I have a flight to Billings next week and the plan is to attempt Cloud Peak on the standard route via camp at Misty Moon Lake. We arrive arrive 6/26, and have 4 days to play with. Looking for advice and beta as I have never been to the region.
Snotel at the Cloud Peak reservoir seems to indicate snow is melting out at 10k feet with about a foot left and not much accumulation lately. Density seems around 30%, which is a lot less dense than what I am used to in spring. Anyone heard anything or been up lately? Looks like the route is a lot of boulder hopping so the hope was that we would find firm snow or a rock path. I'd hate to be breaking through above rocks- would snowshoes even help at this point? We were planing on just having microspikes.
Forecasts are coming out and predictions are sun then thunderstorms, but I suppose we won't know more until the date approaches. Definitely planning on an early start to avoid any afternoon weather. What time should we shoot for to be off the ridge? Seems like we are exposed for almost everything after camp - kind of nervous about this and may even call it if thunderstoms are very likely and postholing likely. Any advice on a plan B? Thinking of maybe Black Canyon or something else in Yellowstone.
Also wondering about food storage- I am guessing critters will be more of an issue than bears but want to play it safe. I was planing to bring my ursack and hopefully find a suitable tree, seems like there are some trees around in photos of the lake.