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North America, United States, Montana, Flathead Spire, South Face, Blodgett Canyon, Bitterroot Range

Flathead Spire, South Face, Blodgett Canyon, Bitterroot Range. Wayne Wallace and I began this route by climbing the first two pitches of the Ballard-Everingham route to a good ledge below the base of a large dihedral, just to the right of “Afterburner.” We followed the righthand dihedral with some loose rock to a large expanding flake which ends with a hand traverse to a small sloping ledge. Above the ledge is an improbable-looking groove; protection became better higher up. From an exposed foot ledge, we moved up and then crossed right to the second of two dihedrals. From its top we stepped to the right from below a small roof and continued up over several loose blocks to a large ledge with an anchor tree. We finished the route via an obvious crack that splits a small roof. (IV+, 5.11-; 10 pitches.) We dedicate this route to the memory of Richard Pierce, who lost his life shortly after reaching the summit of Pumori.

Michael Carville