Summer in the CPW- 7.2 Loaf Mountain

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Messages
1,099
I suppose I must be a glutton for punishment. I'm essentially paid to hike hard, and on my weekends seem to hike harder. Maybe it is just a twisted sense of adventure.

Ever since arriving in Buffalo the impressive views of the southern peaks of the Cloud Peak Wilderness have beaconed me. I figure as a part of my patrolling I'll make it up many of them but some just don't fit well into a patrol tour. So with a bit of planning I decided I'd summit Loaf Mountain.

Loaf Mountain 001.jpg

The view from my "trailhead"
Loaf Mountain 003.jpg

After a couple miles the peak comes into view.
Loaf Mountain 004.jpg

Another way up to the summit, from the south

Loaf is the southernmost peak of the CPW. The wilderness boundary literally goes through the summit. There is no trail up it, you just kinda figure it out. I decided the way to go would be to go up the eastern ridge from the Sheep Mountain Lookout. 3 miles ish. 2000 elevation gain. Not too bad.

Loaf Mountain 007.jpg

The boulder hopping starts
Loaf Mountain 008.jpg
Loaf Mountain 009.jpg
Loaf Mountain 012.jpg

And the boulder hopping goes all the way to the top

And it wasn't too bad, until maybe the last mile. My nice soil walking turned into boulder hopping. And hopping is not the right intensity for what I was doing. These rocks were easily as big as a car, many bigger, and few sat nicely. I was using canyoneering moves over 15-20' gaps! It was slow going, and hard work. I've only summited a few mountains, and never anything technical, so this was a good intro to that objective. Really not that bad, just enough pizazz to tucker me out.

The view from the top was of course awesome. Looking north I could see right up the spine of the CPW. If only the air quality had been slightly better I'd have been able to see the Absarokas to the west and Wind Rivers to the southwest. 11,700' is a pretty nice spot to hang out.
Loaf Mountain 013.jpg

The summit
Loaf Mountain 014.jpg

The view north
Loaf Mountain 016.jpg

Lame Deer and the Firehole Lakes to the northeast in Circle Park
Loaf Mountain 017.jpg

More Circle Park Lakes
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Bomber Mountain barely out of the clouds
Loaf Mountain 023.jpg

Better light for this view on the way down:)

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Nick

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Aug 9, 2007
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Oh, and I am impressed you even hike on your off time if you hike for work the rest of the time. My work hiking gig has virtually wiped out my recreational hiking this year! Kudos!
 

Scott Chandler

Wildness is a necessity- John Muir
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Messages
1,099
Cool! Do you carry any kind of communication device as an FPO? Like a radio or satellite messenger, etc?

Yeah we have communication pieces. Our radios have reception half the time. And we have SPOT devices we check in with every morn.

Oh, and I am impressed you even hike on your off time if you hike for work the rest of the time. My work hiking gig has virtually wiped out my recreational hiking this year! Kudos!

This may be changing a bit. My last tour left me pretty beat. I'll still get out but my adventures will likely be more mellow.
 
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