Winter came earlier this year than it had the previous few years. Fresh and unconsolidated snow already blanketed the northern 3/4 of the mountain states by early November. With more forecast for the entire PNW this particular weekend, and with more than 6 weeks of post-surgical immobility on my immediate horizon, I felt a deep need for one last smash-and-grab county highpointing tour; thus I chased the sun all the way to Eastern Montana for a couple days.
I left home in the evening after finishing up some work and drove through the night. The sun was rising just as I left the pavement to get to Stratford Hill.
I parked at the bend in Stratford Hill Road. From here it was easier to clamber over the railroad ties that served as corner posts for the barbed-wire fence, and then I was able to take a direct line across the grassland to the high point. Snow remained on these roads which made for slower travel than in better conditions, but any vehicle could make it. I wore gaiters as, while the snow was not deep, I aimed to keep my feet as dry as possible. The temperature was still in single digits without the wind chill, so I did not stop moving and made this a quick walk through the shallow snow out and back to the cemetery before moving on.
Had some time to kill before a trip to the bighorn for a few days of trout fishing... Nice area...
Did the short walk to the top with my parents, who live in Billings - great views of the Beartooths!