Photo: August, 1990, near Bozeman, Montana. Carol, Tom, Richard (6), Aaron (4) and dog Gretchen.
Granite House is named after Granite Peak, the highpoint of Montana. It carries a strong emotional significance to the Insley family, as it marks the exact place and time where Tom shared one of the most eventful moments of the lives of each of his sons, Richard and Aaron, who both reached the summit with him on separate trips.
Granite Peak rises 12,799 feet in elevation and is located in the Beartooth-Absaroka Wilderness, south of Billings, Montana. Granite Peak is ranked as one of the most difficult climbs in the lower 48 states, because of the long approach, the frequent storms, and the “snow bridge,” a narrow ledge on which climbers must be roped in to ascend and descend safely. There is a large natural rock slab at the summit, which is always featured in photos.
Richard and Aaron were in an auto accident on November 25, 2007. Richard, age 23, did not survive. Aaron, age 21, was taken to Regions Hospital and was hospitalized for a severe brain injury. He never regained full consciousness, and required full nursing care. After almost a year in hospitals and a nursing home, he came home to live with Tom and Carol, who cared for him until he moved to Granite House on December 3, 2018.
September, 2013 - Nearly six years after Richard’s death, his ashes were finally interred in a cemetery in Stillwater. The ashes were placed inside a block of granite, then lowered into the ground using the climbing rope from the 1999 trip. Richard’s ground marker bears the image of Granite Peak drawn from a photo. The ground markers for Tom and Aaron were also prepared and placed in advance with the same image -the image which, a year later, become the logo for Granite House.
Richard and Tom
August 23, 1999
The Granite House logo
was created from this photo
Aaron and Tom
August 23, 2007