New Years eve ascent of White Butte, ND
After years of riding past White Butte on motorcycles during our annual pilgrimage to the Sturgis Motorcycle rally, I decided to make it a point to finally climb my home states highpoint. In a normal ND winter climbing White Butte would probably be a snowy and fairly cold undertaking. However this winter has been incredibly mild for ND standards. After making our way on the gravel road toward White Butte we stopped and deposited our "donation" and thank you card for allowing trespass across private land in the mailbox. We parked just off the road as the two track trail to White Butte was posted with a road closed sign. This was probably due to the muddy condition of the road. Undetered we simply walked from this point. The hiking is fairly straight forward, due south, past an old farm house, thru a swinging gate, stick to the west side of the barb wire fence, follow the single track trail and you are there. It took me, my wife and 14 year old son about 1 hour to summit from the car. It was extremely windy on top as is often the case in ND, ND is a windy state. The view from the top is actually quite pretty and on a less windy day would probably be a nice place to hang out and snap some photos. On this day however we quickly signed the summit log, took a couple photos and headed down. The trip down took 40 minutes or so. 2 highpoints down 48 to go.