93 Photos - Jun 21, 2015
Photo: I camped at Cut Bank Campground on Thursday night (200 miles from Helena). This photo was taken at the start of my hike Friday morning, looking west into the upper portion of the Cut Bank Creek watershed (Razor Edge Mountain in center horizon). I started hiking Friday at 6 am, got back at 4 pm (18 miles of hiking/climbing, including Triple Divide Peak and Mt. James)Photo: Cut Bank Campground on right is 5 gravel miles off of Hwy 89 - between Browning and St. Mary's.Photo: Started at Cut Bank Campground in upper right.Photo: Photo: The Continental Divide Runs from lower right to upper left. The Hudson Bay (Laurentian) divide runs from Triple Divide Peak toward Mt. James and beyond.Photo: My first look at Triple Divide Peak in the distance on the right. Razor Edge Mountain on the left.Photo: Medicine Grizzly Lake with Razor Edge Mountain in background - My shadow on snowPhoto: Cool rocks along trail.Photo: Headwaters of Atlantic Creek (Medicine Griz. Lake)Photo: Rip-Up Clasts in the Belt SupergroupPhoto: Selfie with Triple Divide in background - horizon is the Continental DividePhoto: The slope on the left drains into the Gulf of Mexico, the one on the right to the Hudson Bay, and the opposite side (not shown) into the Pacific Ocean. I traversed over toward that pass, climbed up a notch, and then walked up the slope - took about half an hour to get to the summit from here.Photo: The difficult part of getting to the summit of Triple Divide Peak is getting from the pass to point "X".Photo: This is my approximate route (if I remember correctly). It was a little dangerous. Later in this album, you will see a better route that I took the following year when I did the climb with two friends.Photo: Triple Divide Pass with Mt. James in background - I reached the pass at 9 am and summited Triple Divide at 9:30. This is the first part of my traverse route.Photo: Norris Mountain - the ridge in foreground is divide between Pacific on left and Hudson Bay on right.Photo: Hudson Bay drainagePhoto: Another shot of the Hudson Bay drainage - That is St. Mary's Lake in distance (Red Eagle Lake is the one that is closer).Photo: Photo by Otto TymerPhoto: Mt. James on Left, Triple Divide on right, trail down from Triple Divide Pass in lower left. I didn't continue down that trail, but I did climb Mt. James.Photo: Triple Divide PeakPhoto: Behold, the summit cairn on Triple Divide Peak. Looking NE, that is Mt. James on right. I climbed James on this day also.Photo: Summit cairn on Triple Divide Peak, looking into Atlantic Creek drainage - faint view of trail I followed below center of photo (on slope of Mt. James). Notice the nice U-shaped valley (classic glacial trough).Photo: Selfie - This water will eventually flow into the Mississippi River.Photo: As this snow melts it will make its way to the Columbia River. That is Mt. Stimson in center horizon.Photo: This is the valley I hiked up through (drains to Gulf of Mexico). I started hiking at 6 am and didn't see another person until about 2:30 pm (on my way back).Photo: View of Triple Divide Peak below as I made my way up Mt. James.Photo: Triple Divide Peak surrounded by it's taller neighbors - I took this one on my way up to Mt. James.Photo: A walk in the clouds - on the Peak of Mt. James (9395 ft.) -  I could see Browning from here.Photo: Looking down from Mt. James - North Fork of Cut Bank Creek flows out onto the Blackfeet Reservation. Cut Bank Creek Campground (where I started the hike) is just right of center. (exactly 200 miles from Helena)Photo: Triple Divide Peak near left edge of photo, left of center - Hudson Bay drainage on right.Photo: I followed this ridge much of the way up to and down from Mt. JamesPhoto: Stromatolites on slope of Mt. James with Triple Divide Peak below.Photo: More stromatolites - colonies of fossil cyanobacteria (google it)Photo: Looking back at Mt. James as I descended to Triple Divide Pass.Photo: Triple Divide PeakPhoto: Triple Divide Pass and Triple Divide PeakPhoto: Look back at Triple Divide Peak as I headed back to the Cut Bank Creek Campground.Photo: Mt. James is peak just to right of center - Can't see Triple Divide Peak from herePhoto: The next day (Saturday June 20) I met some friends at St. Mary's and we hiked from Lower St. Mary's Lake, toward Napi Point, up onto Flat Top Mountain, over to Otokami Mountain, and then down to Rising Sun (Lower St. Mary's Lake) - Pretty much the middle half of the horizon shown here.Photo: Approximate route on Saturday - About 12 milesPhoto: I set a PR for bush-wacking - over 3 hours. This grassy meadow was a welcome site before we went back into the bush. Eventually we made it up onto East Flattop (horizon).Photo: Trying to figure out the best way to get up there.Photo: We headed toward that grassy slope on the right.Photo: The end of the bushwacking!Photo: Heading up to the coloirPhoto: Photo: Greg on his way to the coloir (steep rocky gulley)Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: John, our fearless leader - hope to share many more adventures with this guy!Photo: Beast mode - You can see the campground where we started below.Photo: Jason up onto East Flattop MountainPhoto: Greg taking it all in. This may be the most scenic hike that I have ever done.Photo: John, Greg, Felicia, Jason on East Flattop Mtn.Photo: The views were amazing.Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Photo: Lower St. Mary's LakePhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Ptarmigans near the summit of East Flat TopPhoto: Looking south from the summit of East Flat TopPhoto: Photo: Photo: Photo: Zoom shot of mountains that I climbed the day before - photo taken from summit of East FlattopPhoto: Flinsch Peak in middle of horizonPhoto: Photo: A fun crew to spend the day with.Photo: Walking the arrete on the way to Otokami MountainPhoto: Jason rounds the bend as we negotiate the arretePhoto: John with St. Mary's Lake far belowPhoto: John, Greg, Felicia on arrete wtih East Flattop on horizonPhoto: Still on the arretePhoto: ArretePhoto: Felicia and GregPhoto: Next up - Otokami MountainPhoto: Otokami Mountain on the leftPhoto: Photo: A look at where we had been - We walked from the right to left along the ridge and then down to here.Photo: Three of my hiking buddies on their way up to Otokami - The arrete is the ridge on the right side of the horizon.Photo: John approaching Otokami - There's our route in the background (right to left along horizon).Photo: Down from Otokami - toward (upper) St. Mary's LakePhoto: St. Mary's Lake - on our way down to Rising SunPhoto: ScreeingPhoto: Jason on a ledgePhoto: Is it Bass . . . WELL! . . . Is it Bass? (Reference to 1971 movie - "Man in the Wilderness") Google it.