The Carbon County News, Red Lodge Montana, Thursday, June 15, 1961
Climbers Scale Unnamed Peak; Call It Mt. Salo
Four young mountain climbers reported scaling what was believed to be hitherto unconquered and unnamed peak in Carbon County last week, as well as two other peaks, one of which they named Mt. Salo in honor of O.J. Salo, long-time resident of Red Lodge.
The newly conquered mountain is Bear's Tooth, a sharply pointed peak above the second West Fork of Rock Creek and visible from the Red Lodge-Yellowstone Scenic Highway. It's elevation is 11,900 feet and the plateau at the summit was no larger than a table top so that it was impossible for all of them to stand on top at one time, they said.
The four were Paul Henry, Frannie, Wyo., and Jerry Edwards, Mills, Wyo., both members of the University of Wyoming Outing Club, and Donovan Ryan and Charles C. Satterfield, both of Casper, members of the Casper College Wyoming Mountaineers.
They reported to The NEWS that they found no evidence of anyone ever having scaled Bear's Tooth Peak. They built a rock cairn atop the peak, placed a record of their ascent, together with their names, in a metal can and deposited it in the cairn.
They went into the area Sunday, June 4, and made the principal climb two days later, coming out Friday of last week.
While in the area they also climbed nearby Beartooth Peak, 12,377 feet, and an unnamed peak to the south which they named Mt. Salo. Thus they honored Mr. Salo, who had given them information about the area and helped with preliminary plans for the trip.
The quartet said they were giving notice of the name selected to the forest service, which has authority to assign names officially to mountains.
The USFS has policies against unauthorized placement of plaques and other mementos in Wilderness areas, and I find them most offensive. This is, after all, supposed to be wilderness. This plaque was clearly not authorized, and was removed by an anonymous annoyed party. In response to an e-mail to the Custer National Forest questioning their policies, I got a call from a ranger who would have hiked in and removed it herself - she was glad to be notified, as the ranger district was not aware of the plaque's existence. She commented that if people find similar mementos, they should let the appropriate national forest know - and they will send someone to remove them (or you can remove them yourselves). It should be pretty obvious if a plaque is official, and there are very few such memorials in Wilderness areas.
There are several large format murals of Beartooth scenery painted by Mr. Salo adorning the walls of the Red Lodge Cafe. The food is good too, so be sure to stop in.
I second that notion!