FKT: David Ayala - HURL: Hyalite Ultimate Ridge Linkup (MT) - 2022-09-27

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
7h 50m 52s
GPS track(s)

Weasel, opal, dead weasel.

Bighorn alive in an environment of Stress.

Tall grasses legged by first frost.

Conglomerate rock precipices feigning to crumble.

Inconspicuously trickling water,

                                   tardy and ashamed.

Road-sprinting like a life depends on it > heaving the bewildered woods.

Snow dust weakly raking weak diagonal light.

Vistas of public land over an uncomfortable history, placing me here and everywhere.  

On the brink of Everything, as we are.  


Here are some comments about this route.

Except when frozen, water can assuredly be drawn from three places:

  • Fridley Lakes,
  • a handful of streams in the Alex Lowe basin,
  • Blackmore creek.

There’s essentially no trail nor cairns to follow, with the exceptions of

  • the road section between Blackmore Trailhead and the base of Sleeping Giant,
  • a tiny section of trail on the West side of Hyalite,
  • the Blackmore trail.

Nevertheless, navigation is straight-forward: except for the Blackmore trail and the steep pitch between the road and Sleeping Giant, the entire route is above treeline.

By leaving the watershed boundary between Fridley and Hyalite, and between Bole and Elephant, this route avoids Class 5 travel — the few technical/exposed Class 4 sections can be evidently avoided by sidehilling along the base of cliffs.  


A wise traveler of this route would consider

  • carrying 2 liters of water capacity;
  • testing stability of rock, especially the conglomerate between the unnamed Divide-StormCastle-Swan triple point and Alex Lowe;
  • being thoughtful about sun-exposure;
  • using gators.


I followed Wyatt’s natural descent off Blackmore.

As Wyatt indicates, an adventurous traveler might consider remaining more committed to the ridge sections between Fridley <-> Hyalite and Bole <-> Elephant.  This natural aesthetic variation would bump up the exposure and technicality considerably, as well as travel-time, and would require either carrying much more water or timing around snowmelt.