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Routes in Ross Peak

Blue Phoenix S 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Fellowship Direct (aka The Mothership), The T,S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Fellowship, The T,S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
Sacred Silence S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
Trial By Fire S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
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Type: Trad, Sport, Alpine, 1000 ft, 9 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Jack Childress, Tim Robinson, Baldwin Goodell for Pitches 1-7 and Casey Smith, Baldwin Goodell for pitches 8 and 9.
Page Views: 4,922 total · 53/month
Shared By: Ty Morrison-Heath on Mar 24, 2011
Admins: grk10vq, Zach Wahrer

You & This Route

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This route has the distinction of being one of the longest in Montana and is mostly sport with a couple of placements per pitch. While the bolting can sometimes be jangus it is a worthy climb for someone who is a solid 5.10+ climber.

Topo for The Fellowship (5.10c 9 pitches)

P1 5.10c
Nothing like getting the game started after an exhausting approach by starting on a slabby 5.10c right! Luckily most of this is sport although the bolting can sometimes leave something to be desired. Takes a few cams for protection down low. I believe there is something like 8 bolts. Pray for your toes...they are in for the long hall. Longish pitch. Bolted Anchor

P2 5.9
Work your way left and clip a bolt that is up in a roof. Takes cams and nuts as well. Sling the hell out of this pitch unless you like epic rope drag. Once you clear the roof start looking around for the next bolt and climb back up and right. Bolted anchor

P3 5.7
Scramble on a loose ledge system towards the the large crack/chimney. There is a bolt on the wall to the left of the crack however you have to be approx 9 foot tall to reach it. Climb through the funky chimney and gain a ledge with a bolted anchor.

P4 5.10a
Follow the rightmost of the bolt lines. The left line goes up the arrete but leads to nowhere. A super fun pitch! Once you have followed the corner system up head to the next ledge with a bolted anchor.

P5 5.9
Climb some slab up through a small steep section following bolts until you reach the next anchors.

P6 5.10a
Kind of an ass kicker but continue out of the belay station following bolts to the buttress. The climbing gets spicy through here as the protection can get a little limited and the rock is a little loose. Hold on tight. Emerge up onto a large loose ledge system.

P7 4th/5th class.
Head up towards the large tree directly above you trying the whole time not to kill your belayer by kicking rocks loose. Belayer would be wise to hide behind the big rock that the anchor is attached too. Probably more dangerous for the belayer than the climber. Once you reach the medium sized tree sling it and prepare for the last two pitches.

P8 5.8
A real gem of a pitch that has little of everything. Keep clipping bolts (which are closer together due to a different party setting the top two pitches) until you reach the bolted anchor.

P9 5.9
More of the same as pitch 8. Fun sport climbing leading to the summit of Ross peak! Bolted Anchor.

See the area overview for a description of the descent. Mentally prepare yourself for it. Expect blood.


The route is just right of middle on ephemeral snow field that forms the skirt of the mountain. Put in a piece or clip a bolt low (depending on snow conditons) early or off the ground preferably as a fall here could send you both tumbling down the snow field into the rocks below. Ouch. It is just left of the dirty large crack that is near the middle.


A light rack consisting of a single rack of nuts from #4-#9 and a #1 and #2 Camalot or equivalent with no doubles should see you through this climb. Most anchors are bolted, however on the 7th pitch you have to sling a tree so bring some long slings. I would suggest slinging a lot of the placements/bolts because this route has a way of wandering that could lead to epic rope drag. (Especially the 2nd and third pitch)


