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5.10a/b, Trad, Sport, 550 ft, 6 pitches,  Avg: 3.3 from 3 votes
FA: Kyle Perkins, Grant Williams, Jennings Anderson
Montana > Northwest Region > Blackleaf Canyon > Main Wall - N Face


P1: Well bolted pitch, very steep climb on crumbly and textured rock to a belay station before the roof. 5.9 Crux: Traverse across a crack near end of the pitch.

P2: This pitch has two options, you can face climb for a 5.9+ R bolted or mixed 5.9.
Face route: Dodge the roof by climbing R out of the belay station stay out of the crack and up the bulge, clipping mostly from reaching right.
Mixed, crack: Dodge the roof by climbing right out of the belay station. Stay in the crack or using the crack when needed. Bolt left and place pro in crack when needed.

P3: Great friction slab. Pull over the bulge from the second belay station and follow the bolts up. 5.8

At the third belay station, traverse right across the scree field ledge to the the back chimney. You will see a pair of anchor bolts on the right side before the chimney.

P4: Head up the chimney, clipping on the right face. Once the chimney ends, rotate 180 degrees to head out on the left face. Use the bolts and thin face crack to guide the route to a nice ledge. 5.10 b

P5: Climb a small dihedral onto the face traverse right after a mini-roof. Crimps and balance moves to the next good ledge. 5.10 c

P6: Climb the face and pull over a large bulge. Traverse right and up after the bulge, runout to the next bolt. Finish at a good, standing belay. 5.8/9 R


Hike up the scree field to a prominent corner that has a cave at the bottom (looks like a mountain lion den). From the corner, traverse right 50 yards to the base of the climb.

Rappel from top anchors, double rope rappels to the large scree ledge. Backtrack your route to the third belay station. SIngle rope rappel from third belay and double rope rappel from second belay will get you to the bottom.


No pro except second pitch, need two cams for the inch-wide crack.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The Northern Wall of Blackleaf Canyon
[Hide Photo] The Northern Wall of Blackleaf Canyon
Pitch 6.
[Hide Photo] Pitch 6.
Pitch 5, crux moves.
[Hide Photo] Pitch 5, crux moves.
Chimney pitch.
[Hide Photo] Chimney pitch.
Ol' Man Perkins drilling the top belay station
[Hide Photo] Ol' Man Perkins drilling the top belay station
Brad on the first pitch in the snow
[Hide Photo] Brad on the first pitch in the snow

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Jeff J
[Hide Comment] This look like a sweet route. Iam going to have to try it out next time I make it up to Black leaf. This routes I don't think existed last time I was there... Oct 30, 2010
mills101 Mills
Kalispell, MT
  5.10b/c PG13
[Hide Comment] A few 2019 notes on Uplift that will hopefully increase the traffic on this infrequently-climbed Blackleaf route. Jake Mergenthaler told me he thinks our climb may be only the second or third ascent of this route in the 10 years since it was established.

First, huge props to the developers of Uplift — this route must’ve been a bear to put up! Thank you, you're badass!

Gear: 10+ draws, a few alpine draws, single cams .75-2 (and maybe a 3 if you really want to sew it up) for P2, two 70m ropes for raps.

The route is on the middle-right side of the wall; the start is marked by two shiny stainless bolts at waist-height.

P1, 5.9, PG-13: Steep, chossy, a bunch of bolts, worst pitch, don't get discouraged, keep going, it gets better!
P2, 5.8, PG-13: We took the mixed option up the corner (and never saw the bolted R option mentioned above); clip some bolts, place some gear, a bit chossy (alpine), but a fantastic pitch!
P3, 5.8: An immaculate limestone slab with a tricky bulge, good stuff.

Traverse a large terrace, roped or unroped, right and up to the obvious chimney, you'll see chains on the right wall of the chimney that mark the start of Pitch 4.

P4, 10.b, PG-13: A very fun bolted 5.8 chimney to a short/fantastic 10.b limestone corner. The money pitch! A few alpine draws in the chimney would be helpful.
P5, 10.c: Well-bolted limestone slab, starts mellow, gets steep, good pitch.
P6, 5.8: Definitely doesn’t deserve an R or even PG-13 rating; the runout described above is over really easy terrain. An okay pitch that ends 20 ft. below the head wall.

Descent: I think you could do this with a single 70, but we used double ropes (mostly), 6 down to 4, single rope 4 to 3, single rope to 3 to 2, double ropes from 2 to the ground.

Opinion: Uplift ain’t your typical Blackleaf multi-pitch sport route; it’s more reminiscent of a Mazama multi-pitch, wandering and traversing, following cool features and weaknesses rather than pure vertical adventure. Should you do this route? Maybe. If it's your first trip to Blackleaf, meh, but if it’s a chilly or cloudy day (this thing is south-facing) and you’ve already sent all the Main Wall multi-pitch classics, YES, go for it! Sep 2, 2019