Montana Warning: Killer Marmots!

July 22, 2007 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment

The weekend began with a long drive through Napolean Dynamite land, Eastern Idaho, as we were headed for the Big Sky Resort. We planned to visit the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman to brush up on the latest dinosaur knowledge.

No trip nowadays is complete without a Summit Cheeseburger attempt. Fortunately, the Gondola was running at Big Sky, starting at 7,500 ft., taking you up to 9,175 ft. In the summer it is mostly used by mountain bikers who bomb down a network of trails including the dreaded “Killer Marmot.” I was reminded of the dangerous Killer Mountain Beaver, a nearly mythical creature found in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah – a combination of Yeti, Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster all rolled into one.

From anywhere around Big Sky Resort the prominent peak is Lone Mountain. Its final 2,000 ft. of vertical, barren of vegetation, can be reached using the Big Sky Gondola. So I set out. After the enjoyable ride up, I started in on the hike proper – 2,000 ft. in 1.4 miles – sort of steep. To make it more interesting nearly the entire hike was on broken rock. After a short hike through lodgepole pines with grouse whortleberry underfoot I came up to Bone Crusher Ridge. This was followed by the vertigo-inducing Lunchbox Cornice. After a short stroll on grassy terrain the climbing began in earnest. Alot of sliding on scree later I was at the top with what would have been great views of a number of ranges had it not been for the haze caused by numerous forest fires burning in the West. The lukewarm Burger King Cheeseburger made it official but was not enjoyable.

1 Burger King Cheeseburger – $1.19

1 Gondola Ride – $18.00

1 Hike up Lone Mountain – Painful

1 Summit Cheeseburger – Priceless

sirloinof beef – Lone Mountain (11,166 ft.), Madison County, Montana

At the Summit Base Camp Hazy Big Sky Resort Map


Entry filed under: Montana Summits.

More on Gildersleeve Mountain 12 on Timp

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The Mission

To encourage, enable, and document the consumption of a Cheeseburger on every summit on earth.
July 2007
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