Crazies, Sypes, Emerald and a big peak – July 27 – 28, 2009

Words and photos by Lee Lau unless otherwise noted.

Day 1 – History Rock – Bozeman, Montana
Day 2 – 3 – Trespass/Sypes; Emerald; A big peak|
Day 4 – Somewhere
Day 5 – 6 – Corral Creek, Fox Peak – Ketchum, Idaho
Day 7 – Warm Springs Creek;
Pioneer – Long Gulch
Day 8 – Corral Creek, Fisher Creek – Stanley, Idaho
Day 9 – Bull Trout to Bonneville

July 27, 2009

We got washed out on July 27 as Tony joined us for the day. First, an abortive attempt at Trespass Crk in the Crazies as we got turned around by a pending thunder/lightning storm that deluged trails. Then in the afternoon, not even half an hour into a local trail near Bozeman (Sypes Canyon) another monsoon turned us around. Sometimes its better to sit around and drink coffee so we packed up our soggy camp at Langohr and took advantage of Tony’s hospitality to dry out.

Sharon – Sypes Canyon

Tony – Sypes; note impending clouds and storm cycle

July 28, 2009

The rain turned out to be a blessing in disguise. While the PNW and BC was going through an unprecedented heat wave (and half the province was burning down) the rain had given the top few inches of soil a good soaking, ameliorated fire danger and left the trails in fine tacky condition. Tony figured that Emerald Lake – a local short day favorite – would be in good shape despite the rain. It turned out to be a good half-day trip. We climbed to 8900 ft from the trailhead at 6900 ft and had a really nice scenic ride.

Tony on the Emerald Lake climb

Approaching Emerald

Emerald Panorama

Random pictures of the BWAGs (Bozeman Women Activity Group) – hiking on Emerald. More friendly Montana hikers

Tony on the descent

We still had time in the day and no storms had hit yet, although weather wasn’t bluebird by any means. I really wanted to get into the alpine. Sharon was game and Tony said that, surprisingly, not too many people were up for hike-a-bike slogs to 10,000 plus ft. We started up to a big peak in the Gallatins (big by my coast sea-level standards) but sadly had to turn back at a saddle before the peak at 9,500ft as storm clouds brewed close to us.

The first part of the trail was quite rideable, although rooty and steep. The push started as the trail’s steepness jacked up at about 8,700ft and continued into alpine scree and sidehill benchcut talus. It’s a shame we didn’t make the summit but this gives me a good reason to come back and complete a few loops in the area.

Push through sub-alpine meadows – elev ~ 8,700ft

First snowfield at ~ 8,850 ft

Sharon with her head down concentrating on putting one little foot in front of the other at about 9,000 ft

Sub-alpine meadow panorama

Tony as we get closer to the alpine

Alpine! At this point, in BC, I am usually packing crampons, skis and an axe and am looking for crevasses

Sharon doing her altitude survival game-face thing

Tony approaches the 9,500 ft saddle. The trail continues further along the ridge to picture right. Clouds are looming and ready to hit our ass so we didn’t even consider giving it a try unfortunately.

Sharon liking the fact that riding downhill is so much easier then pushing uphill

Tony meadow-stomping


Descent of the last singletrack section was redonkulously fast

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