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Find Out Which Mountains in Montana Are the Most Dangerous to Climb

2023-03-23  Maliyah Mah

The state of Montana is characterized by a preponderance of mountains; in total, there are at least one hundred mountain ranges and sub-ranges. They are stunning to behold, towering in height, and teeming with rare species of flora and fauna. Despite the fact that many people trek mountain routes on a daily basis, there is always the potential for danger. Even though it's unlikely that you'll get into an accident while you're up in the mountains, you should still take precautions.

It's interesting to note that certain of Montana's mountains have a reputation for being riskier than others. If you follow along, you will find out which mountains in Montana are the most hazardous and why.

The Bear tooth Mountains are home to Granite Peak.

Beartooth Mountains

There is always the potential for danger when climbing mountains. Anything can happen, from being attacked by animals to becoming dehydrated, ill, or having an accident happen to you. Even if there are not as many mountain-related accidents in Montana as there are in other states, this is probably because there are fewer people who climb mountains in Montana than in other states. Still, there have been some terrible and tragic fatal accidents in the various mountains, which is why it is prudent to be aware of the potentially hazardous mountains in Montana.

The ascent of Granite Peak, located in the Beartooth Mountains, is attempted by at least a few people each year. At a height of 12,807 feet, the summit is the highest point. This is the natural point that is the highest in Montana, and it is the tenth highest in the entire US. This state high point is considered by some to be the second most difficult one for climbers to conquer, hence there aren't many people that try to conquer it.

In the year 2020, a few mountain climbers were injured while attempting to scale Granite Peak. A man suffered a fall of one hundred feet after slipping and falling while attempting to traverse a hazardous spot known as the Snow Bridge. He was brought to safety. On the other hand, four men from Idaho encountered yet another accident while they were rappelling down a slope on the same day. They attempted to anchor themselves onto a big boundary, but it failed them. One of the four people was hurt, but the other three did not survive the fall of approximately one thousand feet. These are the only two incidences that have occurred.

The Cleveland Mount

Mount Cleveland

Another of Montana's most treacherous peaks, Mount Cleveland is located in the state of Montana. In Glacier National Park, there is a mountain of a significant size. Despite the fact that it is not the tallest peak in the state, it is home to some breathtaking vistas as well as some challenging slopes. At an elevation of 10,479 feet, this stunning mountain is a sight to behold. Frank B. Wynn made the first ascent of Mount Cleveland that is officially documented in 1920. Prior to that, it is possible that other persons scaled the mountain. The Waterton Valley is where the vast majority of climbers start their journey. Other approaches are regarded as much riskier and should only be attempted by trained professionals. Because of a tragic event that took the lives of five climbers, this peak is now considered to be one of the most dangerous in all of Montana.

In 1969, just two days after Christmas, an avalanche carried away and killed five courageous mountain climbers. The incident occurred in Alaska. Clare Pogreba, Ray Martin, Jerry Kanzler, Jim Anderson, and Mark Levitan made an effort to scale the mountain. They reassured everyone that they would be back by January 2 and asked them not to worry. Unfortunately, they did not survive the journey back. Instead, on January 3rd, members of the boys' family, friends, and community volunteers began looking for them. They discovered several footprints in the snow in addition to ski tracks that led to a base camp that had been abandoned. Their bodies weren't discovered for another five months after the initial search because of the tough weather. This terrible accident altered their neighborhood in ways that could never be reversed.

Mountain of the Dusty Stars

Dusty Star Mountain

Although it is a well-known mountain in Montana, Dusty Star Mountain is also known for being one of the state's most treacherous mountains. It is located at a height of 8,573 feet above sea level. Even though it's not the tallest mountain in Montana, a lot of people like to take pictures of it. Visitors to the area can get a breathtaking view of the mountain from the area close to Wild Goose Island. This breathtaking mountain is also quite old, having begun its ascent some 170 million years ago when it first began to rise. During the winter months, Dusty Star Mountain has temperatures that fall to deep below -10 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Several unfortunate incidents, including accidents and catastrophes, have resulted in deaths at this location. For instance, in the year 2022, two experienced mountain climbers named Brian Kennedy and Jack Beard, who were friends, fell to their deaths while climbing the precipitous north face of Dusty Star Mountain. Both of them were members of the Glacier Mountaineering Society and were well-known figures in the neighborhood where they lived. The recovered photograph shows the two individuals standing on the summit of the 8,084-foot peak, which has led experts to speculate that they plummeted between 600 and 1,000 feet while descending the mountain.

Mountain All by Itself

Lone Mountain

Lone Mountain is yet another treacherous peak in the state of Montana. The Madison Range is where you'll find it. The peak is located in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, which is a part of both the Gallatin National Forest and the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The peak of the mountain is located at an altitude of 11,167 feet. Big Sky Resort is not just a major ski resort, but it also takes up parts of Lone Mountain.

Climbing is responsible for the majority of the mountain-related fatalities discussed in this article; nevertheless, skiing and snowboarding are equally dangerous activities. Bradley Gardner, who was only 24 years old at the time, was a skier who tragically passed away in 2012 after venturing out alone. In the years that followed, another snowboarder tragically passed away. Chandler Pelletier, 29 years old, from Belgrade, Montana, died after he fell to his death on the North Summit Snowfield on Lone Mountain. The snowboarder was discovered unresponsive, and despite the efforts of the authorities to bring him back to life, they were ultimately unsuccessful.

Mountain of the Rising Wolf

Wolf Mountain

Rising Wolf Mountain, located in Glacier National Park, is the next mountain on our list of the most dangerous mountains in Montana. Rising Wolf Mountain is another well-known peak in the Lewis Range. The peak of the mountain is at an altitude of 9,513 feet. Due to the fact that it is elevated above the Two Medicine region, the mountain is easy to spot. The winters on Rising Wolf Mountain are known to be extremely severe, often reaching wind chill levels lower than -30 degrees Fahrenheit. This mountain also goes by the name "Mahkuyi-opuahsin," which literally translates to "the way the wolf gets up." The Blackfoot people, who revered the area now known as the Two Medicine area, were the ones who gave it its name.

July of 2022 was the month that witnessed the most recent incident in Rising Wolf Mountain. A man from Florida who was 79 years old was injured when he slipped while climbing a hill that was off the trail with a group of friends. His buddies placed a rescue request, and he was taken to the Two Medicine Ranger Station in a helicopter. However, the crew of the air ambulance confirmed that the climber had passed away as a result of his injuries. He likely dropped many hundred feet.

Brown Mountain

Mount Brown

Mount Brown is another another mountain in Glacier National Park that is both stunning and impressive in height. The summit of the mountain is located at an altitude of 8,589 feet. You can also stop by the historic Mount Brown Fire Lookout, which was constructed in 1928, while you're up at Mount Brown. On the slopes of Mount Brown that face southwest is where you'll find it. It's interesting to note that there is ongoing controversy regarding the identity of the person after whom the mountain is named. Some people say that it was named after William Brown, who lived in Chicago, while others think that it was named after Louis Brown, who was an early settler in Montana.

Mount Brown was unfortunately the location of the tragic death of another person. The disappearance of 19-year-old rock climber Winslow Nichols of Columbia Falls, who was last seen with a friend and climbing companion, was reported. The ascent of the mountain was going to be a joint effort for the two. Winslow Nichols died after falling to his death, and his body was located and collected by a helicopter when it was discovered in the area.

2023-03-23  Maliyah Mah