Firebrand Pass in winter

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solohiker5555
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Firebrand Pass in winter

Post by solohiker5555 »

Any thoughts on a trip to this pass, via snowshoes or otherwise? I hiked over this pass many moons ago as part of a multiday trek and am curious if it is doable in winter (not when the winds are blowing!!). While I'm at it, are there any other winter routes to recommend on the south side of the park?

orin
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Re: Firebrand Pass in winter

Post by orin »

I have never attempted it in winter but the lower half is mostly flat and in the trees and should be fun if not super scenic. After leaving the CDT the trail starts to climb and is on exposed treeless slopes especially in the bowl just below the pass. You would need to be able to judge avalanche conditions to do it safely and I would expect it to be quite dangerous a lot of the time. And yes, the wind can be ferocious there.

The Autumn Creek Trail from Summit is popular.

Snowshoeing or skiing into Two Medicine along the road is nice if there is sufficient snow. It is also a nice place to snow camp. But I suppose it is closed this year since the start near the lower Two Medicine dam is on the reservation.

PeteE
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Re: Firebrand Pass in winter

Post by PeteE »

solohiker5555 wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:35 am
Any thoughts on a trip to this pass, via snowshoes or otherwise? I hiked over this pass many moons ago as part of a multiday trek and am curious if it is doable in winter (not when the winds are blowing!!). While I'm at it, are there any other winter routes to recommend on the south side of the park?
I've never done Firebrand so I can't comment. However, I think the trailhead is in the Blackfeet "No Go" zone.

I snowshoe'd the Autumn Creek trail back in mid March 2017 with a Glacier Mountaineering group. It was a fun day.
There were fresh grizzly tracks at one point :) Part of that trail is in an avalanche zone. It's not a loop, so you'll have to hitch back to Marias Pass.

Make sure you check with the Forest Service for anything you choose to do. We had Avalanche Warnings around here last week. Hardly any snow here in the valley but looks to be plenty above 5000ft.

There was a trail report on here a few years ago where someone snowshoe'd up Elk Mt. which is accessed off US2. I hiked it last year.
I can't imagine snowshoeing that route. :shock:

You could also try Scalplock which is accessed from Essex. I hiked that one a long time ago in the summer. It's not quite as hard as Elk, but you need to be fit.

pete :wink:
"If you are not curious, you will learn nothing" -Goethe-

"When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show.
And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat."

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