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Routes in Blackfoot Dome

Free Lament , The T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Type: Trad, 450 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: F.A. Tobin Kelly & Marvin McDonald F.F.A.Bill Dockins & Kim Keeting
Page Views: 1,467 total · 29/month
Shared By: verticalabyss on Oct 27, 2013
Admins: grk10vq

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The Free Lament is perhaps one of the finer short routes in Blodgett. Perfect slab climbing up a very obvious line, and just enough gear to keep it fun.

The climb starts on a high grassy ledge at the true base of Blackfoot Dome. Look for a single bolt 70' up.

Begin climbing just right of a shallow left facing corner. Climb past a large hollow flake and find gear in a small crack in a left facing corner. Step up and left aiming for the bolt above. Follow the line of least resistance up through a wide crack in a right facing corner. Continue up to the highest good ledge with bolts and an old pine tree growing. 160' 5.8

Pitch two begins by climbing the cracks DIRECTLY above the anchor. Once about 30' up step left into the obvious left facing corner system that can be seen from the ground. Follow this thin corner with small gear to a fixed pin under a small roof. Trend up and left passed small pods to a bolted anchor on a slab. 110' 5.9

Pitch three climbs directly up from the belay following a thin seam into the overlaps. Once the seam closes up continue directly up passing an old fixed RURP and finally a good stance with a solid bolt. Pass the bolt and gain the prominent left facing corner above with a fixed pin at its base. Quality slab climbing with tricky gear placements lead upward into the final crack system leading all the way to the Pod Belay. A bolted belay on one of the more unique ledges in Blodgett Canyon. 170' 5.9+

A short pitch of 5.6 leads to the top of Blackfoot Dome. No fixed anchor exists on the summit.


Two options exist for the decent:
Rappel the route in three raps.
Walk off down the gully to the east.


One or two sets of cams from small to a 2 Camalot. Small stoppers are useful.


Harrison Schutt
Missoula, MT
  5.9+ R
Harrison Schutt   Missoula, MT
  5.9+ R
A quality route with great rock and interesting, heady slab moves throughout. Its a pretty consistent 5.9 route with a couple harder moves especially if you're not used to slab climbing. There are sections of runout on pitches one and two. Before the crux slab you can plug a couple of C3s in and should commit to the moves without trying to mess with gear before the obvious next placements ~15-20 feet up.

I would add that the first bolt up is more like 40 feet off the deck, not 70 and has a few places for decent gear before the bolt.

Also-as we had to make the decent in the dark with a thunderstorm on the horizon, we did not find a place to walk off and had to make some weird raps with a 70. Either bring 2 60s for comfort or rap of p3 Sep 1, 2017
That fixed RURP was probably one that had a tied nylon sling rather than a wire that I placed during a FA attempt back in 1979 or '80. (Chouinard did not sell them with cables until several years later.) I was leading it on aid in hiking boots in winter and took a 30 foot fall ripping some tied off pins below. I think that RURP may have been the one that stopped my fall. Being late in the day with less than an hour before sunset, we decided to rap off. I remember that Marvin and Tobin finished the route only a couple months later, and then we all turned our attention to new routes on Flathead and Nez Perce. I may have some old photos in a box that I should scan and post some day. I would love to go back and do the free route someday with modern shoes and small cams for pro.
-Kurt Kleiner Dec 8, 2016
Jeffrey Dunn

  5.9+ R
Jeffrey Dunn    
  5.9+ R
The wire on the fixed rurp is gone. That section is pretty heads up, but has good holds. There is a very good medium offset nut placement before heading up into the business and getting to the bolt. P3 is clearly one of the best pitches anywhere as it weaves through 5 overlaps with a mix of slab climbing, edging, laybacking in a corner, airy traverse onto a stunning arete... its just sooo good. Sep 16, 2014