Bitterroot Mountains

The Bitterroot Mountains are covered in the book from page 82 through page 94. Please check those pages for additional information.


The Bitterroot Mountains are a group of mountains primarily created by map makers and not by fault blocking or granitic intrusions. The map makers’ creation combines parts of the Coeur d’Alene and Clearwater Mountains to form a long narrow grouping stretching south from Lake Pend Oreille to Lost Trail Pass north of Salmon, Idaho. Much of the range forms the Idaho-Montana border. Nevin M. Fenneman, in his book the Physiography of The Western United Stares, described the southern Bitterroot Mountains as follows: “These mountains, while not remarkable for great height, are among the most characteristically alpine of the United States. Everywhere the effects of glaciation are prominent.” As a range tied together only by a geographical location  (as the border) rather than a consistent geological makeup, the Bitterroots offer a varied and exciting mountain environment for climbers.

Fenneman’s words are not an exaggeration. Nevertheless, this rugged range is, for the most part, overlooked by Idaho climbers who favor the higher ranges of eastern Idaho and the granite of the Sawtooth Range. This is their loss as the range offers a spectacular roster of challenging granite peaks spread across some of the wildest terrain in the lower 48 states. I suspect that there are a dozen or more unclimbed peaks spread through the central Bitterroot Range. For example, the stretch of mountains between Lolo Pass and Nez Perce Pass has 54 peaks sitting directly on the range’s crest and only 7 of these peaks have official names. (Note: the Idaho County High Point, 9,439 feet, is part of the of the Bare Mountain, 9,460 feet, massive. The actual summit sits just inside Montana.)

The Bitterroot Mountains are covered in pages 82 to 94 in the book. Pages 82 to  84 cover the peaks from the Clark Fork River to Lookout Pass. Pages 84 to 86 cover the peaks between Lookout Pass and Lolo Pass. Pages 86 to 89 cover the peaks between Lolo Pass and Nex Perce Pass. Page 89 covers the area from Nez Perce Pass to Lost Trail Pass.

See these lists for peaks located on the main Bitterroot crest:

Bitterroot Peaks: Clark Fork River to Lookout Pass

Bitterroot Peaks: Lookout Pass to Dry Creek Pass

Bitterroot Peaks: Dry Creek Pass to Lolo Pass

Bitterroot Peaks: Lolo Pass to Nez Perce Pass

Bitterroot Peaks: Nez Perce Pass to Lost Trail Pass

 

The Mount Paloma-Nipple Knob crest, the most remote ridge in the Bitterroots, from the Shard in Montana. Dan Saxton Photo

The Mount Paloma-Nipple Knob crest, the most remote ridge in the Bitterroots, from the Shard in Montana. Dan Saxton Photo

Rhodes and Williams Peaks, from Shale Mountain. Dan Saxton Photo

Rhodes and Williams Peaks, from Shale Mountain. Dan Saxton Photo

Eagle Cliff from Illinois Peak, Northern Bitterroots (Ward and Eagle Peaks in distance at left). Dan Saxton Photo

Eagle Cliff from Illinois Peak, Northern Bitterroots (Ward and Eagle Peaks in distance at left). Dan Saxton Photo

Sky Pilot from Gash Point, Bitterroots (April 2014). Dan Saxton Photo

Sky Pilot from Gash Point, Bitterroots (April 2014). Dan Saxton Photo

Illinois Peak on the Idaho/Montana border. Dan Robbins Photo.

Illinois Peak on the Idaho/Montana border. Dan Robbins Photo.

 

Mountain Range: Bitteroot Mountains

Share this post ...Facebooktwitterredditpinterestmail

Comments are closed.