Elevation: 9,500 ft
GPS: 45.859, -110.953 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 22,362 total · 206/month
Shared By: Ty Morrison-Heath on Mar 22, 2011
Admins: grk10vq, Zach Wahrer


Sitting at a very high 9000 feet, this is the most striking formation in the range. With only one often repeated line, Ross Peak has seen its fair share of traffic. Its earliest attempts date back to the late 70's by Jack Tackle and Gary Skaar. Development continues and alpine routes are out there, so set aside a full day and check it out.

The Overview

Guthrie Meeker belaying me on the 4th(?) pitch of The Fellowship

Ross Peak is generally known as a somewhat brutal day hike however there are also some very long (>6 pitches) relatively hard alpine mixed routes on the back side. The route development continues to this day so conditions might change from day to day. The easiest route goes at 5.10b and is 9 pitches long to give you an idea for what you are getting into. You are in the shade for most of the day and it can be 95 in town and you can be freezing your ass off on the climbs so take adequate clothing. There is no cell service till the top so rescue is going to take a while to be alerted. The climbs are very secluded and you will probably be the only party on the entire wall. Be careful.

Rock and Routes

The rock type is limestone and is generally of good quality but a few pitches leave something to be desired. A lot of the climbing is sharp slab so bring your non aggressive shoes. Route finding isn't too hard however finding the bases of climbs can sometimes be challenging. A few of the routes top out on the top of Ross Peak so keep in mind anything you bring you will be carrying with you all the way to the top of the climb and hiking down Ross Peak with. There is no water at the base other than an ephemeral snow field so carry all your water in with you.

The Season

This was mid July and notice all the snow still

The season is short and generally starts in mid to late June and ends in early October. Sometimes the snowfield depth can mean the first bolt is 4 foot down from the beginning of the climb.

Getting There

The Drive

Head north on highway 86 out of Bozeman. Drive past Bridger Bowl until you reach the large 90degree turn in the road and take the immediate left at Brackett Creek. Take the leftmost road (South Brackett Creek) and follow up staying right at the one juncture/parking lot area. Drive until you reach a gate on the left side of the road. Park along the side of the road across from the gate.

The Approach

Prepare yourself for the soul sucking approach you are about to endure. Head up towards the saddle for quite a ways on the road but cut right before you reach the top and then hug the base of the mountain. Bikes might not be a bad idea and would shorten the approach/descent considerably. Drop anything you don't want to haul up the mountain with you here. Gain the hellish ridge line wondering why you didn't just go sport climbing today. Continue to hug the foot of the mountain working your way around the peak. Hike up through waist high plants and don't forget the antihistamine. Drop down into the bowl cursing the large boulders that attempt to break your ankle with every step and head towards the apex of the snow field. Most climbs start around here. Expect at least 2-3 hours if you are hiking quickly. Start these climbs early if you don't like hiking down sketchy scree fields looking for small cairns with the potential for getting cliffed out while having a screaming match with your partner about how they shouldn't have drank so much and gotten out to the climb in time. Bring real shoes because the descent is like descending through the 9th gate of hell involving very sharp rock that will shred your feet.

The Descent

Lena Petersen On the Descent

The Author completely losing the plot on the descent

Hopefully you have made it to the top of the climb and peaked out and signed the peak log. Prepare to lose the plot. Look for small cairns that lead you down this chossy mess that is a mountain. When you lose the cairns ( I have yet to descend without losing track of them) just try to aim for the saddle. Watch out for cliffs that can arise rather suddenly and are rather unpleasant to fall off of. When you reach the saddle you can relax and then realize you still have another hour of hiking at least.

6 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Ross Peak

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
The Fellowship
Trad, Sport, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
Trial By Fire
Sport, Alpine 9 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
Sacred Silence
Sport, Alpine 8 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
The Fellowship Direct (aka The M…
Trad, Sport, Alpine
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Blue Phoenix
Sport, Alpine 8 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Fellowship
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13 Trad, Sport, Alpine 9 pitches
Trial By Fire
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13 Sport, Alpine 9 pitches
Sacred Silence
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13 Sport, Alpine 8 pitches
The Fellowship Direct (aka…
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, Sport, Alpine
Blue Phoenix
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Sport, Alpine 8 pitches
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