Montana Outdoors

August 7, 2010

Thompson Peak (5)

As the trail ascended along the ridge toward the peak the amount of live vegetation increased and more pockets of live trees became visible on adjacent mountainsides.

In places here the trail was not what most would consider distinct. In fact in the area shown in the second photo I lost it entirely. Thinking that the very top of the ridge should be a good place for a trail, I climbed directly up there through a gap in the cliffs and the trail was indeed there. (On the way back down I found that there was a switchback that I hadn’t noticed in the middle of the rockslide where I lost the trail.)

This was by far the most rapid ascent of the trek, but knowing the peak was not far ahead now made it quite pleasant.

Along trail 291, near Thompson Peak

Along trail 291, near Thompson Peak

Along trail 291, near Thompson Peak

Along trail 291, near Thompson Peak

Along trail 291, near Thompson Peak

Along trail 291, near Thompson Peak

Along trail 291, near Thompson Peak

Along trail 291, near Thompson Peak

Along trail 291, near Thompson Peak

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16 Comments »

  1. gosh, those purple flowers are lovely…

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    Comment by burstmode — August 8, 2010 @ 9:50 am

    • I think they are Subalpine Daisies. I see them frequently on or near the top of peaks around here. They are always a nice splash of color!

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      Comment by montucky — August 8, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

  2. That trail really looks hard to follow. I am glad you were able to stay with it. Great photographs. I think you captured the scenery and showed us that magical place very well. I also like those purple daisy-like wildflowers!

    Like

    Comment by wildlifewatcher — August 8, 2010 @ 10:45 am

    • The trail sustained a lot of damage when the fire was going on, and I doubt that it gets many visitors now other than elk and mule deer. Outside of losing it once it was OK. Some of the blaze marks are still discernible on burned trees. I will be doing two more posts about that area, and one will be about the flowers growing at the top of the mountain.

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      Comment by montucky — August 8, 2010 @ 8:39 pm

  3. The fire may have charred the trees, but it has made it easier to see the beauty of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

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    Comment by scienceguy288 — August 8, 2010 @ 10:47 am

    • It did open things up a bit at the lower elevations. Once on top though the views are unobstructed anyway.

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      Comment by montucky — August 8, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

  4. How cool to see little bursts of those flowers on the ground. Such breathtaking views!

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    Comment by Stacey Dawn — August 8, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

    • I’m always so impressed with the wildflowers. They grow in what I would think were the most inhospitable places and provide so much beauty. When I see them in an area like this big burn, I view them as a message about the real status of the natural world.

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      Comment by montucky — August 8, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

  5. I love the views, and the wildflowers!

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    Comment by sandy — August 9, 2010 @ 11:11 am

    • I still have more from that trip to post but was sidetracked by the hummer. I was a little surprised by the number and variety of flowers at the peak.

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      Comment by montucky — August 9, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

  6. Such crisp photos, must be that clear mountain air. Beautiful sky.

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    Comment by Candace — August 10, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

    • There are no large population centers here in western Montana and therefore little air pollution other than when there are wildfires burning somewhere. The air around the peaks is especially clear, although there is a little haze and smoke visible in the distance.

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      Comment by montucky — August 10, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

  7. love these pictures. just something about them-the burned trees, the new vegetation, the peak of the trail. and those flowers are nice too!

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    Comment by silken — August 11, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    • I thought it would be interesting there after nature has started rebuilding.

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      Comment by montucky — August 11, 2010 @ 9:32 pm

  8. I am just curious to know what is that stone which is broken. Never seen anything like that.

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    Comment by sartenada — August 13, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

    • The rocks on most of the tall peaks in this part of the Rock Mountains is really just a sedimentary rock that formed millions of years ago. It was pushed up by collision of the Earth’s plates to form the mountain ranges. It can be fairly easily broken. On the higher mountains, especially at the peaks it has not been possibly to form soil for a number of reasons and so the tops are covered with bare rock.

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      Comment by montucky — August 14, 2010 @ 7:52 pm


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