitrary since I grouped several peak groups (Como peaks, Shard peaks, Heavenly Twin groups, etc), and left others split (Trapper group, Lonesome Bachelor/Como group).  I also did not include several minor high points along canyon ridge tops with less than 500 feet of prominence.

I also included some off the cuff route information.  Hope folks find it useful, and I would be excited if anyone has knowledge and feedback to sharpen it up.  Most notably, is there a common name for South Chaffin peak/The Tusk? 

Note:  For those seeking summer time Bitterroot route information, Michael Hoyt's Bitterroot guidebook is the best resource out there.  I recommend going local and picking up a copy at the Trailhead in Missoula.  Most of the information is also posted at summitpost.

Peak NameElevationSummer RoutesSki Routes
Trapper Peak10157Most rewarding non technical route is from Baker lake. Cowboy traverse from Trapper.Easy access in spring. North couloirs.
El Capitan9983South couloir on East face to upper South face. Combine with Lonesome Bachelor and Como peaks.Southeast couloirs would be standard. East face is perhaps the best steep skiing objective in the range.
The Shard9883South face. Northeast ridge from Little Tin Cup. Southeast face is skiiable but over cliffs. Doable but not recommended.
Boulder Peaks9804East ridge from Boulder point (or Nelson lake). Or do loop traverse from Bare.East Boulder peak has many great ski lines. Northeast face from summit is a good steep skiing objective. Only the last 400 feet are challenging.
North Trapper Peak9801Southeast face (4th). Or Cowboy traverse to Trapper (Easy 5th. recommended). Or North ridge (5.7 recommended).Southeast face and couloir are skiable from near the summit
West Trapper Peak9772South face from Trapper approach. Northwest couloir (not from summit) looks good.
Como Peaks9624From Little or Tin Cup are both rugged. South faces. North ramp of Middle Como is OK. Northeast faces of the other peaks look challenging but doable.
Little Tin Cup Peak9617East face from Chaffin Creek.East face from Little Chaffin. South face into Chaffin has a few continuous avalanche paths. Possible to combine with Tin Cup chutes?
Saint Joseph Peak9587From Little St. Joe. Or continue out to Stormy Joe and loop back down Bass creek.Skiable on all aspects. Standard approach is up Southeast face.
Sugarloaf Peak9586North couloir. Moderate technical ridges on North face could have potential.North couloir is a Bitterroot classic.
South Chaffin Peak/The Tusk9485West ridge from Chaffin Creek (Easy 5th). South face should have some good harder routes (5.10 and up?)Not skiable from summit
Bare Peak   9459East ridge from Nelson LakeNortheast face. Many north couloirs which look good.
Mink Peak9363South face or Southwest ridge from extension of Trapper approach looks most logicalSouth face?
Mount Jerusalem9355South face.South face looks just OK.
Saint Mary Peak9351Trail up East ridge. Extend to Heavenly TwinsEasy access in spring. Many east facing options. Southwest face with potential to go farther west toward Hevenly Twins.
South Heavenly Twin9282Southwest face. Northwest ridge is dirty easy 5th. East face is 4th. Traverse between summits is not technical. Can traverse in from St. Mary's (recommended).Southwest face. East face is challenging but good. South face from Big creek (not from summit).
Trapper Lake peak9260Southeast face from Chaffin creek?Southeast face from Chaffin creek? This one is a long way back.
Lonesome Bachelor9185Southwest ridge (4th) from upper Little Rock creek lakes is easiest, but it is best to combine this with El Capitan. Not skiable. Except the Northeast face might be skiable but would be very challenging.
Whites Mountain9162From Bear Pass in Lost Horse creek. Probably north side from the South Fork of Lost Horse creek.
Sweeney Peak9161East ridge. Or traverse from Lolo or loop from Pyramid Buttes.Northeast face. There is some skiing farther east of the main summit.
Canyon Peak9154Southeast face is standard. North ridge (5.2) is recommended.South face to within a few hundred feet of the summit. East face from summit ridge is a good steep skiing objective.
Lolo Peak9139Northeast face from Carlton lake. Or loop from Mill Creek and Lantern ridge (recommended).Good skiing on all aspects
Ward Mountain9119Summer trail. Can traverse from Twin lakes in upper Lost Horse creek.Summer trail. Southeast face into Camas creek is OK.
East Whites9095Probably from Como lake approach to Koch.Probably from South Fork Lost Horse creek.
Koch Mountain9072From Como lake road.North couloirs are highly recommended on years when the South Fork of Lost Horse creek has snow.
Little Saint Joe9033Summer trail. Continue to St. Joseph.East face from Bass creek. Many options to continue further West, including Pinball Wizzard.
Stormy Joe9003West ridge from trail above Bass lake.South couloirs. Many options, although not all go from exact summit.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Chaffin traverse

