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uww
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PostWed May 15, 2019 3:35 pm 
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For some reason my brothers don't want me getting away with being able to drive to our annual hiking trip- last year was Mt. Adams. They are flying in from all over the flat parts of the US, trip is going to be late June and is not flexible.

We are looking for a 2 or 3 day trip with some sort of objective and maybe a fun class 3 route. We considered Mt. Whitney but we wanted to do the mountaineers route and also camp which means we missed the shot at a permit long ago- next year! Long's peak is also on the list but looks like it could be a bit early and again we'd prefer a 2 day trip. Thought I'd ask around here as to what other things I should look at. Any suggestions would be great, thanks!
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Foist
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PostWed May 15, 2019 3:44 pm 
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Try Cloud Peak, the high point of the Bighorn Mountains.  Over 13k feet, but just a scramble.  I did a backpack just to Mistymoon lake.  We intended to go farther but the high elevation killed us (the trailhead is already over 10k). Spectacular area and way less famous/crowded then Yellowstone and that vicinity.
https://www.summitpost.org/cloud-peak/150249
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostWed May 15, 2019 5:36 pm 
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Granite Peak in Montana might fit the bill.  There are multiple routes, I went in via Mystic Lake and Froze to Death Plateau.  Some parties rope up for it but I didn't think it was any more than class 3 and was fine soloing it.  Could be some steep snow in places, IIRC I didn't have an axe when I was there and was fine w/out one.  That's all variable of course.
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Eric Hansen
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PostWed May 15, 2019 9:18 pm 
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OP, not clear whether you are flexible on where the brothers fly in or whether Portland or Sea Tac is already locked in with their tickets. If flex several Great Basin peaks come to mind. Ibapah in western Utah's Deep Creek Range. A south to north traverse of Wheeler Peak (in Great Basin NP but last I saw they were mellow for NPS, no permits). Also, Mount Moriah north of GBNP in the North Snake Range. All these peaks are 12+, Wheeler 13 thou. Moriah is the least scramble, but feels soulfully remote with nice bristlecone pines. Ibapah also mystical, memorable. Moriah and Ibapah would mean parking at about 6 thou, Wheeler trailhead would be higher.

Edit-all 3 of these locations are along the Nevada/Utah border. Wheeler is just south of rte. 50, Moriah a tad north of 50. Ibapah is an hour's drive north of there on good gravel roads. I've done each of these multiple times and would gladly return. Tumbling creeks, bonneville strain cutthroat trout and aspen on the ascent. Bristlecones and 100 mile visibility up top (or was in the times before fire season became so active)

I've traversed Cloud Peak. Yes, a nice, non technical peak. We ascended from the Wilderness Basin and exited on the standard southwest slope route.

Be aware that the broad summit has a lot of rock hopping (talus). Reasonable when dry but when wet it was slick (I suspect a lichen was the culprit). Rain caught us on the summit and both my partner and I blew out ankles within a few minutes of each other as we slipped on rocks.

Cloud Peak is the highest thing around for a good distance so expect any scrap of weather to be on it.
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uww
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PostWed May 15, 2019 11:46 pm 
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Eric Hansen wrote:
OP, not clear whether you are flexible on where the brothers fly in or whether Portland or Sea Tac is already locked in with their tickets.

Sorry, we (or more accurately they) do NOT want to come to the PNW. Anywhere else in North America should be fine.

Thanks for the great suggestions so far!
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Eric Hansen
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PostFri May 17, 2019 11:18 am 
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All good. Quiz me if you actually focus in on Moriah, Wheeler or Ibapah.
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Eric Hansen
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PostSun May 19, 2019 1:13 pm 
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One format that has worked well for me in similar scenarios is to pick a target fly into city (for example Salt Lake City in this case) that would offer you several prime choices in different directions. That prevents you being caught flat footed if a weather system moves through, and makes calling an audible at the last minute a good idea.
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Matt Lemke
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PostMon May 20, 2019 3:35 pm 
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uww wrote:
Sorry, we (or more accurately they) do NOT want to come to the PNW

That's crazy talk right there  eek.gif

Whitetail Peak may be another option in the Beartooths, with a camp at Shadow Lake (highly recommended!) or Granite Peak like was suggested above. Approaching Granite via the Sky Top Creek approach is stunning!

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Eric Hansen
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PostMon May 20, 2019 7:42 pm 
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+1 on Whitetail. I wasn't pushing Beartooths thinking late June would mean considerable snow but that is OP's call.
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uww
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PostWed May 22, 2019 3:29 pm 
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Thanks all.

Whitetail looks awesome but may be just a bit out of the comfort zone for this group- Mt. Adams was the steepest/first snow my brothers have done and it was in perfect conditions. Definitely going on my list.

Looking hard at Cloud Peak. If the weather does not cooperate I'm sure we can figure something else out.
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Eric Hansen
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PostWed May 22, 2019 6:49 pm 
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Can't speak for Matt Lemke but I was advocating for Whitetail from Sundance Pass, not up the famous couloir. That approach (from Sundance) is a moderate scramble, nothing techie. My doubt was general snow conditions in the Beartooths in late June.
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Matt Lemke
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PostWed May 22, 2019 9:09 pm 
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Yeah if you didn't want to climb the whitetail couloir you can just scramble up easy terrain from Sundance pass. Class 3 max

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Eric Hansen
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PostThu May 23, 2019 8:42 am 
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If you're targeting Cloud Peak, the west side canyons make for a good plan B if the crest is socked in. Erik Molvar has a number of those canyons in his Hiking Cloud Peak Wilderness book (book is very well done).
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