Cloud Peak Climbing Notes

  • September 17, 2018
    KRL from United States

    We summited 9/15/18 as part of a 3 day trip out of West Ten Sleep Trailhead. It was my first trip following Mountain-forecast.com (2nd time up CP) and the forecast was spot on, even a week out. Perfect weather, no snow, bugling elk, and excellent conditions. From the trailhead to summit and back is 24 miles, with good water available the entire route. We camped on paint rock creek at base of Cloud Peak (about 10,000 ft.) and took the popular route that follows the Paint Rock Creek drainage, and then stay left (north) when the creek forks about .75 miles mile up. 6.5 miles up and down, with 3,000 feet of elev. gained. the trail mostly disappears into boulder field after the first 1/2 mile. There are rock cairns, but as you climb higher you will see multiple parallel routes with cairns. Water was still easily available up to about 11,800 ft (top of the main bowl). 2 in our party were up and down in 7 hours. My team (I'm 53) was 9.5 hours. Bring a flashlight -- its not hard to end up "off piste" in the boulder fields and run out of daylight. I used trekking poles which are a knee saver on the descent. I also used the GAIA app this time and was impressed. And clean moving streams let me stick with just steri-pen and aqua mira drops for treatment, and never used the filter.