Our quest to climb Granite Peak, Montana’s highest point at around 12,800 feet, was filled with adventure from the beginning. The mountain is in the Beartooth range, notorious for its bad weather. To avoid camping high (due to thunderstorm threat) via the standard route, my husband and I opted to approach the peak via a lesser-used trail and camp lower down. This required some creative bushwhacking to get through all the deadfall – and once we entered a large boulder field, there were spiderwebs and spiders to contend with as well! After a restless night due to some mountain goat visitors kicking around our bear can of food, we (thankfully) got a successful summit the following day. On the return is when we got hit with the weather this region is known for: lightning, thunder, rain and hail. We didn’t arrive back to our car until 4 in the morning! That was one of the best and worst car camping nights of my life: best because we were safely in our car in grizzly country, with a successful summit of one of the toughest of the US 50 state highpoints; worst because of intense swelling in my feet, due to the long and sustained effort.
Ulyana Nadia Horodyskyj