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.