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Ascent of Greathouse Peak on 2012-08-21

Climber: Dennis Poulin

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Greathouse Peak
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:8681 ft / 2645 m

Ascent Trip Report

I drove up Swimming Woman road and crossed the new culvert at the ranch house. Just beyond the culvert there is a "Road Closed" sign but I drove around it as others have. 0.5 mile past the culvert there is a road to the left that goes up on the bench and continues north towards Greathouse. If you miss this turnoff (like I did) you reach a washout where the road ends in another 0.5 mile. I followed the road on the bench towards Greathouse and the canyon ahead. There is a red roofed house off to the left and when the road turned toward the house, I continued straight and went through the gate. About 0.5 mile past the gate I reached a National forest sign and this ended the 2WD road. The road continues in the creekbed and is mostly an ATV road, goes through another gate, and in about 1.7 miles the canyon opens up into a drainage where the creekbed is at least 100 yds wide. I crossed the creekbed, went through another gate and continued north towards Greathouse about another mile. I finally stopped at about 6,400 ft elevation in a nice wooded area where I car camped for the night.

In the morning, I started walking. The ATV track ended in about .4 mile and then it was a cow path that emerged into an open valley above the forest. This grassy area is crisscrosssed with cow paths and it is difficult to separate trail from cow path. I knew I wanted to go to Half Moon Pass, so I made my way there by using a series of cow paths and some off trail travel through the grass and wild flowers. Once at Half Moon Pass, I could see that a direct ascent up the east ridge of Greathouse was possible. From a distance it looked cliffy. I climbed the ridge directly and never had a problem. There were a couple short ledges that were easily climbed. Lower on the slope the light buff colored slope may be impossible to climb if it is wet because of the clay content. This day it was dry and easily climbed. Great views. On the descent I took a direct route towards my trailhead and bypassed Half Moon Pass. I looked eastward towards Old Baldy and it looked like it too may be climbed from the this same trailhead. It would be steep and would have to be dry to climb the steep slope.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2281 ft / 695 m
    Elevation Loss:2281 ft / 695 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:2281 ft / 695 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.8 km
    Route:Half Moon Pass
    Trailhead:6400 ft / 1950 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:2281 ft / 695 m
    Distance:1.7 mi / 2.8 km
    Route:Half Moon Pass
    Trailhead:6400 ft / 1950 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dennis Poulin
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

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