A alpine like experience close to Bozeman. Some fun mixed climbing with long climbs being the norm. The formation is gorgeous and is directly above the awesome Ainger Lake. The routes are somewhat hard, sharp and for the most part slabby. Leave those shoes with the severely downturned toe at home! The climbs are also all long with 6 pitches being the norm.
Weather and Season
The weather conditions up there are very similar to Ross Peak with it being on average 20 degrees colder than town. The formation also can get some epic updraft due to the largeness of the formation. The season typically starts in June and ends in early October.
Rock and Routes
The rock quality is good if you stay on route but if you get off route at all the rock quality does fall a little bit. The routes are mostly bolted however so route finding isn't too hard.
From Bozeman drive north on highway 86 until you reach the Fairy Lake turnoff. Drive up the Fairy Lake road until you reach a split in the road. Take a right at this juncture and continue to drive until you reach a large meadow right before the road takes a veer to the left. It is about half an mile before the end of the road.
Take the trail on the north/ right side of the road that switchbacks up the hillside. Continue on this trail until it crests and you can see the large Ainger Lake formation. From here you can head up and left to get to the ridgeline where you can then drop into the Frazier Lake basin and then drop to the Ainger formation or drop down to the Ainger Lake basin. Both have their drawbacks. The other approach is a bit further down the road and continues straight up the large tundra field and has no switchbacking to break up the steepness. The climbs begin at the toe of the formation and a lot them have bolts visible from the ground. About an hour and half to two hours from the car will get you there.
To descend from the climbs head to the south on top of the formation and look for a large tree. There is cord and webbing around the tree that goes through a large rap ring. Bring extra webbing as the rodents have a habit of chewing through the existing gear left behind. The rap from the tree only requires a single rope. Rapping from the summit requires two ropes. Descend to your packs and prepare for the slog back up the hill to get back to the car. Don't forget the cold beers for the car!
2 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Ainger Lake:
Featured Route For Ainger Lake
Cold Forged Steel 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b MT
: Bridger Range
: Ainger Lake
Glue them fingernails down and get ready for some slab! Neat fins and knobs litter this route and are of general great quality. A very enjoyable climb and worth the effort to get there.P1: 5.9Climb the face up to the medium sized tree and ledge. 2 bolt anchorP2: 5.10bClimb on up the steep slab following bolts and supplementing with nuts/cams. Near the top go slightly right to gain the belay ledge. Large pine tree is above you. Longest pitch on the route!P3: 5.10aClimb ...[more] Browse More Classics in MT
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BETA PHOTO: Ainger Lake formation with lake out of frame right...
Frazier Lake Buttress
Ainger Lake in all it's glory