Storm Brews But Gals Make it to Top, Welcome New Member
GiG welcomed Noreen to the group with a quick afternoon trip up Rodgers Peak; and it was quick since the clouds started rolling in. We left Great Falls at 1 p.m and were on trail by 2:30 and off the mountain by 5:15 in time to greet the other group going up in the evening.
On our way up, we saw tons of wildflowers, going from the glacier lily zone to the alpine forgetmenots and douglasia above the treeline. (See list of flowers we saw). We faced a bit of blowdown, having to skirt off trail to get around trees. And we saw many huckleberry blossoms, promising a good crop come August.
As we climbed and got out of the trees, the wind really started whipping us. Some of us peaked over the rocks at the first saddle only to walk back quickly for fear of being blown off the cliff. This area had the best display of alpine flowers: pink douglasia, blue forgetmenots and yellow cous biscuitroot and yellowstone draba.
As we neared the second pass, we stopped as a big thunderhead was looming over it. Instead, we took a break and ate our dinner, hoping the wind would blow the cloud away, but it didn't. So Katie said that we would head straight up and get to the peak that way instead of going to the pass and going up the less-steep backside as we usually do. Some of the gals thought she was crazy as it was a stiff climb, but once we got going, no one had any problems.
Then on top, with the wind howling, we took a quick picture before descending quickly. A few gals even risked the lightening with sticks in the air. We did want to get down before any thunder storm started. Plus the wind wasn't very pleasant either.
We made it down before even a drop of rain fell or any lightning started. Then Katie headed up Rogers Pass in hopes of finding chocolate lilies while everyone else headed home. A fun time and Noreen, the newbie, said she would be back hiking with us soon. We hadn't scared her away.