Went up 7/1/13 and followed conspicuous flagging shortly after the the Ross pass cutoff. Flagging ends at a scree gully that you hike up and on towards a ridgeline. Take ridgeline and occasionally look left in the trees to see the where to cut in for the base of the route. Total approach time roughly 1.5-2 hours. It was 90+ degrees in town and climbed in a t-shirt for the whole route, but probably could be different later in the season. Route actually sees sun in the early morning. Recommend bringing wires,set of nuts, and 20-23 or so alpine draws. Cams could be superfluous, but if you had to bring them, wouldn't bring bigger than a #1 BD. Pitch 6 is not run out if you place gear in the crack left of the face holds between bolts, which would remove the PG13 feeling. Unroped for the 3rd/4th class section, could also go up easier gullies out left and then turn back right at the top towards the tree at the base of pitch 8. Linked pitches 1&2, and 8&9 (barely) with a 70m. Probably could link pitches 3&4 if you are okay with the drag. Great time on an impressive looking wall. Jul 3, 2013
Matthew Abbott
Matthew Abbott  
I second that. And Pitch 4 is 5.8, not 10a. Great route! Highly recommend stretching the rope and combining pitches 8 and 9.

Don't bring any cams, just nuts and wires. Jul 8, 2013
Ty Morrison-Heath
Bozeman, MT
Ty Morrison-Heath   Bozeman, MT
I'd be careful about snow levels. In years past the #1 or #2 placement is the only thing protecting you and your climber from being pulled down the snow field in case of a leader fall before the first bolt on the first pitch. From what I remember this part did not take a great nut placement. This would surely be VERY bad if not fatal as it is rather steep and you would hit the rocks below with some speed. If the snow is high enough to clip a bolt right off the ground then the gear is not necessary. If it is lower you could seriously hurt you and your partner if you blew the first clip. Food for thought. Jul 22, 2013
Ty Morrison-Heath
Bozeman, MT
Ty Morrison-Heath   Bozeman, MT
@Matt Depends on what guidebook you have. 5.10a in Kyle's and 5.8 in Dockins. Jul 22, 2013
Anacortes, WA
IJMayer   Anacortes, WA
P1 - awesome and technical! Fun moves! #1 helps down low.
P2 - run out to 1st bolt on easy terrain, same with 2nd bolt. Pretty short.
P3 - didn't even see the bolt. #1&2 cams for the 5.6 crack. Be very careful, it's loose.
P4 - fun! Similar to p1 but easier.
P5 - fun! Similar to p1 but easier.
P6 - pretty heady, but maybe it's because I was getting a little tired. Don't be afraid to head up the broken tower 2 bolts before the anchor, it's fun!
P7 - go straight up. My 60m just made it.
P8 - fun x2!
P9 - fun!

Message me if you want more specific beta. Totally worth the hike! Jul 25, 2013
Keenan Waeschle
Bozeman, MT
Keenan Waeschle   Bozeman, MT
if you're a confident 5.10 climber just bring draws. the few natural pieces of protection I placed on this climb were jingus. It's a fun one, and not all that runout without a rack. next time I'd bring 12 or so draws. Nov 28, 2013
Nate K
Bozeman, MT
  5.10c PG13
Nate K   Bozeman, MT
  5.10c PG13
the brunkhorst alpine guidebook has this as 10c R and i think i agree with him. the safety depends on the size of the snowfield when you climb it and keep in mind that the #1 placement on the first pitch that keeps you from decking is in soft limestone and is pretty marginal. the 3rd ptich although easy is also very loose and the pro is crap, if you choose to follow the bolt line to the right (might be the ending of mothership?) be very careful getting to the first bolt, the second after i clipped it a handhold blew and i fell. if this had happened before i clipped it would have been really bad. Sep 21, 2014
I don't agree with the description of the route by Mr. Morrison-Heath. The approach is easy if you are in good condition, and know how to simply hike along contour lines on a topographic map as any decent mountaineer should. Don't needlessly hike uphill to go downhill again. I especially dislike the description of the bolting as "jangus". This project was never meant to be a sport route, and since we did the route from the ground up, we placed bolts where we could. It was scary work the first time around. Now its fun and easy. You're welcome. Jan 7, 2015
Thank you Jack. Its hiking in the mountains, nothing too special about it. After a few years it becomes easier. This is the beauty of MP, anyone can attempt to describe a climb even if they perhaps should not. Jul 4, 2015

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