Type: Trad, Alpine, 1000 ft, 10 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Cole Lawrence, Conor Dysinger
Page Views: 896 total · 26/month
Shared By: petercaracciolo Caracciolo on Feb 14, 2016 with updates from Quinn Taubman-Harper
Admins: grk10vq, Zach Wahrer

You & This Route

7 Opinions

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One of the longest and proudest routes in Montana, The Awakening Wall is a mega classic. If you can climb the grade, this is a must do! And if you cannot, use the bolts and A0 your way across the crux pitch (pendulums anyone?) or use the Sawed Off Heads Variation to access the upper pitches. All anchors have bolts, except for the top. If you climb the short last pitch, plan to walk all the way off and back around the base of the North Rim. Start early and top this one out!

Pitch 1 - (5.8 DFU) Starting at the toe of the Great Awakening Wall, climb up and just right on very easy ground. The rock is not of terrible nature, but offers very little worthwhile gear for a ways. No bolts. Make your way into a small weakness system, find gear, and cruise to the grassy ledge.

Pitch 2 - (5.10) Climb up and right over a blocky ramp, continue straight up into a shallow right facing, arching corner. Fire the thin finger crack on small gear around the bulge to the anchors

Pitch 3 - (5.10) Mill Creek splitter. Giggle your way up the hand crack to the ledge.

Pitch 4 - (5.10) Step left on the ledge to gain the weakness. Climb up and back right to the anchors.

Pitch 5 - (5.10) Venture up and right from the anchor, gaining the bolts. Traverse right on small edges into the Sawed Off Heads dihedral, continue up dihedral to anchor.

Pitch 6 - (5.9) Bust up and right off the anchor and follow the ramp out of sight. Take the easy ledge system far right until you are below a huge flake that waves off the wall. Climb straight up to the anchor.

Pitch 7 - (5.10) Gain the mondo flake, head left off the top and follow the bolts. When the bolts run out, don't climb left, go straight up, finding just enough pods for gear until the climbing backs off. Continue up to a large ledge. Spicy, this is pure 5.10 brilliance.

Pitch 8 - (5.10) Climb the large, open weakness system to the left, do not go up the right corner.

Pitch 9 - (5.10) Triple Cracks pitch. Follow the three cracks all the way. So good!

Pitch 10 - (5.9) Little shorty to the top. Climb the corner over to the right.
Harrison Schutt
Missoula, MT
  5.10+ R
Harrison Schutt   Missoula, MT
  5.10+ R
An absolutely incredible route. Although it was a first when it comes to big walls, this felt like it had to be a classic.

My climbing partner and I attempted it two weeks ago (in July), starting the climb at 5pm and expecting to top out with head lamps. We only brought 3 liters of water and had to bail at the top of pitch 6 around 1 am. Yesterday we attempted it again with 6 liters, and topped out at around 1:30 am, starting at 5 pm.

The route is generally straightforward, especially on the pitches with bolts. For the first pitch, expect to not find the correct line, and climb at least 5.10 R to the anchors--we never found 5.8. The fifth pitch seemed more like 5.10+ too, especially freeing the bolted traverse (not sure why you'd aid it). Pitch 8 also felt like 5.8 or 5.9. As you go up, the rock quality just gets better and better.

All of this being said, if you or your partner are not a confident 5.10+ trad leader, I would hesitate on attempting it. There are some pretty beefy runouts on most of the pitches that would result in some big whips.

Many thanks to the guys who put up this awesome route!! Aug 6, 2017
Andrew Demaree
Missoula MT
  5.10+ R
Andrew Demaree   Missoula MT
  5.10+ R
I second everything said by Harrison, in regard to this route. Definitely a Montana classic, comprised of thoughtful bolting and excellent line choices. While the first two pitches are less than stellar, most of the many pitches that follow are full of fun and interesting climbing. I will definitely be back to try the Sawed Off Heads Variation.

I would add that it is hard to tell when to traverse around the arete on P:9 (at least at night) and plan for the run-out that follows.

Many thanks to Cole Lawrence and Conor Dysinger for putting this thing together. I have enjoyed every route of there's that I have been on at Mill and I can't imagine the time, energy, and money that must have gone into putting up so many awesome lines.

Also, I would be interested in finding out how the 5.12a variation to P:5 is meant to go, if anyone knows. It looks like a seam continues up towards the anchors instead of traversing into the dihedral, but the description seems to match the 5.10 variation.

  • A correction on Harrison's comment; we bailed around 10:30 pm on our first attempt, not 1:00 am.
Aug 7, 2017
Steph Abegg
Bellingham, WA
Steph Abegg   Bellingham, WA
Climbed the route in Sept 2018. Climbed the Sawed Off Heads variation and rapped the route with double ropes. The bolts at all of the anchors were in good shape, and the tat was good enough, but some of it getting a bit tattered/faded. A fun adventure route! Sep 8, 2018