Elevation: 10,479 ft
GPS: 48.696, -113.717 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 33,705 total · 599/month
Shared By: Granite RockofAges on Jul 12, 2015 with improvements by mills101 Mills
Admins: grk10vq, Zach Wahrer
Access Issue: Big Horn Sheep Closures Details


Glacier National Park generally is not considered a popular destination for 5th class trad and alpine climbers. Due to unstable rock in many areas and loose scree approaches that can be rather long and arduous most climbers are happy to search for more sport (type) routes elsewhere around Montana. But for the pure mountaineer with a desire to work hard in the alpine zone, GNP offers unbelievable opportunities for endless numbers of technical FA (first ascent) lines up massive vertical walls as high as 4,000. The faces high on these impressive glaciated peaks generally stand around 8,000 to 10,000 feet in altitude. Most of them untouched with the majority of even professional climbers opting to leave them that way. Frankly put, this area of the Rocky Mountains is reserved for the hardcore trad/alpine climber with no fear of marginal rock quality with an intense desire to pursue this style of climbing for the sake of claiming new territory.

Ironically, the summer time peak-baggers with a light day pack find plenty to do in the park since no technical climbing is required on most of these mountains which have an "easy" side that involves no more than a long class 2-3 scree scramble of several miles. BUT for the 5th class climbing enthusiast with big ambitions its a different story. Packing heavy technical gear & seeking new high alpine/trad routes, expect long approaches whether on goat trails, dense untracked forest, snow fields, glaciers and seemingly unending scree slopes before ever reaching the huge plethora of seldom attempted massive faces of Glacier Natl Park.

Being that the rock quality is so questionable and often is more prone to lead unprepared climbers into rather epic circumstances, this area is not recommended for most technical climbers. All that being said, for the advanced climber prepared for all the subjective and objective dangers that mountains can offer, GNP is still virtually an undiscovered and unimaginable playground for the true spirit of high alpine feats. Climbing in winter adds another extreme dimension to an already unstable environment requiring the trad /alpinist to exercise every physical and mental faculty he possesses with the greatest of skill and wisdom.

Bottom line... don't attempt technical 5th class climbing here unless you got ALL your **** together. Getting RESCUED or worse ... losing your life because of your lack of abilities and knowledge is an unnecessary event. Not to mention it stains the greater climbing community's reputation & name. "If in doubt, just don't do it." Because... no climb is worth a tragic ending.
The 3,500-foot north face of Mt. Siyeh (10,014') in Glacier National Park, with the new Cordes-Woods line marked. Courtesy of Kelly Cordes.

Getting There

Glacier Natl.Park can be accessed via many entrance sites. Including West Glacier, Two Medicine, Polebridge, Camas Crk, Cut Bank, St Mary, Many Glacier, and Chief Mtn. As well as numerous trail access points that may require fording of rivers.

Please be mindful of Glaciers Posted Closures:

Seasonal Closures

Many climbs require hours if not days to approach. Logistics is often the other reason besides poor rock quality, many climbers decide not to climb in Glacier Park.
Unclimbed East Faces of the Continental Divide - Glacier National Park

8 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Glacier National Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
NE Ridge, Mt. St. Nicholas
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
NE Ridge, Mt. St. Nicholas Mt St Nicholas
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
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