As winter slogs along and you begin to crave stone to pull on, finding the right shoulder-season crag can make for perfect afternoon climbing while your friends are out skiing on slush. So grab the quickdraws, approach shoes, and a down jacket (just in case): here’s our mini-guide to finding the best south-facing cliffs.
Enjoying long sunny afternoons, Allenspur has high-quality dolomite sport climbing overlooking the scenic Paradise Valley. Access has been an issue in the past, but a new agreement has changed a 30-minute uphill/downhill slog into a breezy 10-minute hike. That said, be very respectful to the landowners, hardware, and area. Be sure to check out two of the best routes: Flake Fest (10b) and Rancho Deluxe (11b).
Half an hour west of Whitehall, this granite bouldering playground hosts everything from V0 walkups to mind-boggling V11 horrorshows. Nestled in an old-growth forest and a very dry rain shadow means climbing conditions can be perfect here while Bozeman is buried in snow. Finding it can be a bit tricky, and a word of caution: this sharp rock will definitely punish doughy digits softened by months of ski gloves and Xbox controllers.
Tucked in the Gallatin Canyon, this birthplace of Montana sport climbing is definitely a t-shirt destination when the sun is shining. Cross the Squaw Creek Bridge, take a right, and enjoy about 30 delicious limestone sport routes. Bring a set of stoppers to supplement the bolts on a few routes, and don’t forget your A-game: grades start in the low 10s and rocket all the way up to 13+.
- O/B Store