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Ascent of Elkhorn Peak on 2011-11-11

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Others in Party:Dave
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, November 11, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Elkhorn Peak
    Location:USA-Montana
    Elevation:9400 ft / 2865 m

Ascent Trip Report

Dave and I drove to Elkhorn in the morning with skins and snowshoes ready to use. We loved the town, especially because of the dirt main street and a few houses still puffing smoke out their chimneys. After driving past an avalanche bludgeoned wooden water tower and following some designated route signs we found a place to park about here: N 46.28867 W 111.93887 Unfortunately there was no snow at this level, so we figured that the snow equipment was out. Setting off, we followed the old road uphill which eventually had some water-flow on it and then some ice pack. At about 8300' we reached the snowline and it became deep fairly quickly. We didn't have gaiters for our ankles so we got a bit of snow build up above our boots. We then turned on a trail which we found led to the cabin mentioned in other trip reports. We then veered south to avoid the private property and then began to ascend a steeper rocky pitch. The snow was 2"-20" deep. We then made it up onto Windy Point which was indeed windy. The views of the cliffs below Elkhorn Peak and the valley below were incredible. Dave wasn't feeling well and began having a gnarly cough. He said we could press on and the cough did improve quickly. He decided to wear his lab goggles to shield his eyes from the sometimes gusty winds. From here it was a short climb to the top of Elkhorn which has a fortress-like rock berm at the summit. We tried to stand on it for a picture, but the wind was so strong that we nearly fell several times. Looking at Crow from here it seemed obvious that Crow was higher.

The remainder of the hike is in my trip report for Crow Peak.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2440 ft / 743 m
    Total Elevation Loss:80 ft / 24 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground, Scramble
    Weather:Cool, Very Windy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2440 ft / 743 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2360 ft / 720 m; Extra: 80 ft / 24m
    Loss on way in:80 ft / 24 m
    Distance:2.7 mi / 4.3 km
    Start Trailhead:Iron Mine Road  7040 ft / 2145 m
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    End Trailhead:Elkhorn Peak  9400 ft / 2865 m
    Time:0 Hours 
Ascent Part of Trip: 11-11-2011 (0 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Elkhorn Peak2011-11-11 a2440 ft / 744 m
2Crow Peak2011-11-11 b694 ft / 212 m
Total Trip Gain: 3134 ft / 956 m    Total Trip Loss: 3134 ft / 955 m



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