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Page Construction A
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Page Construction A

Page Construction A

Page Type: Custom Object

Location: Montana, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 48.02083°N / 115.56694°W

Object Type: East Face

Object Title: Page Construction A

County: Lincoln, Sanders


Page By: rebelgrizz

Created/Edited: Sep 28, 2010 / Oct 24, 2012

Object ID: 665686

Hits: 738 

Page Score: 70.12%  - 1 Votes 

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Route InformationPLEASE DO NOT VOTE

The picture below is a zoom shot of Carney Peak's upper east face from Trail #656. As mentioned on the main page, this peak has a little of everything. This route page will try to do justice to the route we took up the east face of this fantastic mountain.

Hike up Trail #656 for just over 4 miles, gaining over 2000 feet, until reaching a pile of talus that crowds the trail from the right below the steep slopes of beargrass down low on Carney's east face. Looking straight ahead, before turning to your right to climb, is a beautiful look at Lost Buck Pass.

We began the off-trail portion of the route at the talus pile pictured above. The photo below shows JFKitty venturing up the steep beargrass slope. The line shows the approximate route to a dry drainage that we used to gain elevation past the lowest cliff band.

Carney Peak
Approximate route to drainage

When the footing in the drainage became less than stable we exited to the right into more steep beargrass and the beginning of the cliff bands and the trees. But first, a look back down the drainage at Upper Geiger Lake.

We opted to climb through the cliffs to our left for a more direct route.

Carney Peak
Approximate route upper face

This took us to the base of the actual summit block where JFKitty commenced to routefinding our way to the top...pictured below.

Carney Peak
Approximate route summit block

Upon reaching a platform just below the actual summit on the NE corner, walk through the slot, pictured below, and then make an immediate left and climb a short gully, make a right, and walk a few feet over large pieces of talus and you've gained the summit.

The summit had a register contained in a an elaborate metal box. There were several entries from 2012. More than one of them said the following, "now that we're up here, how do we get down".

We kind of felt the same way and tried descending down the NE ridge after coming off the summit block, but we kept cliffing out, on somewhat unstable sidewalk-sized pieces of talus. We ended up having to work our way back around to the east face and hitting the approach route just below where we had picked up the drainage on the way up. Below, Lost Buck Pass on the descent.

TerrainOne-Way MileageElevation Gain
Trail #6564.052073'
Bushwhack to Summit.411223'

The Route In


Ksanka Route
Paradise Lake Reflection
Green Mountain
Trail #339 intersection
Hike up the Bluebird Trail #83 for approximately 2.32 miles gaining about 1150'. The goal is to reach the Highline Trail #339 as it traverses across the wide bench (Bluebird Basin) containing Paradise Lake and Bluebird Lake. Trail #83 is a well-maintained trail as it is the primary route to Bluebird Lake which is a popular destination in the Ten Lakes Scenic Area. The trail does switchbacking on its way up to the bench and crosses Bluebird Creek several times. Early in the season, more than one of these crossings could be problematic due to snowmelt.

Ksanka Route
Junction with #340
Ksanka Route
On #340

Once at the intersection, turn left (south) to head to Ksanka. Rather quickly, you will come upon an un-marked trail snaking up and away to the right through the trees. This is UN-MAINTAINED Trail #340. On your approximately half-mile journey to the saddle of Point 7448 and Point 7417 you will need to use your route finding skills as the trail fades out briefly in a couple of areas. Look for small trail cairns and they should get you back on the trail. At this point on the trail, your first objective, Point 7448, pictured below, should be coming into view.

Continue your progression to the saddle between the points and enjoy the scenery, as this area is absolutely beautiful.

Upon reaching the saddle you're presented with three choices. Go around Point 7448' to the right or the left, or go over the top. We chose to go over the top after surveying the choices, deciding that it was the shortest and the safest choice...and we would get to climb it!!

The Choice


Ascending 7448

The "climb" of Point 7448's north ridge, while not overly challenging, was still quite fun. As it steepens toward the top, the use of hands is required to make a couple of moves, but overall, very easy.



Descending 7448's SW Ridge

We decided to descend to the left of the crest of the SW ridge. Most of the footing was loose and sketchy as we had to contend with deadfall, junipers, and some steep, loose, scree and a talus pile at the bottom.


Ascending Ksanka's NE Ridge

It was not necessary to climb on the crest of the ridge but the footing was better there. We did climb lower on the left side the higher we got so as to minimize the elevation loss as there was a large, flatter gap in the ridge before reaching the summit block.

