This peak dominates the upper Clark's Fork valley and has been a landmark summit since the earliest western explorations. Along with neighboring Index Peak, they present some real difficulties in reaching the top. The first ascent of the peak on August 12, 1932, by Hollis Mees and Robert McKenzie is one of the great unheralded ascents of American mountaineering. Even today, with modern climbing tools and knowledge, the peak presents a daunting challenge. How these gentlemen managed the ascent --- and descent -- with no specialized gear leaves this author breathless in admiration and respect. The wonderful footage of that day, a link to which is to be found in notes at the end of this posting, is good evidence of their climb as well as a rather amazing historical movie of their outstanding climb. At this time the exact route of the first ascent party is uncertain, and the peak is a complex mass of ridges, gullies, headwalls, and scree ledges. Perhaps over time more information will come to light to help us learn more about that unique ascent. The so-called Standard Route is described below. Offering a forbidding profile, uncertain rock, a complex route, and high mountain weather, Pilot will provide a day of exploration and discovery worthy of a climber's best efforts. Visitors will find Tom Turiano's excellent book Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone a valuable resource for Pilot as well as the Absarokas in general.
We regard this a classic route not for the great climbing -- it's pretty chossy -- but because the peak itself is worthy of such a label. This is one good way to attain the summit. The route traverses completely across the south face on the huge ledge at the base of the final imposing cliffs. Towards the far, east, end there are a couple of narrow places with some exposed downclimbing to cross. From just shy of the southeast end of the peak, turn up through scree and trend left when ...[more]Browse More Classics in WY