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Routes in Sparerib Area

Broken Prow T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Mr Friendly T,S 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Piecrust Promise T,TR 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13
Prime Rib T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Ski Tracks T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Sparerib T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Tick Itch T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Zig Zag T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Elevation: 6,386 ft
GPS: 45.42, -111.229 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 8,100 total, 63/month
Shared By: Sarge on May 15, 2007 with updates
Admins: grk10vq


The sparerib area is part of the Gallatin Canyon Climbing area. This area can be crowded (for Montana standards) but not to anyone else. The hike getting there limits some people. Good ole climbing trail.

Getting There

From the parking lot, follow the two track into the single trail along the river for about 3/4 of a mile. Once you have left the rivers edge, take the first major trail to your right (should be a climbers access sign). Follow the switchbacks up past 1st and Blackline Buttresses, past the boxcar sized boulder, until you reach a small ridge line. From here you should first spy the Spare Rib formation. Hike another few hundred yards uphill, and veer left under the first major buttress you come across (Ashes of Stone). Follow the trail across the scree field to the base of Spare Rib Buttress.

8 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Sparerib Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Zig Zag
Trad 2 pitches
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Mr Friendly
Trad, Sport
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13
Piecrust Promise
Trad, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Sparerib 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Zig Zag 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Mr Friendly 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, Sport
Piecrust Promise 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13 Trad, TR
More Classic Climbs in Sparerib Area »

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M Alexander
M Alexander   SLO, CA
Since everyone keeps mentioning how the approach is the crux but no one says how long I will: about an hour from car to base of route at easy pace.

Approach beta: Park at large pullout just past the 35mph bridge. Walk across road and follow trail to first fork, left ends within eyesight and right goes up a steep berm, go down the center. Follow for 10ish minutes until trail forks again, go right (currently there is a climbing access sign on the tree). Go up switchbacks for 30-40 minutes, easy to find. Aug 28, 2016
In the early 80's I was filming a friend taking whippers off the first roof on the second pitch of Spare Rib for my sophomore film school project. My climbing buddy had placed a Friend in just below the roof and would climb a couple of body lengths above the cam then jump. I would film the resulting 15 or 20 footer. Then I would move or jug for a different angle on the fall and he would repeat the process.
The forth time he jumped his piece just below the roof popped as did his next one. He ended up stopping just as he landed on his belayer at the top of the first pitch. His belayer, a film school student and first time climber/belayer, managed to stop the fall, but promptly leaned over and puked he was so stunned and frightened. He, then, insisted upon immediately rapping to the ground.
As neither of the other two film students present would agree to take over the belay duties in spite of my insisting "it was safe", our filming was over for the day.
The climber... suffered only minor cuts and abrasions after his 75 foot plummet.
Did I get the big ride on film?... No I was jugging the line to get a higher angle and he had jumped, "just for the hell of it", when the gear failed. One of the roped stoppers on his harness did smack me in the head as he whistled by, however. The film camera was not damaged. Oct 10, 2008

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