click to enlarge Gash Point seen from the Bitterroot valley

Michael Hoyt

Gash Point seen from the Bitterroot valley

Gash Point (8,886’), named after a Jim Gash who lived along the Gash Creek during the early 1870s, is visited most often by backcountry skiers. Although climbed by many local “peak baggers”, this highpoint attracts only a small number of visitors when not covered by snow.

Skiers reach the summit area by following the southeast ridge or skinning straight up the obvious eastern bowl. During the remainder of the year, most climbers begin at the “official” Gash Point Trailhead and follow the poorly-maintained trail along the southern side of the same ridge until the trail disappears in the undergrowth. From there it’s a simple matter of gaining the ridge-crest (Class 2) and following it toward the northwest until you reach the summit. There is not an improved trail along the ridge-crest, although, there is a rather obvious tread in most places.

Be careful during descent to remember where you lost the trail and gained the ridge-crest. Otherwise you’re liable to spend time searching for your vehicle.

In the past this highpoint was home to a “tent” fire lookout. Proof of that is the tangle of steel telephone wire still littering the summit block.

Michael Hoyt

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