Ten minutes out of town, we found dirt road that goes up to Storm Lake. We had been there before, shortly after moving to Anaconda, Montana. The road was hard on car, but we couldn't resist going. This time we would hike up to tundra and stay night. My wife Ana had never been camping above treeline.
There were a couple cars, but nobody in sight. The lake was sparkling in sunlight, and mountains of Anaconda-Pintler range rose up all around it. It was quiet and cool here at 8,000 feet. We put on our packs and started up trail. Twenty minutes later we were past lake, and trail steepened.
Hiking With Guns In Montana
After an hour of zig-zagging up mountain we met another hiker. We talked briefly, and noticed handgun on his belt. This is common in Montana. We've seen guns on hiking trails and in bars, and bank tellers don't even blink when customers walk in wearing guns - they probably have their own.
We never did ask this hiker why he had one, and didn't find out until later that there are grizzlies in area at times, something some "experts," have denied. At least we had our freon horn to blast if we met a bear, but then maybe that would just get bear angry.
The trees got smaller as we climbed, and ended just before Storm Lake Pass. Ana waited patiently at pass while I ran five minutes - which became twenty - up to peak of Mount Tiny, about 10,000 feet high. Small, compared to some of surrounding mountains, but it seemed almost rude to give a beautiful mountain a name like that.
Later, past goat meadow, Ana waited again while I scrambled up rocks to top of Kurt Peak (also about 10,000 feet). I couldn't find route where I came up, so I went back up, then down west side and finally back north to grassy slope where Ana was waiting.