Looking out to the Shard from Little Tin Cup peak.
I was able to put in three solid days of mountain time before heading to Minneapolis for a few weeks, and the Chaffin traverse was by far the highlight.  An otherwise robust night of sleep at the trailhead was cut a bit short well before sunlight as opening day hunters began their parade up the Chaffin road.  Pretty cool to see folks getting after it, and they motivated me to get up eat a cold breakfast, and start moving.  The trail up the drainage to the second scree field/set of switchbacks was quick, and the climb out of the canyon went smoothly.  A quick jaunt up the headwaters of Little Tin Cup creek also went quickly, and I was on Little Tin Cup Peak about three hours into the day.  An icy wind kept me from stopping on the summit, and slippery north facing snow kept my hackles up as I worked my way around cliffs on the west ridge before walking open talus to the base of the NE ridge of the Shard.  I had climbed the NE ridge as an extension of a solo climb of the North face over a decade ago, but my memory was fuzzy, so I worked my way through what seemed like the easiest route.  It ended up involving about twenty feet of easy 5th climbing.  For those who care, one could avoid the climbing by descending a few hundred vertical feet and working west across the south face to the normal route.
Smooth sailing up and out of Chaffin creek.
Little Tin Cup creek and point from the peak.
Looking up at the technical easy 5th bits on the Shard.
I climbed the broken ledges just looker's right of the skylined trees well left of the crest.

From the main summit, I made the traverse to the West summit.  I was not sure this would go, but there is one solitary ledge system approximately 400 vertical feet below the summit that links the two peaks.  The whole connection was a bit loose and ugly, but it goes, and it is a good connection to know about.  From the West summit, I boulder hopped along, hitting a few unnamed bumps on the ridge and West Chaffin.  I had planned on ending the traverse here, but it seemed like the craggy peak further south is actually higher, so I made my way over to it.  I think I have heard this peak described as the Tusk and South Chaffin, but I would be interested if anyone knows of another common name.  It is a major Bitterroot peak. The only weakness was on the west ridge, so I climbed it, negotiating two easy 5th class steps and considerable exposure along the way.  I was pleased to find the climbing enjoyable, and it was a treat to stumble upon a technical peak since there are so few in the Bitterroot.

Looking back to West Shard from West Chaffin.

West ridge of South Chaffin.  Easy 5th.  Don't fall.
Happy to be back in the snow on South Chaffin.
Also, glad to haul out a LOT of super sketchy tat.
On the summit, a surprise little snow squall blew through, and I ducked out of the wind for a few minutes as it passed.  There was a lot of extremely sketchy rap tat on the summit which I was able to load up into my pack and haul out.  As a PSA, there are no remaining slings on the summit, but none of them would have been adequate for rapping anyway.  After a careful downclimb, I continued down the drainage past the string of high lakes.  There is a major cliffband above Tamarack Lake which I did not know about and of course botched (in the future, bypass this on the north side of the drainage) but otherwise it was a quick journey to Heart lake.  I briefly considered making the big climb to Sugarloaf, didn't have the motivation to embark on an uncertain route with storm clouds brewing. Instead, I took a long break Tamarack lake to reflect, then ran out the technical and enjoyable trail.

Moment of reflection at Tamarack lake.
I would definately do this again.  It is possible to extend to Sugarloaf for a full traverse.  Something north of 7,000 vertical feet and 15 miles, done in roughly 11 hours car to car.

