7-11th Heaven

Cragging at Allenspur. 

A crag that is not too loud and not too crowded: these are the first qualifiers that come to mind when seeking a quick climbing fix. I can’t focus on climbing Gallatin Tower when I can hear an 18-wheeler riding the rumble strip all the way to Four Corners. Similarly, I can’t get any pitches in at Practice Rock because I’m either third in line or too stressed watching a new climber Elvis Leg before the first clip. That’s where the 7-11 Crag at Allenspur comes in.

Set in the verdant Paradise Valley, the 7-11 Crag offers a quick approach, solid dolomite rock, and 15 routes ranging from 5.7 to 5.11b with stellar views of the Yellowstone River below. What’s not to love? The 7-11 Crag features some of the highest-rated sport routes in the area, like the classic Flakefest (5.10b) and the perspiration-inducing arête of Rancho Deluxe (5.11b). 

While the southwest-facing wall can get cooking on summer afternoons, it’s often cooled by the infamous winds that whip through Paradise Valley. Get there early to skip the heat and beat the other climbers. You’ll find that somehow, wind is less distracting than traffic barreling down the highway.

Name: 7-11 Crag
Area: Allenspur
Type: Sport, trad
Difficulty: 5.7-5.11b

Directions & Approach
From Bozeman, hop on the freeway toward Livingston. Take Hwy. 89 south for four miles, then turn left on East River Rd., and park at the Carter’s Bridge fishing access. Walk southeast on the road around 250 yards until you see the red sign stating the rules and marking the climber trail heading east. Follow the trail to where it meets the Boundary Crag. 

Turn right to take the upward-trending trail. Look for the cluster of trees growing close to the rock. This is the start of the 7-11 Crag. For more detailed info and route descriptions, stop by the Spire Climbing Center and grab a local guidebook, such as the Rock Climbs of Southwest Montana by Kyle Vassilopoulos.

General Life Directions
Don’t be a dingus. Access to Allenspur and the 7-11 Crag is dependent on private landowners allowing climbers to cross their land to reach the climbing area. Stay on the trail, and leave your crag dog behind for this one.

Bonus Tip
Don’t ruin the experience for everyone else by bringing your portable speaker. Instead, leave the technology at home and enjoy the sweet sound of your friend screeching as she takes a whip.