American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Montana, Mill Creek Canyon, Bitterroot Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1975

Mill Creek Canyon, Bitterroot Range. The Bitterroots extend south from the Missoula area and are punctuated by glacier-carved granite canyons whose creeks drain east to the Bitterroot valley. There is little evidence of climbing and the canyons seem endless. A prolonged Indian Summer and a long holiday weekend in late October afforded Steve Jorgenson and me a chance to climb the most prominent buttress of Mill Creek Canyon, seen easily from the approach road from Route 93. A trail into the wilderness area crosses to the north side of Mills Creek and at about a mile-and-a-half to two miles we ascended the talus and goat trails to gain access to a bivouac ledge just southwest of the main wall and the two obvious buttresses. Early morning found us wallowing gingerly up a dirty chimney behind the large slab to a grassy knoll between the two prominences. We scrambled up the back side of the smaller buttress to survey the south face of the larger and chose a fine line to the top. Ten yards west of the only pine on the knoll we began a thin aid crack which opened into a free crack and then an open-book facing southeast leading to the summit platform. It was a clean ascent. NCCS III, F8, A3.

Robert B. Schoene, Unaffiliated

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