Thursday, November 20, 2014

Climbing Sphinx Mountain, East of the Madison Valley in Southwest Montana.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I was invited to join a group of guys heading for Montana to hike up Sphinx Mountain. I jumped at the chance to explore new ground and have some company during a hike. We met at Scott's home at 4:00 A.M. and piled into his Subaru.  Scott Hurst, James Helfrich, Matt Wood, Gavin Simpson, and myself made up the party.

We began the hike at twilight. It was clear and cold. The hike to the Sphinx and the nearby Helmet wound through a forested valley and up gentle slopes. Hunters had broke trail for much of the initial hike into the backcountry.

Photo by Matt Wood
Hiking to Sphinx Mountain, Montana
Soon the Helmet came into sight. It is a spectacular rock formation just west of Sphinx Mountain. James commented that the Helmet was indeed the most photographic peak during the hike. Here are four views of the Helmet.

The Helmet, Montana

The Helmet, Montana

The Helmet, Montana

The Helmet, Montana
The hike took us up the northwestern gully and then east to the summit. The temperature never rose above 0. With the windchill, it was at least -10 to -20. In fact, when we finished the hike and drove out to the highway the temperature was -18 without a windchill factor.

The Gully, Sphinx Mountain, Montana
The climbing was easy class 3. From the summit the views were spectacular and rewarding. On the top my altimeter read 11, 054 feet...not a tall peak, but nonetheless a great place to spend a winter day with good company.

Hiking Out of the Gully

Looking North
Upper Ridge, Sphinx Mountain, Montana. 


Nearing the Summit, Sphinx Mountain, Montana
On the Summit

Matt Wood on the Summit
Upper Ridge of Sphinx Mountain, Montana

Upper Ridge of Sphinx Mountain, Montana

Upper Ridge of Sphinx Mountain, Montana
For more trip reports of other mountains visit idahoclimbing.weebly.com

1 comment:

Christine Pearson said...

Hey! These are some great shots! I like looking at the photos you post on your blog.

-Christine (I went on the mountaineering trip to Church and Donaldson)