K7VK's blog

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Horse Creek Butte, Idaho | 26 September 2022

Summit: 
W7I/LE-162

Horse Creek Butte doesn’t appear as classically defined buttes nor typical of buttes that characterize many Idaho and Montana landscapes.  It has a highly fractured ridge of boulders capping the summit, but with little geological relief from the surrounding subalpine fir, and lodgepole and whitebark pine forest.

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Bunsen Peak, Wyoming | 2 October 2021

Summit: 
W7Y/PA-224

Bunsen Peak is an ancient volcanic cone characteristic of Yellowstone National Park. The peak is a very popular summit hike in Yellowstone Park near Mammoth Hot Springs. The trail is wide and even in October I found folks I could tag along with per the guidelines of not hiking alone in the Park.

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Point 118, Montana | 6 October 2020

Summit: 
W7M/LM-108

Point 118 hosts a Missoula County communication site.  It is a rocky prominence with excellent views of the distant Selway- Bitterroot Wilderness’ rugged northern mountains.  Access is by foot or bicycle on a permanently gated road.  The summit is approximately 200 feet from this communication site.

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Turner Mountain, Montana | 29 August 2021

Summit: 
W7M/LI-108

Turner Mountain in northwest Montana is approximately 22 miles north of Libby on Pipe Creek Road #567.  Turner ski area opened in 1961. It is currently active with a mile long double chairlift with 2100’ of vertical rise. The 1.8-mile vehicle access road is closed in the summer but open to mountain bikes and foot travel. I borrowed an ebike and rode to the summit via the reasonable grade ‘jeep road’.

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Roundtop Mountain, Idaho | 2 June 2021

Summit: 
W7I/IC-225

The Roundtop name matches well this broad round summit.  It was intensely burned, twice with very few snags and live trees remaining now.  Even though the hike is short, considerable downfall impedes travel over many routes.

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Canuck Peak, Montana | August 2021

Summit: 
W7M/LI-047

Canuck Peak is a forested summit in far northwestern Montana. The summit is identified only by three summit trails all heading downhill, a sign pointing to American Peak and a recently burned cabin. The trail to Canuck Peak is part of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail system Congressionally designated in 2009. The one-mile trail portion to Canuck Peak is a well-maintained easy grade.

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Summit 7112, Montana | June 2021

Summit: 
W7M/LM-096

Summit 7112 is at the head of Ninemile Creek and overlooks the Clark Fork valley to the north. It is a pleasant hike on cooler summer days.  The on-trail and off-trail are currently exposed with very little tree cover.

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Summit 8168, Montana | October 2022

Summit: 
W7M/GA-067

This un-named summit is near US Forest Service trail #313 south from Skalkaho Pass. The trail begins in a regenerated timber harvest unit and quickly transitions to old-lodgepole pine/Rocky Mountain subalpine fir forest partly burned by a wildfire in the early 2000’s.  Most of the trail is within this wildfire and is dominated by snags and windfall trees. Use caution traveling this area especially on windy days.

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Skalkaho Mountain, Montana | October 2022

Summit: 
W7M/RC-072

Skalkaho gets its name from the area in Salish meaning ‘many trails’.  Unrelated to the name, the summit does have several trails converging near its summit.  I chose the trail coming from the west off FS road #364.  This trail has many views of other SOTA summits and to the west the much higher elevation Bitterroot Range.

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Palisade Mountain, Montana | October 2022

Summit: 
W7M/RC-070

Palisade Mountain is a popular hike east of Corvallis, MT. The trail system is well maintained to within 500’ of the summit. The summit is a large talus rock pile with a several oddly-located whitebark pine trees.  Evidence of the 1930s lookout still exist as some rock work and old trails in the talus. The main trail does not go to the summit though a semi-improved travel way in the talus on the west side does.