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Here’s a few photos from our climb of Squaw Peak, 7996 feet, (renamed Ch-Paa-Qn recently) on October 22nd, 2012. Connor Given, Nick Worden and Ozzy, Spencer Goetter and Sasha, and myself did the two-hour hike in a good snow squall, which made this normally easy hike a technical one.
We left the Reservation Divide trailhead, the shortest route to the summit, and about two hours later were standing on the top. This is one of the shortest times I’ve ever stood on a summit, which totaled about 5-6 minutes. Typically, the first climb of the winter season reminds you a bunch of things you’ve forgotten since last year, similar to how everyone forgets how to drive in the snow and therefore plays bumper cars the first snowy day each season.
On this trip, that amounted to Nick being the only one to who remembered gloves or trekking poles, which we really needed. Neither Connor or Spencer wore ‘long johns,’ and both Connor and I were set to wear sneakers or Chacos until we came to our senses and opted for boots at the trailhead. Yeah, bone-headed to be sure, but hey, we’re no worse for the wear!
This was Connor’s second winter summit, as he just relocated to Missoula from Kentucky. Spencer and Sasha made a surprise visit from Astoria, Oregon. Spencer was our roommate there, a great friend, and is the head brewer at Fort George Brewery, my favorite!
Hopping across the snow-covered talus was the most exciting part of the trip, especially without the security afforded by trekking poles. But hey, we did it! No frostbite, either!!
As an aside, I maintain the summitpost.org page for Ch-Paa-Qn, which is here: http://www.summitpost.org/ch-paa-qn-peak-squaw-peak/393990