On the morning of June 22nd, the Bitterroot National Forest wilderness intern crew hiked up the Sweeney Ridge Trail. We hiked up in a quite literal sense: gaining 1,800 feet in the first 2 miles, and then 500 in the last half mile. They were long 7 miles, during which we Silkied and crosscutted our way toward the campsite at Duffy Lake. Grueling aside, we were rewarded with beautiful views of glacier-carved mountains, wildflowers, and alpine lakes.
This overnight project closed out the field portion of our first hitch, setting a tone for the rest of the season: exhausting, challenging, rewarding, and indescribably beautiful.
Melinda Horne, University of Montana