Montana Outdoors

August 6, 2010

Thompson Peak (4)

As is the case on many of the tall mountains in this area, the top of Thompson Peak is very rocky, as is the ridge that leads to the summit. Despite the very high temperatures in the middle of the fire, the expanses of rock did provide a certain amount of fire-break and there some of the forest was spared. It will be a big help with the regeneration of that part of the forest.

Trail 291 to Thompson Peak

Trail 291 to Thompson Peak

Trail 291 to Thompson Peak

Trail 291 to Thompson Peak

Trail 291 to Thompson Peak

Trail 291 to Thompson Peak

From trail 291

This scene looks down at Little Thompson Peak and shows a pocket of trees that was sheltered from the flames by the rocky peak itself. Seeds from there will start replanting the nearby areas.

Little Thompson Peak


  1. It’s so beautiful there… it’s rough looking, but it’s just so beautiful!!!


    Comment by Tricia — August 7, 2010 @ 1:46 am

    • That’s what I think too. Whenever I can I travel in and photograph the wild country away from the roads. That’s the world that has always been and where our roots really are. I find it comforting, like returning home after a long trip.


      Comment by montucky — August 7, 2010 @ 8:08 pm

  2. Awesome stark, sharp and rugged captures! I really like the first photo.


    Comment by Anna — August 7, 2010 @ 7:49 am

    • Yes it is rugged country and it can be very unforgiving, but when you spend time there you get to love it and feel perfectly at home there.


      Comment by montucky — August 7, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

  3. Truly great pictures! You can clearly see where there now is vegetation growing among all of the rocks. Won’t be too many years before there will be baby trees!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — August 7, 2010 @ 8:57 am

    • The things that survived are living their lives as usual and it’s surprising how many did survive. Some of the pioneer types of plants like Fireweed actually grow after a fire from seeds that have been in the soil for years but didn’t germinate because they were always shaded by the forest. Yes, there will be new trees starting soon, certainly Lodgepole Pine which actually needs fire to reproduce.


      Comment by montucky — August 7, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

  4. I love those purple flowers.


    Comment by burstmode — August 7, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

    • Those are Shrubby Penstemons. They grow in thick mats and in this particular area like it above 6,000 feet. THey are very common among the rocks an in the sunny areas near or on the tops of the peaks.


      Comment by montucky — August 7, 2010 @ 8:23 pm

  5. The trees here have evolved to cope with these small fires which happen every once and a while. Their thick bark is a testament to the wonders of natural selection.


    Comment by sciencedude288 — August 7, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

    • Thick bark is a strategy of some of the firs and especially the Larch. It can live for 900 years or longer and in all parts of the forests that I have visited if you look closely at the bases of the really big ones you can see signs of past fires.


      Comment by montucky — August 7, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

  6. Stark but beautiful.


    Comment by Candace — August 7, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    • It is. Even in the middle of this huge burn, from the peak you can see other mountains outside of the burn area supporting the beautiful green forests. In a few hundred years, this area will look like that again too.


      Comment by montucky — August 7, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

  7. For everything, there is a season.


    Comment by Bo Mackison — August 7, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

  8. Those tree skeletons make for some very stark photography.


    Comment by knightofswords — August 7, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    • They sure do. After three years, one can see some new beginnings. I did enter the burn a month after the fire and the skeletons were a little depressing. I did take some photos but have not posted any of them.


      Comment by montucky — August 7, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

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