12 Summits
> Summit 5: Mountain Scrambles in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming & Montana (10,568 & 10,969 ft)

August 6th - 7th, 2005

On Friday, August 3rd, the company sent me to Pocatello, Idaho to capture video of high-tech machinery in their food processing facility. Since this trip enabled me to be close enough to Yellowstone, I decided to head to this great National Park over the weekend to finally climb two peaks that have eluded me for over 2 years. I have always wanted to stand on top of Electric and Avalanche peaks, so it was my goal to bag them both in a weekend. Each time i've attempted to climb Electric Peak via the Sportsmans Lake trail, one of my friends would always back out. So, this time, I was planning on relying on only myself - in other words, I was going solo. There is something about attempting to solo a peak in the middle of Grizzly country that can get the adrenaline flowing.

My goal for this trip was to do a quick conditioning climb up Avalanche peak located on the eastern edge of the park in the Absaroka range on Saturday, and then attempt an ever-so-grueling climb up Electric Peak located in the Gallatin range on Sunday. A round trip trek to the top of Electric Peak requires hiking over 22 miles, so I knew that if I were to complete the climb, that I would need an early start, and to maintain a consistent speed of a few miles an hour. If I didn't make the summit by 12:00 to 1:00 PM, then I would have to turn around. Fortunately, daylight was on my side, and I had until 9:30 PM until it would become somewhat dark.

I started the hike to the base of Electric peak around 6:30 in the morning. And as I trekked through the prairies and canyons I encountered many deer, a giant moose, many rodents, and fortunately no grizzlies or wolves. I made it to the base of the mountain around 10 AM, where I encountered four other people that were also gunning for the summit, one of which was from the Pittsburgh region. After a few hours of scrambling up some steep and rugged terrain, I finally made my goal of standing on top of one of Yellowstone's most beautiful summits. I stayed on the peak for about an hour, and then climbed back down the mountain and parted ways with the other climbers. During my return it started to rain, which did help keep my body temperature at a nice level. I made it back to my car around 6:30 pm, where I continued the trek back home to Idaho. I must admit that 20 miles up and down rocky terrain surely does wreck the legs.

Avalanche Peak (10,568 ft), Wyoming
The Absaroka's
A Panoramic of Yellowstone Lake
The Upper Reaches of Yellowstone
Electric Peak (10,969 ft), Montana
A Bluebird Sky Day
The Yellow Landscape
A Distant Summit
Electric Peak Summit
Champions of the Free World
Summit Time
Northwest Yellowstone
A Long Descending Ridge
Natural Wyoming
The Storm
The Gallatin Range
GTW Summits Electric Peak
Images and text copyright 2005 by GT Wilson.
Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent from Gary T. Wilson