2013 High on a Mountain Top
Our Stake (Bozeman Montana Stake) had a stake priests activity for all YM 16 -18. We called the activity High On A Mountain Top. It happened on Wednesday July 10th – Saturday July 13th. It was a 20+ mile hike over 4 days. On the 4th day we summit Black Butte in the Gravel Range in Montana. The elevation is approx. 10,600 feet. Each morning we started our activities with a Morning Devotional in which Wes conducted the meetings and each evening we had a fireside activity.
We set up a base camp and the first day the YM hiked to the base camp.
For the next 3 days we transported the YM to the next days hike and then transported them back to the base camp. Along with hiking the YM hand various workshops that covered team building skills, Getting along with others and preparing for missions. We also did a service project for the forest service removing and old barb wire fence. Wes participated in all the activities and had a great time with the YM and the Leaders.
On Wednesday July 10th
We left early this morning and met at the branch building in Ennis Montana. We had about 50 YM and perhaps 20 leaders. We stopped in Virginia City, MT which is an old western town with lots of old stores and shops. While we were there all the YM got to walk through the town and the leaders had a short meeting. For there we drove about and hour and everyone stopped and looked at our first view of Black Butte the mountain we would summit. It looked like it was a long ways away and yet everyone knew we would be hiking to it.
Not long after that we were divided up into 6 different companies and each company had a return missionary advisor and a company leader who usually was a young man getting ready to go on a mission. The Name of our Company was the Brown Company after Hugh B. Brown. All of the companies were named after great missionaries from the past. We had a 4 mile hike to our base camp. Each of the companies left at different times and while waiting participated in various activities and workshops.
Our company was the 2nd to lead out. Everyone walked except for me. I rode our horse Stella. She is a small Quarter Horse mare. I have been riding her almost every day for the last 2 months. When I ride a horse someone leads the horse and there is a person on each side of me just in case I loose my balance they are there to keep me from falling. My dad came and he always leads the horse. Once in camp we set up tents and attended workshops. We had a great dinner and a wonderful fireside. Our Stake President, President Heap spoke to us about doing hard things in our lives and finishing them. I could really relate to the talk because I have a little bit of an idea about doing hard things. My Dad and I and my Grandpa Greene slept in a tent together. This was my first campout since my accident. We also brought two horses and they slept near us each night as well.
This is our tent.
Thursday, July 11th.
We got up early and had a great devotional and then started the next portion of our hike. It was about 5 miles. The going was along a dirt road and for the second day I rode our horse Stella. The YM in our company helped on each side of the horse and Dad lead Stella. Dad led Stella for the four full days of hiking. We also did workshops and a service project. We had a great dinner and a wonderful fireside. I have been sleeping well and it has been great to be in the mountains.
Friday, July 12th
Our devotional was great and so was the breakfast. Today is the longest day of hiking. We are not hiking along any roads and will be on a single track trail through the forest that is rarely traveled. Dad and Lance Richards scouted out the trail the day before to make sure we were on the right track. The hike was 8 miles long and most of it was up and down through the forest. Today was the first time that we hiked together as a stake. President Winward rode our horse Emma and it was great to have him with us. I stopped about 3 times along the hike to rest and we stopped to eat lunch. I was tired at the end of the afternoon. All in all I rode for about 6 hours. That is definitely the longest I have ridden on a horse since my accident at least three times longer. The YM and leaders have been awesome and I am grateful that I came.
View of Black Butte as we got closer
Lunch Break on the 3rd day of our hike with Black Butte in the background
Group picture on the 3rd and longest day of the hike
Wes on 3rd day
Wes taking a break
Saturday, July 13th
We got up early so we could finish our hike up Black Butte before it got to hot. The trail up Black Butte is very steep and in some places it reminded me of hiking out of the Grand Canyon. Our stake leaders made s special chair that the YM and Leaders could help get me to the top of Black Butte. I rode our horse Stella about half way up the mountain and we tied her up at the top of the tree line. Then I had the most amazing and scary ride of my life as I was carried to the top of Black Butte. I though going up was scary but little did I realize that going down was 10 times worse. The YM never dropped me and even though it was a bit frightening I arrived at the bottom safe and sound. I thank all the young men and leaders in our Stake who helped make this an awesome trip for me. Our Stake can do hard things. The hike was hard enough without worrying about getting me to the top and it was truly amazing to see everyone work together to help me up and down.
Wes getting ready to start ride up Black Butte
Wes riding up Black Butte with a lot of help
Gathering before starting up Black Butte
Riding up Black Butte
The Chair invented to carry Wes up Black Butte
Grandpa Greene riding up Black Butte with Wes
Half way up Black Butte and transferring to the chair. Too steep for a horse to climb the rest of the way.
Wes in his chair.
The trail is getting steeper.
We have to go up through those rocks.
Wes, Dad, and Grandpa Greene at the top of Black Butte.
Group of Young Men at the top of Black Butte.
What goes up, must come down. Wes is facing backwards as they go down Black Butte.
Army of Helaman carrying Wes down
This is very steep. Wes is somewhere in the middle of the guys.
Hike is finished, everybody is safe and sound, including Wes. They didn’t fall once.