...but as in Montanaboy's entry from three years later, it was extremely hot. July of 2000—I just don't remember the exact date. From the summit I remember seeing flames from an exploding fire in Idaho; little did I know at the time that was merely the beginning of a difficult summer of smoke and fire! Also, this was my first bear encounter of any kind—just as I was pulling out of the parking area at day's end, a black bear ran out a few feet in front of my vehicle. He had probably been watching me load gear, and then the vehicle startled him when it began moving. Talk about grace and beauty in motion...! This climb was back when I still had no camera. Sigh....
A scorching hot day (98 in Hamilton). Several people seemed content to hang out at the high saddle, while I got the summit to myself. No complaints, just surprised.
My wife dropped me off before dawn and went back to bed. I started up the trail in a cold, windy drizzle. By treeling, conditions were improving dramatically, and I was enjoying my first glimpses of the roof area of the Bitterroots. I took the standard route up and back, and the chilly conditions helped me average 18 minutes/mile overrall!
27jul10 - Took a couple of friends up the Gem Lake Gully. It was a route they had never climbed and they loved it.
28jul08 - Had a wonderful time climbing the Baker Lake Ridge Route with Moni and Fred Spicker. This was actually my first time ascending this route. I'd previously only used it for descent. I'd rate this as a close second to the Gem Lake Gully route for ascent.
4aug07 - Climbed the Gem Lake Gully Route with friends. In my opinion, this is the most enjoyable route to the summit. We descended using the Baker Lake Ridge Route.
18sep06 - Ascended by the Baker Lake Gully Route and descended by the Baker Lake Ridge Route.
5aug06 - Hiked the Standard Route with my wife and brother.
August 2001 - Used the Standard Route to climb Trapper during our first visit to the Bitterroot Valley (looking for a place to retire).