Casey Peak southeast of Helena – Large Sky Walker

Simply this as soon as?
A number of years in the past, a pair associates and I snowshoed up Casey Peak the day after Christmas. Due to the deep snow, it was extraordinarily difficult however very wonderful as nicely. You may examine it in certainly one of my earlier posts. My coverage with this weblog has been to function a hike solely as soon as (99 posts to this point). Nonetheless climbing Casey Peak in the summertime is such a distinct expertise from snowshoeing it within the winter that I made a decision to make an exception. So right here goes.

Subsequent degree.
My favourite factor about residing in Helena is the unbelievable path system that borders the southern fringe of city – over 70 miles of well-maintained trails, because of the Prickly Pear Land Belief and the Metropolis of Helena. I hike the Helena trails 4-5 instances per week after I’m on the town. For many Helenans who wish to get into climbing, the 1906 Path to the highest of Mt. Helena is a standard first step (about 3.5 miles round-trip). As soon as they’ve earned their Mt. Helena badge, a logical subsequent step is likely to be the 7-mile Ridge Path, which ends on the Mt. Helena Trailhead. After build up stamina and confidence, some will finally be prepared to check their mettle with a tougher hike. For Helena space hikers, Casey Peak is a good selection for that huge subsequent step (10.5 miles round-trip with 3,500 ft. of elevation acquire).

A enjoyable summit.
The path to Casey Peak begins on the Casey Meadows Trailhead, a 16-mile drive from Helena. The favored well-maintained path climbs steadily for the primary 2.5 miles, crossing the East Fork of McLellan Creek thrice earlier than reaching Casey Meadows – canines love these crossings! Half a mile past the grassy clearing is one other stream crossing – after which the steep portion of the hike begins. During the last two miles the path climbs 2,000 ft to the summit, however the views get higher the upper you go. A curious-looking stone construction sits atop the summit – the primary flooring of a fireplace lookout that was used briefly within the early 1900’s. Its wood second story with walk-around deck crumbled away a number of years in the past.

Casey can also be a great place for conditioning whether or not you’re an avid hiker, a trail-runner, or wish to get in form for an upcoming back-packing journey. I prefer to climb it at the very least as soon as every summer season, and I additionally take pleasure in an nearly annual snowshoe hike to the frozen waterfall beneath and to the north of the summit. In actual fact, after I hiked up Casey Peak final week, I ventured over to take a look at the waterfall and cave that sits behind it – simply needed to see what it’s like there in the summertime. The side-trip added a pair miles to my hike, nevertheless it was nicely price it. To see a few of what I noticed, together with some drone pictures, take a look at the photograph tour (see hyperlink beneath). Remember to learn the captions.

KUHL alternative.
On a aspect notice, an out of doors clothes firm known as KUHL just lately contacted me about probably sponsoring my weblog. The deal we made is that they’d ship me a free pair of pants to strive, I’d write a assessment on my subsequent put up (this one), after which we’d take it from there. Gave the impression of deal – Heck yeah, I’ll take some free KUHL pants!

KUHL has been affected person as a result of it’s been a very long time since my final put up. Right here’s what I take into consideration the KUHL pants . . .

I’ve an older pair of black KUHL climbing pants, that are those I wore in the course of the Casey Peak hike featured above – you’ll see them within the pictures. Those they despatched me to check out are known as RADIKL. I even have a couple of pairs of non-KUHL pants that I put on. Though the KUHL pants are dearer, they’re positively extra sturdy. The stitching is far larger high quality and the material is much less inclined to ripping. My different pants simply don’t maintain up as nicely with all of the off-trail bush-whacking I love to do. My black KUHL pants have outlived my different climbing pants and I count on the identical of the RADIKL pants they despatched me.

One other function I REALLY like is the articulated knees, which supplies them a extra athletic form – designed for shifting, not standing. It’s only a extra comfy match for climbing. I additionally recognize the little stretch side-panel on the waist. It makes for a pleasant comfortable (not tight) match, so I don’t even need to put on a belt. I wore the RADIKLs on a number of of my snowshoeing hikes within the Little Rockies final winter and I like them a lot better than different pants I’ve worn. They’re made for shifting, and that’s what I love to do.