The evening before, I ran the Palisades loop, shortcutting the road switchbacks to tighten it up to a sub 15 mile affair.  I caught the sunset on the crest of the range, and was back to the car only a few minutes after turning on the headlamp.  It was fantastic.  The day after Chaffin, I did a 30-mile loop around the head of Piquett creek.  Unfortunately, the trail was washed out and choked with downfall much of the way, so it was a poor outing overall. Aside from checking out a new area and enjoying another great fall day, the only real highlight was climbing Piquett mountain.  Also, it was good to end the three day block of playing and training fully whopped. In the future, it would be much more expedient and enjoyable to climb Piquett from Little Boulder Creek, further up the West fork.

Beta: Shard Main/West summit connecting ledge, Cl3
There is a narrow ledge which connects the Main and West summits.  From about 400 vertical feet below the summit, rougly half way up the face, traverse straight west on the broadest ledge.  It will be obvious if you are on the wrong ledge, because it will cliff out.  The ledge continues into the deep couloir between the two summits.  It is vey dirty and loose in the cleft, and might seem fairly desperate for Class 3.  From the cleft, 3rd class ledges lead to the West summit.  I think it might be easier to find this ledge from the West summit.

South face of the Shard.  Main/West summit connecting ledge rougly takes
the orange ledge mid-face and wraps into the gully on the left margin of the photo.
Photo: Michael Hoyt.
This is the ledge I took to get from the main Shard summit to the West summit.
Ugly/steep/loose dirt between the summits.
This would be covered in snow most of the year.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

PSA - Wisherd Ridge/Lockwood point access changes

Wisherd ridge skiing. Photo: Jeff Schmalenberg
Wisherd ridge is a semi-popular ski destination for Missoula area skiers. The two conventional access points are to snowmobile in from Gold Creek (Blackfoot river drainage), or approach Lockwood point from Rainbow Bend up West Twin creek. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has recently acquired Plum Creek land in Twin Creek and has come up with a solution for public parking and access to Lockwood Point and Wisherd ridge from West Twin Creek. I have written this post in conjunction with TNC to help convey their access policy for all winter public users, both backcountry skiers and snowmobilers. Pray for snow and happy skiing.

Disclaimer: I have not done a lot of skiing at Wisherd, however I do advocate strongly for backcountry skiing access, and I hope skiers, snowmobilers, and lovers of all things winter and wild will find this information useful. I encourage folks to use the new West Twin creek parking area to access Lockwood point and Wisherd ridge, and to abide by the basic common sense restrictions in order to maintain access. TNC has taken on a messy but ultimately beneficial job of acquiring Plum Creek lands and conveying them to agencies like the Forest Service that will ensure they are managed sustainably into the future. It is at times controversial and messy work, but the ultimate outcome is remarkable for both the land, and for long-term public access.

The past situation: There is no established public parking area, so folks have generally used one of the following access points. Both have been problematic.

· Rainbow bend school bus stop. In the past, folks have parked along the highway and used an ATV trail to access the West Twin Creek road. There are “No Parking” signs here, since in the past there have been problems with trucks and snowmobile trailers interfering with the bus stop. Some vehicles have been ticketed in the past. Don’t park here.

· West Twin Creek road: The section of this road from the highway to TNC’s section line (old gate location) is a county road, but it is narrow single lane 12 foot road prism. Parking along the road is technically legal, but it has caused problems with Private land owners trying to get in and out of their houses. Don’t park along the road.

The solution (for now): The current route to the Lockwood area passes through TNC land and two separate private parcels. TNC has developed a new parking area and is going to try to allow snowmobile and foot access in winter. The private landowners currently permit public access through their lands, but if snowmobiles start going off roads and such, this access could easily be revoked. See private land denoted on map.

· TNC has moved the gate further up the West Twin Creek road and created a parking lot on their property. The parking lot is about 1,000 feet up the road from the highway. All public users should park here.

· TNC, thankfully, has tentatively agreed to keep the gate open from December 1 –April 1 to allow snowmobile and skier access through the gate. The gate will be signed describing the access. Snowmobile use through the gate is allowed from December 1 –April 1. There are also rootwads, boulders and such that ensure the gate is effective. Under TNC’s rules, Snowmobiles are requested to stay on the groomed/signed trails and/or on the forest road system. If accessing Wisherd by foot, just park here and start trudging. Just be sure to stay on the road where it crosses Private.

