Sunday, February 14, 2016

Not All BackPacking Trips are the Same.

      Since I've been digging through my archives I've found some evidence of my backpacking trips. Not all trips are the same.

     I backpacked out of Canada only once and that was to Montana which is the state just bordering Alberta on the south.

    My friend wanted to do a trip to the southeastern part of Montana. He wanted to climb Flinch mountain which is a 9200 ft pyramidal peak. Montana doesn't have much for foothills so you can stand on a mountain or ridge and look far out into the flatlands of Montana.  The ridge we walked was bare, arid and open. The return trip was about 10 km ( 6 mi)

    We arrived in the area about 2 PM which gave us time to do a hike to the edge of the mountain and look out over Montana. It was a very hot dry day so it was tough going and the water went down quickly. We reached our goal, took the mandatory photo, had a rest and returned. Were we dry when we returned!

    The next day we planned to climb Flinch Peak. It was a long walk with a gradual incline. The last couple of kms were steep and the last 15 m (50ft.) of elevation was cliff like.

    Long before we got close to the peak , we ran out of water. Why did we run out of water? Where we hiked there were streams rushing down the mountain every 500 meters( 1600ft) so we could replenish our water anytime. We made the decision to go back. We rested before starting back. A lone female hiker came by and she was on her way back and had lots of water. She kindly gave us lots of water so we were able to finish.

    Now from the photo you will see that the last part of the peak seems to be a cliff. There was no trail. There was a nice chimney so I shinnied up the 50 ft. I was going to step out of the chimney on top. When I stuck my head over the edge there was nothing but space. There was a 2 ft ridge and there was no way I was going to stand up on that thing. By the time I got down my friend had found a very simple way to walk to the  top! The top being less than  1/2 acre of flat ground.

     We celebrated our climb with some photos and a break. We signed the register on the mountain top and started back. The views from Flinch peak were breathtaking in all directions.

    The return is always a long tiring walk. We did meet a rather scary hiker who was going out. We met and passed and never spoke a word.

    The campsite was in a valley lined with a 1000 ft cliff face that was a couple of miles long. All night you could hear pebbles, rocks and once or twice huge boulders that dropped off the cliff face and rolled to the ground. It's a good thing the campsite was 500- 1000 m away from the cliff.

    So, it was a great trip but a little different than our  usual trips.

Beautiful Flinch peak

The top gets steep

Old Man Lake

A rest on the peak with background scenery
Looking out over Montana to the east.

28 comments:

  1. oh, my goodness...that first photo is superb! glad you met a kind woman with lots of water to assist you!

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    1. My friend took the photos so I'm a lucky guy.

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    1. That's for sure! I wish we had today's cameras for these vistas.

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  3. Amazing pictures those high peaks in the mountains.

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    1. I've never been disappointed with scenery once I get to the top.

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  4. What an amazing feat! I love your stories!

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    1. Well, it's not that hard. Just keep putting one foot forward at a time.

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  5. Wow! Beautiful pictures, Red. I remember once getting lost on a mountaintop in Colorado and thinking I had found a way down. I looked over the edge at a thousand-foot drop straight down. Scared me so much I've never forgotten it. Your trip to Flinch Peak had a similar moment, it seems. I enjoyed this excursion into the past. :-)

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    1. That 1000 ft drop is what they calmly call exposure!

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  6. Looks like a hot day! I remember running out of water one hot day while scrambling up Mount Gibraltar with my Jack Russel Terrier, Billy. I recalled that there were some springs near the base of the mountain(from a previous backpack trip) and luckily I landed right at them, when I descended. I filled my bottles and walked back to our camp at Bluerock - that little dog was still full of vim, running up the steps to the camp and chasing squirrels. I was beat!

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    1. It was incredibly hot. We thought the afternoon hike would be short enough to do without a problem.

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  7. That looks like a beautiful but intense hike.

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    1. It was just going after the objective in front of you. You never lost sight of the peak.

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  8. What a magnificent place! These are such great memories.

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    1. Yes, I wish I was still out there.

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  9. What a beautiful area. I have climbed a few where the final accent was barely wide enough for good footing.Water makes a major difference when out, i have carried tablets to purify the water, but spent time hiking back to a stream.

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    1. I did very little where there was exposure. I did not have mountaineering training or experience. This was the only time I ever had a shortage of water.

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  10. Now that is more than hiking. That is almost technical climbing. Impressive achievement and impressive views.

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  11. Wow! You are really adventurous! I got tired just thinking about it. You sure did get a great view as a reward.

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  12. Cool photos! Looks like a pretty rugged experience.

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  13. What a fine structure of a man you were in your younger days. That was still steep would make me dizzy. I could never be near the edge or even look
    over. What memories and pictures. Rugged for sure that adventure.

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  14. Such wonderful scenery, well worth the work to get to the top! Your photos have kept their color quite well.

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  15. Great post and pics. Southeastern Montana is my favorite go to place. Though being a fly fisherman my mountain climbing has always been up drainages of good trout streams...:)

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  16. Fantastic photos Red, that is an impressive hike!

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  17. Beautiful scenery! Hubby and I backpacked through southeast Asia for ten weeks on our honeymoon. What a great time.

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  18. Hi Red, Wow, those are some neat photos! This is why we archive stuff! Very nice indeed!

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