BETA PHOTO: Andrew following up the splitter variation to the ...
P1: start with a series of cracks starting near the west arete. There are many possible choices, but the left-most splitter is probably the easiest and great climbing. Continue until your rope runs out and belay from a tree. P2: Choose from many variations, and climb up to the ledge that separates the spire into two sections. This is referred to as the lunch ledge, and it is possible to skip the first two pitches by scrambling to this point from the ledges to the east. P3: Start directly under the small tree about 100 feet up. Take the "railroad tracks", where you'll find a fixed cam and a pin. Belay at tree with gear. P4: Continue straight up from here following cracks and flares to the large ledge(160 ft).Sling belay off block or gear. P5: From under the roof, move right out avoiding the roof to get back on the face. Continue past a few face moves(crux) to cracks, and finish on the next large ledge(160 ft). Sling Belay from Blocks or pro. From this ledge, walk north and around to top out.
Shoshone Spire. The route starts on the west arete of the south face, with a few possible variations. Descend by scrambling down the northeast side, continuing down to lunch ledge. From here choose a slung tree(there are a few), and set one double rope rappel to the base.
All Gear. Bring a rack of single cams to 3", and set of stoppers. One of the best aspects to this climb is the absence of bolts, save one fixed pin.
Just did it yesterday. Snow was a non-issue. Took us about 12 hours Missoula to Missoula. You can even probably rap off the Bonsai tree with a single rope. There is a slung block with a quicklink for an intermediate rap anchor. Might think about bringing some cord to back it up with.
1 Don't cross the creek too early. Best to find a crossing that leads to a direct shot up the talus to where you need to go.
2. Scout out the shortcut/walk off to/from the lunch ledge. It was really hard to find for us and we ended up rappelling.
3. The descriptions we had for the start were vague but there were a lot of options. The whole route is pretty vague, except for the start from the lunch ledge where there is fixed gear. But go with your hunch, it's all good.
Wish there was more detail about starting this climb so this is what I found.
Upon arriving at the cliff band above the approach gully we headed west along its base. We arrived at a large, crack covered, light colored face that was the edge of the south face of the prominent western arete of the lower buttress of the spire. We walked beyond this face along the trail and decided that the routes to choose from are on the light colored face. I looked for the "left most" splitter and what I saw was a large OW crack in a right facing dihedral with a tricky looking start off the ground. I also saw a finger size crack in a right facing dihedral to the right. Right of that was a series of flared cracks and seams that looked hard to climb/ protect. Right of that was a slitter hand crack that jags left over a face then straightens out again. Right of that is the edge of the face and a chossy gully that could potentially be climbed.
I decided to try to go for what might have been the "left most" splitter by going into the right facing finger crack dihedral because the OW didn't look very "splitter". I got into some 10+ chossy pg-13 climbing into the very thin finger crack dihedral. I decided to bail.
Then I chose the hand crack with the jag to the right and found it to be extremely enjoyable! 5.9 Hands on steep granite. To finish it choose your own adventure to a ledge. Belay here or climb easy 4th-5th to the treed' ledge above.
Not sure where the "left most" splitter may be but the right most splitter on the light colored face is excellent. Hope this info gets you off the ground with ease.