Ross Peak - Bridger Mountain Range, Montana, USA
There were some gaps in the Bridger Range listing and Ross Peak was one of them (as pointed out by Tie-Dye Mike on his Bridger Range page). Hopefully this page will suffice in describing the craggy beast that holds together the middle of the Bridger Range. Please sign the climber's log, add route descriptions, and make additions and suggestions.
Ross Peak, Bridger Range, Montana, USA
Ross peak is the fourth highest peak in the Bridger Range (highest point: Sacagawea Peak 9665 ft/2945 m). It is located next to the unique Ross Pass which gives the craggy peak a bit of prominence when viewed from the East and West. Of the ten peaks in the Bridger Range, Ross Peak is the fifth from the South. One will find Ross Peak's summit on the Saddle Peak USGS 7.5 min. quad. map.
Area Map and Getting There
Ross peak is located North of Bozeman and East of Belgrade. Bozeman is the wiser choice as it allows easier access to either the East or West sides of the Bridger Range.
Camping and Lodging
Ross Peak is located in Gallatin National Forest so camping options are virtually unlimited for the backpacker. For car-based camping, sites are located nearby to the primary East and North accesses at campgrounds Battle Ridge and Fairy Lake. For the comfort-prone, numerous hotels are available in Bozeman as well as an active couch-surfing host population.
Climbing Ross Peak is via three main trailheads:
Corbly Creek is a trailhead at approximately 5500 ft. elev. but is a shared-use trail so that someone inclined to take a motorcycle up to the approx. 9000 ft pass adjacent to Sacagawea Peak could then walk the Bridger National Recreation Trail southward to Ross Peak and either approach the technical Northface or proceed around the peak for an easier option from the Southeast.
Fairy Lake is a drive-in campground located about a thousand feet in elevation below the pass described above in the Corbly Creek description. Gain the pass, cross around Sacagawea Peak and follow the instructions above.
Other access methods do exist by entering the range at more remote points and enchaining other peaks on the prominent Bridger Range Ridge.
The North Face of Ross Peak is home to some difficult technical trad/bolted rock climbing routes. More information is currently being collected (Aug. 2010).
Winter Ascents and Descents
Ross Peak is not just a climbing destination, but a backcountry skiing one as well. The most popular ski descent on Ross Peak is the prominent East-facing 'Banana Couloir'. Access for a ski ascent/descent is from the Brackett Creek trailhead located on Hwy 89. Two roads lead away from the trailhead, one along Brackett Creek, the other along the South Fork. Either road can be taken and both provide an easy grade which are often tracked up for quick skinning.
Gain Ross Pass and follow the climber instructions found on this page or, before gaining the pass ascend directly up the couloir. If the latter is chosen ice axe and crampons may be necessary. All snow safety should be taken into consideration as well. Follow the local avalanche conditions, bring the right equipment and a knowledgeable partner as well.