Showing posts from May, 2018

Pinball Wizard Chute (and Little St. Joe), Bitterroots

Date: May 5, 2018
Trip leader: Joshua Phillips
Attendees: John Bardsley, Adam Drobish, Minot Maser

The third TRM trip on Saturday, May 5, was a backcountry ski trip over the top of Little St. Joe to the Pinball Wizard Chute. Pinball Wizard descends to Bass Creek about half-way along the ridge between Little and Big St. Joe Peaks and requires some scrappy and slow-going hiking along the ridge once past Litte St. Joe. Pinball Wizard is the second chute you see as you look down from the ridge heading west. The chute itself is a skiers dream: 4000 feet of vertical, with a consistent, but not-too-steep, pitch. It's definitely worth the extra effort beyond Little St. Joe. We were able to ski all the way to Bass Creek, then it was 5 miles out on the Bass Creek trail to the cars, and back to Missoula for the Rocky Mountaineers annual picnic. Although it was a long, challenging day, this trip was one of the highlights of the ski year for me.

Kootenai Canyon Rock Climbing

Date: May 5, 2018 Leaders: Kelsey Wellington and Forest Dean Participants: Alice Gustafson, Sierra Lake, Logan DeBoer, Casey Brown, Tom Jones, Diana Diakow, and Thomas Herwerden
This was my first trip lead for the Rocky Mountaineers, and I was excited that it involved my favorite sport: climbing. I am quite familiar with the climbing in the Bitterroots, so Forest and I chose Kootenai Canyon for our adventure. The group met at the Route 12/93 Walmart at 8:30am, and we were at the trailhead by 9:10am. The approach to the climbing is a short one—barely half a mile—so we were climbing by 9:30am.
The routes at Kootenai are stout, despite their intermediate grades. Many experienced climbers have found themselves frustrated by Kootenai, myself included. On this trip, I led a route named 11th Commandment, which had been the bane of my existence for about a year. This time, I finally reached the top without falling, and celebrated with many high-fives once I returned to the ground. Logan and …

Trapper Peak - Bitterroots

Date:  May 5, 2018.   Leader:  Alden Wright   Participants:  Julie Huck, Suzanne Panzica, Anne Yoncha, Bryan Kercher, Aaron Baldwin, Michael Riley, Neil Simpson, Edna Blanchfield, Marrea Matthews, Dave Patterson, Alec Patterson, Kevin Wright.
I did my first spring ski trip to Trapper in 1990 with an outing led by Jim Ullrich, former active Rocky Mountaineers member.Over the years, I did a similar trip many times, including a 1992 trip with my son Kevin.Starting in 2013, I led Rocky Mountaineers trips which have been billed as birthday hikes since they have been close to my birthday which is April 23.This trip continued this tradition for my 76th birthday.
We met where the road crosses Troy Creek the second time at 5500’ elevation, and this gave us a ¾ mile hike up to the summer trailhead.We walked by slash piles that were burned the week earlier.(Marrea and Edna had driven up to check out conditions, and reported extremely smoky conditions.)We started hiking from the cars at 8:00, an…