Sweeny Peak, Bitterroots

Date: April 23, 2018
Trip Leader: John Bardsley
Attendees: Fintan Maguire and Leland Earle

We lucked out with a bluebird day on this climb of Sweeney Peak. The road to the Sweeney Creek Trail Head was open up to the switchback at 5100 feet, where we got started at 8am. We followed the ridge, gained the official trail, and then followed it as it traverses across the south face of point 7692. At the saddle and spring on the map, we left the trail and followed the ridge on up to the summit, enjoying spectacular views: south at Big and Little St. Joe and the Sweeny Creek drainage, and north at Lolo Peak and the One Horse drainage. We reached the summit at 1:30pm and spent some time relaxing before our descent. There wasn’t time and energy for a lap in Sweeny’s enticing northeast bowl, so we just skied our skin track down, returning to the car at 4pm.

The traverse across the south face of point 7692 was tedious both on the way in (due to Leland’s poor fitting skins) and on the way out (due to rotten snow and a gentle grade). It would probably be better to avoid the traverse by going up and over 7692 — next time!

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