Sunrise illuminating Mount Rearguard

Summiting Mt Rearguard

The entire Autumn season might very well be my current favorite, particularly for hiking. Here in Montana you never know what you're going to get though. It could snow multiple feet at the beginning of September (last year) or you could be summiting a 12,000 foot peak in October (this year). Regardless, the shifting of seasons keeps you on your toes, and makes for some of the best conditions.

 Eijai, Dan and myself hit the road at 4:30am, setting foot on the trail right at first light. The structure of the hike was fast and light. Both Eijai and Dan are experienced ultrarunners, of which I'm most certainly not. On top of minimal gear, I'm also packing a camera and two lenses for added weight. 

As one of the easiest 12k ft summits, the approach was simple. Run (literally) Hellroaring Plateau until the base of the mountain and then scramble up to the summit. 

Metcalf Peak as seen from Mt Rearguard

The summit push was slow going navigating over and around truck sized boulders, made even slower by the blanketing layer of slick snow. Once on top we wasted no time turning around as a bitter cold wind sucked away the momentary satisfaction. We arrived back at the vehicle with a time of 5 hours, 11.25 miles and 2500ft of vertical gain.