Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Greathouse Peak within the Huge Snowies – Huge Sky Walker


Greathouse – finest seat in the home.
I’ve been on a number of peaks the place I might see giant parts of Montana however Greathouse Peak would possibly take the prize relating to recognizing the island ranges of central Montana. In actual fact, some sources declare that on a transparent day you possibly can see all the best way from Canada to Yellowstone. Skies aren’t all the time as clear as they have been a long time in the past (longer fireplace seasons, airline site visitors, and so on.), however they have been first rate the day a number of pals and I summited Greathouse (Monday 6/28/21). Regardless of a faint haze close to the floor, we might establish the Little Rockies and Bears Paw Mountains close to the Hello-Line, and the Pryor Mountains southeast of Billings (faint), in addition to a number of nearer ranges, together with the Highwoods, Little Belts, Crazies, Moccassins, and Judith Mountains.

By no means summer season?
The Aaniih (previously Gros Ventre) title for the Huge Snowies is níichʔibííkʔa, which interprets to “it’s by no means summer season” – presumably as a result of snow may very well be seen up there all 12 months lengthy, or perhaps as a result of they knew of the spectacular ice cave south of Crystal lake, close to the crest of the vary (see earlier weblog submit). Like all mountains in central Montana, the character of the Huge Snowies stays a thriller to most who journey round this a part of the state. From the vantage level of distant highways they resemble an upside-down canoe – not actual difficult. Nonetheless, my pals and I found that there’s far more to them than meets the attention.

Pseudo-cirque?
As I scouted the Huge Snowies utilizing Google Earth I observed a pair unusual teardrop-shaped basins on the southern facet of the mountains – the watersheds of Careless Creek and Swimming Girl Creek. A little analysis revealed that they’re traditional examples of pseudo-cirques. Though the basins have SOME traits of glacially-carved cirques, they have been truly formed by frequent rockslides as a result of a singular set of geologic circumstances. It’s difficult however if you happen to’d prefer to know extra concerning the growth of those false cirques, I’ve supplied a hyperlink beneath. Nonetheless, the chance to discover a pseudo-cirque, share an journey with pals, AND climb the very best peak within the vary was loads of incentive for me. As a bonus, the slender ridge across the head of an adjoining basin is named “Knife Blade Ridge” – What hiker wouldn’t welcome the possibility to see what that’s all about!

Someplace in the course of Montana.
So, on Sunday afternoon three pals and I made the 180-mile drive from Helena to Swimming Girl Canyon, northeast of Judith Hole. We rose early Monday morning, hiked 4 miles to the summit of Greathouse, then adopted the Uhlhorn Path throughout the Knife Blade Ridge earlier than venturing off-trail to take a look at an space northwest of there. As you will note within the picture tour, the 12.5-mile roundtrip hike was well-worth the drive. The view from the crest, the pseudo-cirque, and the Knife Blade didn’t disappoint.

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