Greathouse – greatest seat in the home.
I’ve been on a number of peaks the place I may see massive parts of Montana however Greathouse Peak would possibly take the prize on the subject of recognizing the island ranges of central Montana. In reality, some sources declare that on a transparent day you may see all the best way from Canada to Yellowstone. Skies aren’t at all times as clear as they had been many years in the past (longer fireplace seasons, airline site visitors, and many others.), however they had been first rate the day a couple of associates and I summited Greathouse (Monday 6/28/21). Regardless of a faint haze close to the floor, we may 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) identify for the Massive Snowies is níichʔibííkʔa, which interprets to “it’s by no means summer season” – probably as a result of snow could possibly be seen up there all yr 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 Massive 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. Nonetheless, my associates and I found that there’s far more to them than meets the attention.
As I scouted the Massive Snowies utilizing Google Earth I seen a pair unusual teardrop-shaped basins on the southern aspect of the mountains – the watersheds of Careless Creek and Swimming Lady Creek. A little analysis revealed that they’re basic examples of pseudo-cirques. Though the basins have SOME traits of glacially-carved cirques, they had been really formed by frequent rockslides as a result of a novel set of geologic circumstances. It’s difficult however for those who’d wish to know extra concerning the improvement of those false cirques, I’ve supplied a hyperlink beneath. Nonetheless, the chance to discover a pseudo-cirque, share an journey with associates, AND climb the very best peak within the vary was loads of incentive for me. As a bonus, the slender ridge across the head of an adjoining basin known as “Knife Blade Ridge” – What hiker wouldn’t welcome the possibility to see what that’s all about!
Someplace in the midst of Montana.
So, on Sunday afternoon three associates 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 notice 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.