Beartooths 2004

This was a 5-day trip that I took with my brother Jeremy in mid-July 2004. We had a tentative plan to climb Mt. Wood from the North side (we had failed to do this the previous year due to weather), and then to perhaps climb Mt. Hague and continue along the ridgeline. However, since we didn't know much about the terrain, and the weather in the Beartooths is unpredictable, we hearkened to Robert Burns: The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley.

We started from the top of the Benbow Road and climbed onto the stark, beautiful Stillwater plateau, following the trail to Lake Wilderness. As you climb out of the trees and meadows, the trail disappears and only a few cairns provide guidance. Since we weren't heading to the lake, we eventually left the route and climbed up the talus slopes to around 11,500 ft. Below is a photo of a typical talus slope that we crossed. We spent most of the trip off-trail, on talus slopes, in lodgepole pine forest, in high mountain meadows, on high-angle scree slopes (the worst), and on snowfields.

The "Trail"

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