Greathouse Peak within the Huge Snowies – Huge Sky Walker

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 relating to recognizing the island ranges of central Montana. In truth, some sources declare that on a transparent day you’ll be able to see all the way in which from Canada to Yellowstone. Skies aren’t at all times as clear as they had been a long time in the past (longer hearth seasons, airline visitors, and many others.), however they had been respectable the day just a few associates and I summited Greathouse (Monday 6/28/21). Regardless of a faint haze close to the floor, we may determine 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 time?
The Aaniih (previously Gros Ventre) title for the Huge Snowies is níichʔibííkʔa, which interprets to “it’s by no means summer time” – 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 submit). Like all mountains in central Montana, the character of the Huge 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 associates and I found that there’s rather more to them than meets the attention.

As I scouted the Huge 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. A little analysis revealed that they’re traditional examples of pseudo-cirques. Though the basins have SOME traits of glacially-carved cirques, they had been truly formed by frequent rockslides because of a novel set of geologic circumstances. It’s difficult however when you’d prefer to know extra concerning the growth of those false cirques, I’ve supplied a hyperlink under. Nonetheless, the chance to discover a pseudo-cirque, share an journey with associates, 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 prospect to see what that’s all about!

Someplace in the course 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 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.