Saint Joseph Peak, Bitterroot Mountains,

Date: June 29, 2019
Trip Leader: Susanna Girolamo Phillips
Participants: Dori Gilels & Leah Samberg-Story
Reaching the summit of Saint Joseph’s peak requires a longer day and so I decided on an earlier start.
We began our ascent at the Bass Creek Overlook trail. We went over Little St. Joe Peak first, and followed the protruding ridge to the summit.
The first part of the route is on a good maintained trail. The snow line is below Little St. Joe Peak, just around 8′500 ft. On the ridge, half of the traverse was still filled in with more snow then I anticipated. It definitely prolonged our ridgecrossing. The plan was to traverse the north face of the mountain but the big and steeper snow fields impacted a safe route finding. We did not have adequate snow travel gear. Traversing the south face of the mountain was the better option.
As soon as we had a clear view of the north face of St.Joseph, we, as a team, decided on to continue on the southside of the mountain and follow the south west ridge to the summit. On the summit, a cold and steady wind kept our lunch break short.  We descended the same way down and made it back to Missoula before dinner time.

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