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Routes in Cowen Cirque

Montana Centennial Route T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Northeast Arete T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Passive-Aggressive Disorder T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13
Standard Route, The T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
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Elevation: 11,206 ft
Page Views: 11,373 total, 128/month
Shared By: Ian Cavanaugh on Sep 6, 2010
Admins: grk10vq

Description

Cowen Cirque includes Mt Cowen (11,206) along with many other satellite peaks in the area including, Eenie, Minnie, Miney, Moe, Fire Spire (Black Spire), and The Thunder Dome. This is a popular area as it is the highest peak in the Absaroka Range. The rock in the area is granite/gneiss and is of very high quality. Many of the routes are long and exposed, so make sure you have a bail plan if an evening thunder storm rolls in.

Getting There

Head south on highway 89 for Livingston. Take a left at Pray exit, crossing the Yellowstone river and East River Road. You are now are Mill Creek Road, which will turn to gravel after a few miles. Take a left at East Mill Creek Road and park at the Elbow Lake Trailhead. From here you will hike on a not so easy trail up 3,500 feet of elevation to Elbow Lake. The trail to the lake is 9 miles, so plan accordingly. 4-5 hours is usually required.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cowen Cirque

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Northeast Arete
Trad, Alpine
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Montana Centennial Route
Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Northeast Arete 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad, Alpine
Montana Centennial Route 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Alpine 12 pitches
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Regarding alpine excursions, be very careful of the avalanche prone southwest slabs where the switchbacks begin. The cirque is remote which attributes to the relative danger given scrappy conditions but offers a vast amount of alpine routes and great sheltered areas for camping. Oct 10, 2015
Nick Stayner
Wymont Kingdom
Nick Stayner   Wymont Kingdom
mid July-August would be a good bet. Jun 3, 2013
IJMayer
Bellingham, WA
IJMayer   Bellingham, WA
Could anyone provide a vague idea of when the routes on Mt. Cowen would be dry? Hoping to do the standard route and the West Ridge of Mt. Cowen thus summer. Jun 2, 2013

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