Thursday, August 30, 2012

An ascent of Iddings Peak

The long east ridge of Iddings Peak

Iddings peak is the second highest peak in the Crazy Mountains of central Montana.  The entire mountain range is an anomoly, it resides in a basin feature (i.e. the mountains shouldn't be there), the rock is ignious and metamorphic, and the relief in these mountains is enormous for such a "low" mountain range.  It's a unique place.

I have always wanted to climb this peak's long east ridge, and with the rest of the mountain ranges in Montana being on fire, this was the logical choice.

I leasurely hiked into the beautiful cirque that contains Pear lake and set up a camp near the inlet at a small tarn.  I spent the day exploring the two tiny pocket glaciers that surround  the peak.  They both had small terminal moraines which is a good sign (you can see one moraine in the picture above). 

I awoke when it got light out then headed up the few thousand feet to the base of the east ridge.  The night felt really cold and I was surprised to see that the tarn I was camped at was frozen over.  Once on the  east ridge I found the rock to be a bit loose (expected) but really, really good climbing as well.  The ridge was mostly 4th class for about half a mile, exposed, windy, with great views.  I summited the peak then descended the entire ridge back down because it was so fun (one can excape the ridge just below the summit pyramid).

The east ridge

The east ridge with the summit pyramid still 1/4 mile away.

Rock lake way down there, the haze is from all the forest fires in Montana.

A few mountain goats

This little guy was more interested in choke cherries than me.

Cheers, Loren

1 comment:

  1. Hey there Loren- I came across your post on Iddings Peak recently- I know you did it a few years back but as you probably know, there's precious little beta on it and I was curious- I have gotten a decent look @ the peak from the saddle between Iddings and Crazy peak when I climbed Crazy a few years ago, and it looks like this was your approach. I'm wondering about the approach from the Smeller lake side? Let me know if you have any info from that side of things. Much thanks,