Montana Outdoors

July 14, 2008

Penrose Peak, Part 7

The following photos were taken along the top half mile of the trail, where I moved much more slowly, not because the climb was all that difficult, but because the views used up all of my available attention.

The Bitterroot Range is at the horizon in the first three photos.

Penrose peak trail 385

Penrose peak trail 385

Penrose peak trail 385

In this photo the small town of Plains Montana lies in the Clark Fork Valley below with a few of the Cabinet Mountains immediately behind it and the Mission Mountains are at the sky line, 50 miles in the distance.

Penrose peak trail 385

A little farther to the north, 7,400 foot Baldy Mountain dominates the skyline 19 miles away.

Penrose peak trail 385

In the next photo, the trail shows up as nearly vertical along the right side of the photo. It was a little steep, the kind of trail that makes your knees get to know your chin quite well. There are several sections like this near the top.

Penrose Peak, trail 385

Penrose Peak, trail 385

Finally, a first look at the other peaks in the Cherry Peak roadless area. Until now they were hidden by the ridge.

Penrose Peak, trail 385

More of the peaks toward the western end of the roadless area. Only three of them are named.

Penrose Peak, trail 385

Penrose Peak, trail 385

With the peak just a short rock-scramble above, this became the most dangerous part of the entire trip. To get to the rocky knob leading to the very top, it was necessary to cross about 30 feet of deep snow-bank and if I were to slide down it, that snowbank at the left-bottom of this photo is where I would land after a fall of about 800 feet. The top inch and a half of the snow was slushy, but firm under that and about 10 feet deep. With my boots I kicked out stair steps ahead of me on the way up and anchored by jamming my hiking staff deep into the firm snow. No problem!

Penrose Peak, trail 385

The next post will be at the top and there will be some photos taken from there.


  1. Still snow up there on the peaks. How high are you again? I would love to see a panoramic view of the place. Great shots.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — July 15, 2008 @ 6:53 am

  2. Yikes! I have a fear of height and even these photos made my heart race a bit! But nevertheless,… I paused and devoured every one of them! Amazing shots!


    Comment by Cedar — July 15, 2008 @ 7:45 am

  3. Scienceguy,

    The peak is just over 7,000 feet. The snowbanks started in the shady areas at 6,100.


    Comment by montucky — July 15, 2008 @ 3:09 pm

  4. Cedar,

    I’ve wondered how these would seem to someone who didn’t like heights. Some of the trails would certainly be unpleasant I guess. I’m glad you liked the photos anyway!


    Comment by montucky — July 15, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

  5. Wow… Incredible. Can’t wait for next post!


    Comment by winterwoman — July 16, 2008 @ 4:31 am

  6. I still have to post my favorite photo of the trip.


    Comment by montucky — July 16, 2008 @ 7:08 am

  7. Ten feet of snow still, that is nuts Terry !!!

    Great shots !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — July 16, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

  8. Yes, we had good snowfall in the mountains last winter. There are still banks of snow above about 6,000 feet on the three peaks that I’ve climbed this past week. It’s really good to see it up there this late. That’s the way it’s supposed to be!


    Comment by montucky — July 16, 2008 @ 8:50 pm

  9. How many miles was your total hike? What road did you use for your approach? My husband and I want to climb this peak this summer. Thanks for any information or advice you may have. I see you climbed it quite a while ago, great pictures!


    Comment by Lorraine Hermiston — June 6, 2021 @ 3:27 pm

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