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NW ridge
Route

NW ridge

 
NW ridge

Page Type: Route

Location: Montana, United States, North America

Object Title: NW ridge

Route Type: Scrambling

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Class 2-4

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes
 

 

Page By: H2SO4

Created/Edited: Sep 9, 2008 / Sep 10, 2008

Object ID: 441052

Hits: 863 

Page Score: 70.83%  - 1 Votes 

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Overview

While not necessarily the shortest way, an aesthetic route with great views goes over point 11894, and down to the saddle between that and Cairn Mountain, and up the ridge to the summit. The 500 vertical feet up to point 11894 are a fun scramble, anywhere from class 2 to class 4 depending on the route you take 
View of the Mt. Villard Spires from the broad plateau on top of Cairn Mountain.
 
. After that it's a fun walk with great views.

Getting There

From the Skytop Lakes basin, just follow the stream up until it disappears in the moraine, and then follow snow to the right up to the saddle between Granite and point 11894. Alternately, cross to the right of the creek before the last couple lakes, and follow grass up to the moraine. (See main page for getting to the Skytop Lakes basin).

Route Description

The route begins at the saddle between Granite Peak and Point 11894. Scramble up the ridge-crest, going right easier ground and finally talus if you get scared. From the top of 11894 descend to the saddle between 11894 and Cairn Mountain. From here follow and intermittent use trail up the ridge to a broad plateau at 12,000 feet. From here it's a beautiful stroll over tundra and rocks to the top, about a half mile further.  
Ridge on point 11894 coming up from the Cairn-mountain Granite Peak saddle.
 

You can descend down the scree slope from the saddle between Cairn Mountain and pt 11894. This has deep scree, and is a quick descent.

Essential Gear

Nothing required for the route.  
New snow on August 15th 2008
 
For staying in the area, note that it can snow any time of the year. My dad and I were there in mid-august, and ended up regretting our decision not to bring a tent when a cold front came through and it sleeted and snowed a bit.

Images

View of the Mt. Villard Spires from the broad plateau on top of Cairn Mountain.