Beartooth lake to East rosebud traverse

Dustynails0

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Feb 10, 2021
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Hello, my name is Dustin. I have been planning and dreaming about a trip from Beartooth Lake to east rosebud for about ten years now and have got a lot of inspiration from this site though I just now created an account! I am getting more serious about planning my trip for this summer and have a route planned from Beartooth lake to Martin/Wright lake then up to Flat Rock and on to Snowbank Lakes then over the mountain to the other MArin lake and on to meet up with the beaten path. I know many of you have done stretches of this route at different times. I was wondering any challenges of route picking as you get closer to the big mountains and any other input.


I have backpacked the southern portion of the plateau many times, though it has been a while. I have done plenty of other beartooth backpacking trips mostly over by Red Lodge (Silver Run area, Lake Fork, TImberline lake, quinenbau meadows) So i am familiar with the challenges. However, this is a bigger undertaking so I am wanting to make sure my goals are realistic. I am pretty confident in the first 1.5-2 days because I am more comfortable with that area. It is just crossing the beartooth wall that I am trying to get figured out. I am thinking 4-5 days in mid july, hoping snow would help with the big passes. Is that a good time or earlier/later? Most of august is out for me due to fire season.

On the map I attached the different colored lines are different days of the trip.
overview.JPG

Thanks for any help that you have and thanks for all the great reports! I promise to post mine whenever I actually get to do it!
 

LarryBoy

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Everything south of the Beartooth Crest should be fine. On the north side, I don't have any first-hand info or reports on it, but the descent from Martin Lake to Lake at Falls looks heinous at best. I'm pretty sure @b.stark has been that way... care to weigh in sir?

 

Dustynails0

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Everything south of the Beartooth Crest should be fine. On the north side, I don't have any first-hand info or reports on it, but the descent from Martin Lake to Lake at Falls looks heinous at best. I'm pretty sure @b.stark has been that way... care to weigh in sir?

Yeah that is the only area that really concerns me. However the possibility of knocking golden trout off my list at martin lake and seeing that beautiful cirque that B.stark has photos of are very enticing...
 

Dustynails0

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Feb 10, 2021
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Everything south of the Beartooth Crest should be fine. On the north side, I don't have any first-hand info or reports on it, but the descent from Martin Lake to Lake at Falls looks heinous at best. I'm pretty sure @b.stark has been that way... care to weigh in sir?
Did you end up doing one of the later routes in that post? How was the stretch between flat rock to snowbank lakes?
 

b.stark

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I sent him a thorough reply in PM. Short version here: I think going down both the Elpestrine Pass and the Martin Lake hill will be much more challenging than going up, if only because going that way on both of them makes it harder to see what you're heading into. Snow may be a disadvantage, mainly because far as I know you have to more or less climb in the waterfall at the outlet of Martin to get up to the lake and high runoff may make that difficult or impossible. The "crux" of the Elpestrine pass could be sketchy to impossible with snow/ice, at least for somebody of my level of mountaineering (which admittedly isn't all that outstanding).

The best route up/down the Martin Lake hill is to follow the creek as closely as possible, except in the lower portion where cliffs force you further away. Do not be tempted to try to contour along the hill to ease the climbing, that is the mistake we made. The direct attack is going to be tough, but contouring in this area just prolongs the suffering. The direct route is more obvious in Google Earth than on topo maps.

Edit: I will add that we met a backcountry ranger while we camped at Elk Lake that didn't think we would make it through. We proved him wrong, though it did take some effort!
 

LarryBoy

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Did you end up doing one of the later routes in that post? How was the stretch between flat rock to snowbank lakes?
Fairly straightforward. There were a few steep places, but typical Beartooth stuff you've done a million times on the Plateau. It was fun to slowly climb from wildflowers into permanent snowfields. It's not quick though; I think I ate lunch at Flat Rock Lake and made a (somewhat early) camp at Red Rock Lakes.

Trip report here
 

Dustynails0

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Feb 10, 2021
Messages
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Thanks for all the help guys! I think that I will save the Martin/Scat lake trips for another day and head over High pass lake and down the lake fork instead. Or maybe over to fossil and won the beaten path, we will see. I will definitely post a report after I get it done!
 
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