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Full Name :   Todd Trufontaine
Gender :   male
Age :   36
State :   Montana
Country :   United States
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Granite Peak Masters
sub-category : Mountaineering
img 02-25-2011

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I grabbed my climbing buddies McKay and Jasper to go climb Granite Peak toward the end of August last summer. The last time I hit the mountain I was a teenager back in my scouting days. The summer climbing season is short always a short one here in Montana. Late July through early September are the months that are most snow-free. You’ve got to be careful because you can get snow anytime though. We watched the weather pretty close and it paid off. We got an early start so we were able to get off the mountain by the late afternoon. We did see one pretty violent thunderstorm roll up a valley to the west but it dissipated pretty quick. If you’re looking for a great climb that tests you in Montana this one is it. Granite Peak is the highest point in Montana and is considered one of the most difficult highpoints in the lower 48 states. The mountain itself is quite impressive and lives up to its name as a large chunk of granite towering over the southern Rockies. The climb itself is quite a time consuming endeavor which should not be taken lightly. You can do the climb as a day hike but we set up a base camp to increase the likely hood of summiting. The standard route to the summit is a challenging 12 mile, 6300 ft, hike followed by sections of exposed class 3 and 4 rock climbing. A lot of people climb Granite Peak without a rope however you’ve got to be real careful for the last 200 feet or so and we used a rope for the descent. We embarked via West Rosebud trailhead. It’s the most popular approach, slighter shorter, and gains less in elevation than the East Rosebud route. Mystic Lake was beautiful last fall. We base camped up the Huckleberry Creek drainage to the col between Tempest Mountain and Granite Peak, near Avalanche Lake (10,000 ft.). The switchbacks were brutal but we all made it.
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