It is admirable for TNC to work with snowmobilers and backcountry skiers and to provide a public access point on their land. BUT, if someone screws up and starts driving wheeled vehicles past the gate, or deviates from the road where it crosses Private land, this will end. So please get out, enjoy the new access point and always be smart and courteous.

Map showing the new parking area and overall site. 
Provided courtesy of The Nature Conservancy. 

The second document in TNC’s Open Lands Policy. These policies haven’t changed and are the same that Plum Creek had adopted. For those unfamiliar with Plum Creek’s public access policy, the basic idea is to allow relatively unrestricted public access where it does not impact their operations or negatively impact natural resources.
Document provided courtesy of The Nature Conservancy

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sheep to Mile ridge traverse

Andrew and Jeffrey had to return to responsibilities after our Hilgard day, and it is too bad, because the third day was perhaps the best.  Mile to Sheep is a high quality long mountain bike ride, and I did a heavily modified version on foot, leaving the trail at the toe of Coffin mountain and following the crest south to Mile creek. 
Looking South from Sheep.
With 50 miles over the last two days, I had some trepidation about how my body would hold up, but the whole rig felt remarkably good. I cruised up Sheep creek, spooking a few deer and marveling at the crisp frosty morning. It took less than three hours to summit Coffin via the north ridge.  I was treated to sweeping views of the southern Gallatins and Madisons from the summit, and the Tetons beckoned on the horizon.  I ran down the lid of the Coffin, chasing goats along the way, then pushed to the top of Sheep, the highest peak in the range.
Early morning views to Hebgen reservoir and the southern Gallatins from Coffin.
Jogging down the of Coffin peak.
Sheep lake from Sheep peak.  Skyline ridge in the background.

The spine of the range undulates gently all the way to Mile creek, and I worked through it, occasionally stubbing out to peaks off the crest but generally just moving in the moment and relishing the day.  The range receives heavy snowmobile traffic in winter, but in the summer it is a wild place. From the trail, I stubbed out to Targhee peak at the southern terminus of the range and took a long break, relaxing and gazing across the broad Henry's fork valley to the Tetons. The return run was fast and enjoyable.  I had dropped a bike off at the Mile creek trailhead, and a simple 10 mile downhill shuttle rounded out the day.  I was out for about 6 and a half hours, and the outing could go faster without summiting the peaks off the crest.  Highly recommended outing. It would also be fun to do a complete range traverse, continuing to Baldy and Lionshead, but the shuttle would be much longer.
Nearing the Mile creek trail.  I continued out to Targhee.  I skied Targhee peak several times in my Bozeman days, as it is moderate enough to ski with High avalanche hazard, and also has a few intriguing steep lines on the Northeast face.

Tired, happy, and ready for a shower after 3 days of mountain adventuring.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Southern Madisons - Monument group and Skyline ridge

Andrew and Jeffrey were able to join me for the first two days of an extended weekend trip to the Southen Madisons.  We spent the first day doing a big loop on the western boundary of Yellowstone National Park from Sage creek. We rolled out shortly after sunrise and worked our way up to treeline.  Although it was a perfectly clear day, it was cold and blustery, and we would be occasionaly hit by remarkably intense icy gusts.  On the edge of the park, we saw a small herd of elk, a huge flock of goats at the head of Bacon Rind creek, and two seperate hunting parties on the trail.  The ridge to Redstreak was enjoyable, punctuated by clean, rolling terrain and one drop down off the crest for water. With some extra time in the day, we bumped out and back to Whites, marveling at the huge flock of goats in the headwaters of Bacon Rind creek.
Andrew running early in the day.
Cruising over unnamed peaks shortly after leaving the trail.
Jeffrey closing in on Redstreak.
The Skyline ridge traverse was quick at first, then slower as it became more scrappy and technical. The whole thing took less than two hours, and in no time we were on Sage peak.  It took a long time descend to the trail, and an even longer time to run the ten miles out to the car.  I kind of sandbagged how long the run out was going to be, and if it was possible to mutiny, it probably would have happened.  Fortunately, the easiest way out was to just run, so we stuck together, running steadily and working our way through the mess of trails caused by hunting camps.  With 30 miles under our belts, we returned to the car remarkably worked, considering there were two more days of adventuring ahead.  Fortunately a big dinner and long nigh sleep lay ahead.
Looking out to Sage with the Taylor Hillgard group in the background.
Unflattering photo of me nearing the top of Redstreak.
Looking back to Redstreak and the Skyline ridge.
The next day, we were hoping to do an Echo-Hillgard traverse. Spitting sleet coupled with fatigue from the previous day sapped our motivaton to push it, so we did a loop up to Expedition pass, through Hillgard basin, and down the Avalanche creek trail. The traverse looks really good, and I need to go back. 
Hillgard basin, as the weather began to improve. 
Camping in basic but complete comfort.  Love Montana.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tobacco Root traverse

