Greathouse – greatest seat in the home.
I’ve been on a number of peaks the place I might see giant parts of Montana however Greathouse Peak may take the prize on the subject of recognizing the island ranges of central Montana. In actual fact, some sources declare that on a transparent day you possibly can see all the way in which from Canada to Yellowstone. Skies aren’t at all times 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 respectable 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 Large Snowies is níichʔibííkʔa, which interprets to “it’s by no means summer season” – presumably as a result of snow could possibly 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 publish). Like all mountains in central Montana, the character of the Large 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. Nevertheless, my pals and I found that there’s way more to them than meets the attention.
As I scouted the Large Snowies utilizing Google Earth I seen a pair unusual teardrop-shaped basins on the southern facet of the mountains – the watersheds of Careless Creek and Swimming Lady Creek. Some research revealed that they’re traditional examples of pseudo-cirques. Though the basins have SOME traits of glacially-carved cirques, they have been really formed by frequent rockslides because of a singular set of geologic circumstances. It’s difficult however in case you’d wish to know extra in regards to the improvement of those false cirques, I’ve supplied a hyperlink under. Nonetheless, the chance to discover a pseudo-cirque, share an journey with pals, AND climb the 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 Lady 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.