Approaching Ksanka's Summit

At the summit block, you have the option of a short scramble if you stay to the left or you can walk up a scree ramp to the right. Walk a few feet further and then one final fairly easy pitch and you've made the summit.



The route out is basically the same as the way in. The only change we made was to climb out directly on the crest of Point 7448's SW ridge. We hoped this would provide better footing than the way we chose to come down and we were correct. We were actually dreading the 300' climb back out, but once on the solid footing of the ridge, the scramble was quite fun.

Ksanka Route
Approximate routes on Point 7448's SW ridge. Red is descending, green is ascending





Once back on the summit of Point 7448, simply retrace the rest of the original route in.

TerrainOne-Way MileageElevation Gain
Trail #832.321150'
Trail #339.1525'
Trail #340 to first saddle.52387'
Off-trail to Point 7448 summit.15209'
Descent to Ksanka saddle.15-299'
Ksanka's NE ridge to summit.29328'

TerrainOne-Way MileageElevation Gain
Closed 114-A.74262'
Trail #181.721178'
Trail #151.571136'
Descent to saddle.22-298'
Ridge to Summit.88340'

The Western Summit

Even though the route up the north ridge is a bushwhack, the route is pretty straightforward. I'll state the obvious, if you keep going "up" through the initial stand of trees, while sticking to the top of the ridge, you can't go wrong.


Whitefish Mountain
Hiking up the north ridge
Whitefish Mountain
Farther up on the ridge
Whitefish Mountain
Even farther up

The route is just a "walk-up" until you encounter a large blockage. From a distance this blockage looks rather intimidating, but when you get closer to it, multiple ways to climb it present themselves.


Whitefish Mountain
Whitefish Mountain
Closer to summit

Once past the blockage there is some more minor scrambling until you are able to start hiking again along the summit ridge to the actual western summit. Again, the western summit is broad and flat and tree-covered.

The Eastern Summit

From the western summit descend the ridge to the east for about 1/3 of a mile, losing about 200' in elevation, until you reach the rocky saddle between the two summits. This is a great place to take a break and have lunch before you take on the eastern summit. From the saddle, pick a line up the ridge and go for it. As stated before, this is more of a scramble and can be as exposed as you would like it to be. We found easier going the closer to the ridge...less vegetation to contend with, for the most part, although, in a couple of spots, small trees and bushes were growing all the way over to the edge.

Whitefish Mountain
JFKitty ascending the eastern summit
Whitefish Mountain
JFKitty on the route
Whitefish Mountain
JFKitty scrambling

Whitefish Mountain
Approximate route

Whitefish Mountain
Closer aspect

This portion of the trip is short and sweet...less than a tenth of a mile gaining approximately 160'. As stated earlier, views from the eastern summit are very rewarding. View those on the main page.

Whitefish Mountain
Route exposure
Whitefish Mountain
Another example of exposure
Whitefish Mountain
More exposure

Camping and RedTape

Moose Peak is located in the Flathead National Forest, which is bear country. Don't hike alone, make noise as you hike, and carry bear spray and know how to use it, although we saw no specific bear sign on Moose Peak, the Whitefish Range is chock-full of healthy-sized black bears and grizzlies.

Bear Stuff

A map of the Glacier View Ranger District of the Flathead National Forest is helpful. Bug repellent is an absolute necessity in Montana in June, July and August. There is water available at Moose Lake.

The closest official campground is Moose Lake Campground.

Route Statistics

TerrainOne-Way MileageElevation Gain
Trail #261.73838'
Ascent to western summit.91542'
Descent to saddle.34-191'
Ascent to eastern summit.09160'

Don't forget the almost 200' you must re-gain going back up the ridge to the western summit if you choose to go on and climb the eastern summit.

I believe the Glacier Mountaineering Society would rate this climb as the following:

2 (3) M S

Route Statistics

TerrainOne-Way MileageElevation Gain
Trail #832.321150'
Trail #3391.70440'
Descent of Trail #339.18-94'
Scramble up to saddle.13294'
Hike up ridge.25302'


Numa Ridge Lookout (Point 6960)Werner Peak and LookoutThoma LookoutGreen MountainKrag PeakWhitefish MountainMount Hefty
Ksanka RouteCarney PeakMoose PeakGreen MountainLydia MountainKrag PeakKrinklehorn Peak