Sweeney Peak (Bitterroots)

Date: December 28, 2019
Leader:  Forest Dean
Participants:  Chelsea Leven, Erin Carey, Frank Dean, Brock Rugg

The 5 of us met on the south side of Missoula at 7am and headed south to the Bitterroot.  We were able to drive all the way up to the trailhead (5900’) without any problem in my truck.  We packed up and started skinning up the trail at about 8:20.  Coverage was thin down low, but adequate for going uphill.  At about the 6900’ level we left the trail and switchbacked up through the recent Lolo Fire burn and gained the broad ridge.  Followed this to the wide saddle above the spring and then slowly made our way up the ridge.  Blue sky’s and 4-5” of fresh snow kept our spirits high.  We topped out on the windswept summit ridge and walked over to the summit (9161’) arriving at around noon.  Took some pics, ate some lunch, then began the ski back down.  The bowls and runs off the north side were way too thin in our opinion to try skiing, so we just headed back down the way we came.  We hit a few rocks every now and then, but mostly just had a fun descent.  As we got closer to the trail, we hit more rocks and cringed every time!  Back to the trailhead (walked the last half mile) at 4:30.  Fun day with a great group!  About 10 miles, 3500’ of climbing.  Forest Dean.  Pictures from Erin Carey.

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