Sunrise. Beauty.  Gratitude. Andrew heading to Little Granite.
I grew up staring at the Tobacco Roots, as they dominate the western skyline from Bozeman. I have also been fortunate to spend quite a bit of quality time in T Roots kicking around on skis. Having not spent much time in the range in summer, it seemed like a great challenge to do a complete traverse, simply starting at the northernmost peak and heading south on the crest until there were no more mountains. Andrew was also able to make the trip happen with short notice, so after a bittersweet morning in Missoula, I headed over, dropped my truck off in South Meadow creek, and biked the 30 miles to our meeting point in Harrison.

Car to Granite
After a night sleeping under a full super blood moon, we headed off at 4:30 am by headlamp.  We got a little turned around in the dark above Mason lake, but we kept pointing things uphill and summited Hollowtop at first light.  An extended sunrise cast its rosy glow for almost an hour as we followed easy terrain over Jefferson and Horse.  The traverse over Little Granite is a bit craggy, but it was still fast, and the big climb up Granite was quick.  By this point, we had settled into a pattern of Andrew leading the climbs, and me leading most of the downhills and tricky terrain, since I was more familiar with the route. The day was turning out to be every bit as beautiful and fun as I had anticipated.
The view from Hollowtop.  The moon was out but it was still dark.
Sunrise from Jefferson.
Still sunrise as Andrew descends from Horse mountain.
Andrew moving. Little Granite in the background.
Minor technicalities on Little Granite.  Hollowtop in the background.  Photo: Andrew
Granite to Bradley
We dropped off the crest to Granite lake for water, then bypassed an unnamed peak before making the climb to Lonesome.  The terrain became somewhat more scrappy from Long to Thompson, but it was still moderate, and it was fun to see the Bell lake terrain in summer.  We summited Thompson still feeling good and enjoying the day.  It was a long but moderate trek to Branham.  We stayed true to the crest over Branham, and ended up negotiating extensive loose 4th class terrain.  Andrew managed to roll a rock onto his knee.  Fortunately he didn't fall, but the impact ended up slowing him up a bit for the rest of the day. After an hour plus of technical scrambling, it was nice to eventually top out on Bradely and look south to easy rolling plateaus.
Looking down the South ridge of Branham and on to the southern third of the traverse.
Interesting terrain on Branham.  Photo: Andrew
Getting technical on Branham (Not as steep as it looks).
Bradley to car
From Bradley, the traverse just bops along on high plateaus, so we settled in cruised over Lady of the Lake, Belle point, and a few unnamed peaks.  Andrew's knee didn't allow him to run, so we walked with purpose. Aside from one knee, we were both still feeling great.  It was my first time in this portion of the range, so it was good to scope some ski terrain for future trips.  At the southern terminus of the range, we summited one final unnamed peak before  scooting down to treeline and on to the truck, arriving a little ahead of schedule.  The shuttle and drive back to Missoula were both long. In fact, I got way too sleepy to finish the drive, and spent the night in the back of my truck on Homestake pass.  It was a small price to pay for an impeccable day in the mountains.

