Granite Peak: Cooke City Route
One of the most technical state high points in the USA, approached via a lengthy overland route.
Alpine Climbing Difficult
- 39 km
- 1.7 km
- 1.7 km
- Low Point
- 2.7 km
- High Point
- 3.9 km
While most climbers approach Granite Peak from the north via the West Rosebud or East Rosebud trailhead, it is possible to gain the summit from the Cooke City side. This route requires a lengthy overland approach with minimal trails to reach the peak. And yet, it seems to be gaining in popularity with climbers making an attempt on the state's high point.
If you want to tackle this route, you'll need to be prepared for extensive overland navigation with few or non-existent trails. Even the approach will be challenging and lengthy. This 24-mile route will take even fit climbers several days to complete.
If you don't get lost in the wilderness and you reach the base of Granite Peak itself, this route as mapped takes a technical, direct approach to the summit, with steep rock climbing and extreme exposure required. It's beyond the scope of this description to detail the exact moves required, but being prepared with a rope and a trad kit may be a smart idea.
For a less-technical approach, consider crossing the low pass below the summit, descending the talus to Lowary Lake, and then scaling the talus fields toward the col between Granite Peak and Tempest Mountain. This dogleg will add considerable distance, and the talus field scrambling in and of itself is very dangerous and steep. But it could avoid the steep final pitch shown on this map.
If you've managed to overcome the challenge and conquer that final push, then congratulations: you've reached the highest point in Montana!
Sources: https://www.summitpost.org/granite-peak/150239 https://www.peakbagger.com/peak.aspx?pid=5258 https://www.theoutbound.com/montana/backpacking/backpack-granite-peak https://www.startribune.com/minnesota-man-dies-climbing-highest-peak-in-montana/558619292/#:~:text=A%20Minnesota%20man%20fell%20to,from%20reaching%20the%20area%20sooner.
The beginning of truly technical terrain which might involve pitched climbing on rock and/or ice, exposed terrain and complex route finding in ascent and descent. Equivalent to AD, AD+