Anybody been over the pass between Bowback and Sundance mountains in the Beartooths?

climbhigh1119

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Jul 12, 2013
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I'm currently putting together a 6-7 day trip to the Beartooths for this August and would like to do a most of the Beaten Path from the Cooke City side, then cut east from Rainbow lake, hike off trial up the aforementioned pass and finish up at the trailhead of the West Fork of Rock Creek rather than the traditional path of continuing northeast to East Rosebud Lake.

Anybody been up and over this pass.? It look steepish, but probably doable on the topo, but I'm having a hard time finding any good beta on it.

Also, any advice on an affordable shuttle service would be appreciated, if anybody has any knowledge in that department.

Thanks in advance!
 

LarryBoy

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Joined
Jan 4, 2015
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I'm currently putting together a 6-7 day trip to the Beartooths for this August and would like to do a most of the Beaten Path from the Cooke City side, then cut east from Rainbow lake, hike off trial up the aforementioned pass and finish up at the trailhead of the West Fork of Rock Creek rather than the traditional path of continuing northeast to East Rosebud Lake.

Anybody been up and over this pass.? It look steepish, but probably doable on the topo, but I'm having a hard time finding any good beta on it.

Also, any advice on an affordable shuttle service would be appreciated, if anybody has any knowledge in that department.

Thanks in advance!
This is the closest thing i've found to ok beta. The good news: it's apparently doable. The bad news: It might suck.

This approach is often regarded as a horrible hike from hell worthy of only two words..."stay right"

From the trailhead, hike the very nice trail to Rainbow Lake and consider your future. You will have to hike up Whirlpool Creek which drains into Rainbow Lake at its southwest edge. Getting to the mouth of Whirlpool Creek just may be the hardest part because you will likely have to ford East Rosebud Creek and bushwhack around the south side of the lake through thick forest and marsh. Once at the mouth, hike through bushes and stay on the RIGHT side of the creek on talus instead of the left side where the bushwhacking might be impossible. After a couple miles up Whirlpool Creek, turn left and climb up a side drainage towards Elephant Lake with very good camping. You can then reach the South Ridge route by continuing straight up the valley passing Lake Susanne and reaching the Bowback/Sundance saddle by a steep, loose talus slope that always melts our sooner than its corresponding east side. I'll add more detailed info when I actually do this approach as well as info for the West Ridge.

http://www.summitpost.org/bowback-mountain/810152
 

LarryBoy

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Jan 4, 2015
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Also, I'm also putting together a hike in the Beartooths this August as well through a similar area. If you see a dude in an orange shirt out there, he's probably an escaped convict. If not, it's probably me.
 
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