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Ascent of Tumble Mountain on 2021-08-15

Climber: Garrett Carlson

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, August 15, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Tumble Mountain
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:11314 ft / 3448 m

Ascent Trip Report

I hiked up Tumble as a three day trip via the West Fork Stillwater River and Lightning Lake. After hiking several miles up the trail and finding a string of rocks to cross the West Fork, I encountered tiresome deadfall as I began climbing toward the ridge west of Lightning Creek. This lasted for about 900 vertical feet and felt discouraging with the weight of an overnight pack. Heading down, I stayed right on the ridge (shown on the track) and the going was better -- still a bit tedious, but I didn't find myself contending against a plethora of torso-height deadfall with a large pack.

Between about 8,000 and 9,100 feet, I was able to follow a faint old trail along the ridgeline which was marked with blazes and cairns. This was a pleasant surprise and eliminated any remaining bushwhacking that would have been necessary.

The hike up Tumble from camp at Lightning Lake was straightforward and pleasant. I took my time enjoying the broad, scenic ridges and was back to camp by late afternoon, finding that the group present last night had left and that I had the area to myself. Later that evening, coming back to camp after a 15 minute walk to view the lake, I spotted a Grizzly ambling in the direction of my camp about 150 yards away. The bear immediately turned around and loped off into the forest upon seeing me. Based on the voluntary sign-in book at the trailhead, it seems that at least several parties a year visit Lightning Lake, but the approach and the bear sighting made me feel out there on this second night.

Overall, this approach worked as well as I hoped and I could recommend it as a way to summit Tumble Mountain.

Summary Total Data
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Route:West Fork Stillwater
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Garrett Carlson
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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 responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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