Ascent of Tweedy Mountain on 2015-08-01

Climber: Eric Higginbotham

Others in Party:Dustin Dickerson
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, August 1, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Tweedy Mountain
    Elevation:11154 ft / 3399 m

Ascent Trip Report

For this trip I once again used Adam Helman's drving directions to reach the trailhead. Adam if you are ever in the Clancy Montana area again feel free to contact me, I owe you a beer, or two, maybe three for all your great directions and trips reports I have used in the last two years. From the trailhead I choose the Barb lake route mentioned at Dori the Dog has a problem with boulder fields and I wasn't sure if she could make the Gorge Lakes Route. We camped at the trailhead then started at 6am the next morning, heading south we crossed the creek using a downed log, the dog getting an early morning bath. We then climbed 600 feet in a quarter mile through old growth forest. This hill is steep and covered with downed trees, alder brush, buck-brush, and assorted other debris that makes route finding up the hill difficult. This is the worst section of the hike, once this climb is accomplished everything else is easier. Once we reached the top of the ridge, we curved to the east and were greeted with a view of an unnamed peak across the valley. This peak is 10,268 feet and looking at it, it is hard to comprehend that by the end of the day we will be looking down on it. We continued to side hill east-ish along the hillside, occasionally seeing orange flagging tied to trees, evidence of other hikers. This stretch of the trail has a couple of small creeks, bogs and boulder fields. Once we wrapped around Barb Mountain enough to reach the Dubois drainage we picked up an old trail marked by small rocks stacked on top of large rocks. We would follow the trail for a while, then lose it then pick it up again, eventually side hilling turned to a slight climb and then we dropped into the Northeast edge of Barb Lake. What a spectacular view of a gorgeous mountain lake and our goal, the summit of Tweedy Mountain in the background. It didn't hurt that a blonde female flycaster was fishing along the edge of the sandy shore of Barb Lake. It also didn't hurt that she didn't like to get her clothes wet wading into the shallow water in order to cast farther out into the deeper water. We took a short break to allow the flycaster to retreat to her tent and then we followed the sandy shore around the lake and into the notch following the inlet creek. From there it was a nice easy route to the summit. I think the dog only had trouble with boulder hopping once. The summit register box was empty and I wished I had brought my bundle of rite-in-the-rain paper to leave in it. I had it in my hand intending to put it in my pack and then changed my mind, doh. We retreated from the summit after also wondering how Bob Packard made it from the summit of Torrey Mountain over to Tweedy. Despite not having a trail to it, Barb Lake had three parties of campers at it, two couples, and one elderly gentleman in his sixties camping by himself. All were very friendly, none stole our beer we stashed at the lake. I was impressed with the elderly gentleman and hope that when I'm his age I am still able to get out into the woods like him. He suggested the old trail parallels Dubois Creek and comes out to a road farther down Dubois Creek, thus avoiding the nasty hill climb when starting from Gorge Lakes Trailhead. We fished for a couple of hours at Barb lake enjoying the sun, our beer and of course Dori the Dog and I split a tin of sardines on crackers. The fishing at Barb Lake was poor and based on the number of campers at the lake will only get worse in the future. On our route out we followed the old trail and noticed that it had been freshly blazed in sections. This time we stayed lower on the hillside and avoided some boulder fields and steep sandy hill-siding we did on the way in. We lost the old/new trail when we crossed out of the Dubois drainage over to Buckhorn creek. Then it was a careful crawl down the brushy hillside to the trailhead. Halfway down the dog ruffed up and started growling at something below us, piquing our interest in what was waiting below us, but we never did find out what it was. We arrived at the waiting truck at 8pm. A long day, but a fun day. We talked at the trailhead with a couple who had been fishing at Gorge Lakes that day who couldn't believe we had been on top of Tweedy while they were fishing below us. They reported that fishing was horrible at Gorge Lakes. I have attached the GPS track of our route out from Tweedy Mountain, this route overall was easier than the route in.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Torrey Mountain from the summit of Tweedy Mountain (2015-08-01). Photo by Eric Higginbotham.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4434 ft / 1350 m
    Extra Gain:390 ft / 118 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.9 mi / 14.3 km
    Route:Barb Lake
    Trailhead:Gorge Lake Trailhead  7500 ft / 2286 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Sunny with a few clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:6 Hours 6 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:6 Hours 6 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Eric Higginbotham
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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

Other Photos

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Barb Lake with Tweedy Mountain in background (2015-08-01). Photo by Eric Higginbotham.
Click here for larger-size photo.

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