Andrew on the plateaus of the southern Tobacco Root.
Approaching the final peak of the day.  Photo: Andrew
Andrew on the final, unnamed summit.  A bit tired and a lot satisfied.
I think this was a great traverse, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. There is no escaping the fact that the range lacks wild character in comparison to adjacent ranges, but I still really enjoy the time I have spent there, and it is always impressive to see the old mining remnants.  Also, it is still pretty wild up on the crest. Although the route was not as long as I had anticipated, the complete traverse is still a substantial undertaking.  Most of the terrain is moderate, and one could make the whole thing easy 3rd class bypassing Branham. We did it in a long 15 hours, and it could easily go an hour faster.  A South to North ski traverse would be nothing short of epic, and I need to get back and make it happen sometime.  It was fun to share the day with Andrew. It was his first time in the range, so he got a full introduction. For stats, 10,000 vertical feet and 14 named summits.  Not sure on the mileage, but probably in the 20-25 mile range. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Castle Crag and Sheafman points

Leah on the upper ramparts of Castle Crag.
Leah and I were finally able to link up Sheafman points and Castle Crag, a loop that I have been meaning to do for a very long time. On the heels of an excellent out and back run to Sky Pilot the previous day, we set out a leisurely pace, working our way up the drainage and enjoying early signs of fall. We left the trail just before the second creek crossing and climbed into and up the main gully seperating East and West Sheafman points.  A quick jaunt put us on top of East Sheafman, and another quick traverse put us on West Sheafman.  There is quite a bit of boulder hopping and mild bushwacking on the way to the West Sheafman/Castle pass, and we passed the time by discussing Leah's new work with the Global Landscapes Initiative.
Aspen are rare in the Bitterroot, so it was especially exciting
to catch a few trees displaying their full fall colors.
Our ascent route to the Sheafman points.
Someone needs to go ski this thing and invite me along. 
Leah boulder hopping between the Sheafman points.
Back in familiar terrain, we made the easy choice to continue to the summit of Castle crag via the normal southeast ridge route.  It was a big push, but we did it, and were soon oggling at what is one of my favorite views in the range.  The descent to Knaack lakes and subsequent jog out were quick and enjoyable.  Aside from being a bit scrappy between West Sheafman an Castle crag, this little link up was everything I had hoped for, and it was wonderful to spend a perfect fall weekend out in the mountains with Leah.  At a casual pace, we did the circuit in under 10 hours hours car to car.
Looking to Castle Crag from West Sheafman.
Leah powerhiking up granite slabs below Castle Crag. 
Psyched for another Castle crag summit

The route.  The first few miles of the Sheafman trail are not shown.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rattlesnake Traverse in summer

Classic Stuart photo showing most of the traverse to Murphy Peak.
Murphy is the peak on the left skyline.
I was able to spend a mid-week afternoon out in the mountains enjoying our backyard Wilderness playground. I left the truck parked at Snowbowl and biked back down the dirt road to Grant Creek, then up to Ravine.  It felt somewhat cavalier to leave the trailhead at 2 pm, and more than one person just shook their head when I mentioned I was going to end up at Snowbowl. I was on the cusp of getting sick, but just ignored my body and ran fairly aggressively up to Stuart. I went out to the summit, then continued on the trail to Mosquito.  I did take one major wrong detour off the trail, but corrected soon enough and proceeded to the summit of Mosquito, where I downed most of the remainder of my water, slowly coming to the realization that the second half of the traverse was going to be a thirsty one. 

Big Lake and beyond from Mosquito.
After less than a mile, the trail drops to Glacier lake, so I left it and walked easily to the summit of Sanders peak.  The terrain between Sanders and Murphy is fairly rugged, but I worked through it, generally staying just west or south of the crest.  I bypassed large portions of the ridge crest on the Northwest ridge of Sanders, on the scrappy rugged ridge west of West Sanders, and on one notably unappealing gendarme on the East ridge of Murphy.  I also made one substantial routefinding blunder by climbing West Sanders, as it would have been faster and more pleasant to bypass the entire peak on the south.  It was fun puzzling through, and I was soon on top of Murphy, sipping the last of my water.  The traverse to Point 6 was delightful (it always is), and the descent of Snowbowl via Second Though was quick and to the point.  I returned to the car a few minutes under 6 hours, promptly downed a liter of water, and quietly celebrated a fun little afternoon of running and adventuring. Also, the outing didn't exacerbate my sickness, so I'm psyched.

Getting into the technical and scrappy bits beyond Sanders.

A little tired and a lot excited on Murphy.

The final section from Murphy to Point 6.

Shadow dancing on Point 6.
This is a great outing, and it should be repeated often in summer and winter. The shuttle is super easy, and it all flows together quite nicely.  The route could be tightened up to a simple 5 hour affair, especially if you start at Snowbowl and skip the summits.  Go to it. As often as possible!