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Sun, Jun 28 2009 - Kupunkamint Mtn and White Calf Mtn (View Original Event Details)

Coordinator(s): Dell Meuchel
Participants:Dell Meuchel

Write Up:
Kupunkamint Mountain - June 28, 2009 Coordinator: Dell Meuchel The day was beautiful with a "possibility" of 30 m.p.h. wind gusts, nothing to the veteran "east-siders". Fifteen GMS faithful began their trek to Kupunkamint along the boundary trail out of the Cut Bank Creek Valley. The aspen parks were alive with brilliant white, gold and purple wildflowers. Recent rains had caused a profusion of colors. The group worked its way through some scrub brush to the talus slope below the summit. We broke into several smaller groups to assault the long talus slope. Along the way we felt the winds begin to build and puffy, white clouds raced across the horizon. Our weather prognosticator Bud Iszler assured us the forecast was for "occasional" gusts. Bud, Martin Valles and I recalled last fall's Kupunkamint adventure with 60 to 70 m.p.h. winds, strong enough to necessitate a summit "crawl". We acquired the summit and the wind continued to build. After a short lunch, the group began to question the long, narrow ridge walk to White Calf in the howling wind. Soon the wind began to surge, forcing many of us to fall to our knees and even our bellies, showing no signs of abating. Two GMS veterans, Bud and Stephen Smith, stepped up to lead some of the group off the ridge back down to our meeting area. The route down was quite apparent and some of the group wanted to reach the White Calf massif. Knowing the descending group was in good hands, Martin and I continued forward with four others. We worked our way down the ridge off Kupunkamint up to the cairn marking the beginning of the White Calf ridge. The wind was strengthening and we realized our return route would be in the face of the wind. Once the sub-summit photo was taken, we hastened off the mountain and quickly scree skied to the brush below. Martin's bushwhacking instincts were excellent as we made our way to the open meadows and parking area. The White Calf group arrived only minutes behind our fellow climbers and refreshments became the order of the day. Martin had prepared his special salsa and my wife, Gail, made Cowboy Caviar. The feast was on after another successful climb. Kupunkamint climbers were: Steve Berg, Mark Haemig, Martin Valles, Jerry Moore, Chris Clack, Matt Marcinek, Mary Knotts, Joel Vignere, Trevor Helwig, Kristien Renand, Vernon Garner, Stephen Smith, Laurel Vielle and Bud Iszler.



Have some photos from this event that you'd like to share in our photo album? Please forward them to Tim Anderson at twamontana@gmail.com. Please note that we prefer to receive the photos in approximately 640x480 or 750x500 pixels - do NOT send original high-res photos. If you have a LOT of photos, please submit up to twenty of your favorites (only) for a day event, or up to forty of your favourites for a multi-day event. Thank you.




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