Since I hadn’t climbed anything in the Bighorn Mountains yet, Cloud Peak seemed like a logical choice for Labor Day Weekend 2011. Kessler, Shaylee and Kimberly would join me for the trip.
We had a rough start to the trip. We stayed in a hotel in Thermopolis and they were supposed to leave a key for us, but when we got to the hotel there was no key. After waiting an hour and after several phone calls we were finally let in, but the hotel was noisy and we didn’t get to sleep until 4 am.
After a noon start (we visited the Dinosaur Museum in Thermopolis before heading for the mountains), we headed for Mistymoon Lake. The guidebook made it sound like the trail to the lake was really rugged, but it wasn’t so bad and we made the six miles to the lake in a relatively quick four hours. We spent the evening reading some books and some church articles before going to bed. The scenery was quite nice along the way, but it was a cool and breezy day.
After a cold morning with frozen water bottles (a nearby party said they recorded 10F [-12C]), Kessler and I set off for the summit of Cloud Peak. Because of the rough night before this one, at 7:45 AM, we got a later start than we wanted to. The weather and weather forecast was great through, so we pushed on over the ridge and down to Paint Rock Creek where the work began.
We steadily made it up the slopes of the mountain and about half way up we passed another group who had camped nearby to us the previous night. When we learned that they had started over an hour before us, we felt good about our speed, but were wondering if they were going to make it up.
The boulderhopping got more strenuous as we pushed up the mountain, but the views more than compensated for the effort. After 3 hours and 53 minutes after leaving Mistymoon Lake we found ourselves on the summit of Cloud Peak. We made pretty good time considering the one way distance was 5.5 miles most of which was strenuous boulderhopping.
Cloud Peak was more like “Perfectly Clear Peak” today and there was not a cloud in the sky so we kicked back and relaxed and spent 45 minutes on the summit just soaking up the views and scenery and chatting with other climbers on top.
After enjoying the summit, we headed back down the mountain. We passed several of the parties that we had passed on the way up and let them know how far it was to the summit. We made our way down the mountain and back over the ridge to Mistymoon Lake without any problems. It had taken us until 3:45 to arrive back at the lake (3 hours 15 minutes to climb all the way back), so it wasn’t that much faster going down and up.
After waiting for three hours we were a bit worried about the other parties on the mountain who were still not down yet. I had debated heading back up the mountain, but just before dark they arrived back at camp. Since some of our fuel leaked, we barrowed a little fuel from them to make something hot before going to bed.
In the morning we packed up and headed back down to the trailhead. The trip back went rather uneventful, but we did see a cow moose on the way back and stopped to photograph it. It was a great trip, but the drive back home was long.
I left the West Tensleep trailhead at 4:15am, reached the summit at 10:45am and was back at the trailhead at 5:15pm. Beautiful weather. On my way home, I stopped in Buffalo and ate a whole pizza.
Started quite early at tensleep and fortunately I had good weather and summited around 1 pm. Got back down around 8 pm with incredibly sore legs and passed out in the car.
Climbed Cloud Peak via the normal route on a beautiful August day with my friend Joel. This climb is what began my journey into the mountains. What a great memory! Trip report here: http://intheexpanse.com/mountaineering/bighorns-cloud-peak-2007
solo trip and climb over a weekend back in 08. came in the long way from coffeen trail head.
Glorious morning, with Josh, Tom Mulholland, David Nimmer, Julie, Goat, etc etc
Camped in trees of rocky hip in Paint Rock Creek watershed area. Seemed fairly well camped in the past. Left early. Started up by the waterfall, and had easy route finding initially. When it came to the area where you pass between two small rocky cliffs, I made a wrong turn and ended up bouldering hopping/scrambling my way along the southern edge of the mountain. Fairly exhausting. Adequate water available the entire trip. Emergency water could come from snow and ice between boulders, etc. Bring your iodine tablets. I prefiltered water from streams with my PlanetBuff.com neck gaiter. The summit was awesome! Disappointed that there is no summit register. The view gave me a better idea of route down. I found several flatter areas with alpine-like ground cover that saved a lot of energy. Next time I climb, I will stay high and to the left on the route up, looking for flatter grassy areas. I look forward to taking my children there when they get older.
Hiked in from Tensleep T.H. and spent the night at Helen Lake. The next day I left solo at 6:00 am for the summit. An hour and a half to paint rock creek and nearly 4 more up the mountain. It's a long scramble most of the way, but I would continually crest each boulder pile only to find a large, deep, very soft snowfield that I'd have to go around. The first few could be crossed with micro spikes and trekking poles but by 10:00 am the snow became far to soft and the risk of falling threw the large gaps in the boulders became too much. All the snowfields could be walked around or crossed by carefully poking around until you found a rock under the surface to step on, but it took forever. The crossing was pretty perilous near the narrow part of the ridge below the false summit.
Hiked up from a camp near the waterfall of Paint Rock Creek. A great peak on a great day. Saw quite a few people including some air force guys who were throwing rocks off of the top. The view of Black Tooth is memorable. I did it in 2000 while spending a week in the awesome Bighorns.
I hiked up Cloud Peak a couple of times, in '92 and '96.
Camped at Mistymoon Lake with my wife and we got on the trail at 6:00 a.m. Great rock hopping and scrambling - no snowbanks that couldn't be bypassed easily. Not buggy at all! Hiked out to the TH by 7:00 p.m.
Hiked into tarns beyond Mistymoon Lake (the day after hiking out of Gannett). Nice reflections of Cloud on the tarns but kind of buggy. Up early the next morning, took a trail up Paint Rock Creek to where its lost in talus. Boulder hopping to the top. It was great to get this one, the last on the 57 ultra list for me.
A long day hike from West Tensleep Trailhead. There was more snow on top than I had anticipated. Started at 6 am and back to the trailhead at 7 pm. I was sunburned, blistered, and bug bitten, but it was worth it.
My sister and I climbed up, but she stopped 500 ft below the summit due to a bad case of altitude sickness while I quickly scrambled to the top. We hiked out that same day. If you have the time I suggest spending the night after the climb. Also, bring plenty of bug spray.
Nice climb with Dean. A little buggy at Misty Moon.
Our party of 3 AARP-eligible hikers spent 5 days camped at Mistymoon Lake. Made it up Cloud Peak with no problems on a spectacular day. Met several people on the mountain that day, including one runner who reached the summit about two hours after leaving the West Tensleep trailhead.
The party consisted of 5 people ranging from 13 to 60 years old. We hiked in on a Friday from West Tensleep Lake TH. The weather was windy and cloudy most of the day. Friday night was spent NW of Misty Moon Lake. Saturday the weather was beautiful. My brother had packed in a coleman stove so we had bacon and eggs for breakfast. It really hit the spot. Everyone made it up to the top and by 2:30 pm we were back at camp. After a half hour of resting we broke camp and hiked out.
We hiked up from West Tensleep and camped at the base of the peak but got hit in the night by a big snowstorm. So we delayed the ascent by a day and hiked up the canyon with the Cloud Peak Lakes until the summit was looming above us in the clouds. We returned to camp and climbed Cloud Peak the next day. There was still a lot of snow on top which made negotiating the boulders more difficult, but it was a beautiful day with beautiful views.
Hiked in right after a climb on Devils Tower to Helen Lake. Started at 4:00 am the next morning off 5 hours of sleep but had to turn about 1/2 mile from the summit due to weather.
Its a beautiful approach, but we needed more time and a closer base camp, a pretty brutal summit bid.
Hiked out same day and off to the Tetons!
Good Day, great hike.