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M Photo Essay: Spanish Peaks, Lee Metcalf Wilderness, Montana

by Ryan Jordan

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Article Summary:

In August of 2012, my son's Scout troop planned a backpacking trek across the Spanish Peaks, a unit of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness in Southwest Montana.

The Spanish Peaks can be seen from my home in suburban Bozeman, and rise to elevations in excess of 11,000 feet. They are craggy mountains split by a distinct fault that separates the minimalist-footwear-eating Madison limestone from the mottled gneiss that makes alpine rock climbers tremble with excitement.

The Spanish Peaks are home to some of the largest bull elk in the Rocky Mountains, Alaska-like alpine winter ice climbing, steep couloirs for ski mountaineering aficionados, trophy cutthroat trout, and trails that lead to some of the most beautiful lake basins I've ever visited.

I hope the photos here capture some of their majesty, as well as a little flavor of the experience we shared with five boys this summer.


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