Pinnacle Butte

Pinnacle Buttes

The Pinnacle Buttes are the cliffs that grab your attention driving over Togwotee (“TOW-guh-tee”) pass, a local highpoint in the southern Absarokas (“ab-SOR-kuhs”). As they are made of breccia (basically rubble held together by prehistoric mud), no self-respecting climber would deign to climb them. However, a self-abusing peak-bagger like Yours Truly will, after driving past them several times, set aside a morning to make the climb. Plus, there’s free camping at the trailhead.

I followed the Pinnacles trail to where it crosses a faint old road near a high-point, then followed a mixture of road cuts and animal trails to the northeast, looking for the break in Pinnacle Butte’s southeast ridge. The elk and/or goats led me past some vertical sections to the right, where I was able to reach the ridge via some horrible side-hilling across ball-bearing talus. From there, I followed another goat-trail for awhile, then made my way up solid breccia and lousy talus to the summit tundra, passing some cool and bizarre rock formations.

After tooling around the summit plateau a bit, I returned to the car wide awake for the long drive south. So long for this year, Wyoming. I’m not done with you yet.

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