Trad, Alpine, 700 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II,
Avg: 3.2 from 5
FA: Craig Zaspel & Jack Tackle (1976)
> Gallatin Canyon
> Big Sky Area
> Beehive Basin
> Beehive Peak
The Original Route, aka Javaman, is a really accessible climb for those wishing to push into 5.10 in the alpine. Even though it has 2 pitches of 5.9 and one of 5.10, the cruxes are short and quickly passed. The climbing itself is interesting, mostly in cracks, and lead to a fantastic summit. Even the approach is easy (by alpine standards) and straightforward.
P1: Start at the base of a small, overhanging corner on the left side of the face, directly on top of the black dike. Make a few bouldery moves with no pro before gaining intermittent cracks. Continue following cracks through a less steep section. Belay before the vertical, larger than fist sized section at a small stance. (5.9, 100′)
P2: Climb the large crack directly, use features inside, or a combo of the two. I found a great red C3 placement here, and didn’t feel like a #4 C4 was necessary. Once above this 5.9 mini-crux, continue up the corner system, traversing past small roofs. Climb a section of slab, then get ready for the crux corner. There seem to be two ways to climb this, either in the corner itself, or going up the overhanging splitter crack to the left of it. Either way, reach the top of the corner and build a belay in the roof crack above. (5.10, 170′)
P3: I believe I got slightly off route here, but I will describe what I did. It worked and wasn’t too difficult. The guidebook doesn’t describe this pitch in much detail. Traverse left out from under the roof, following an angling, nearly horizontal crack. The hands are good, but the feet aren’t. I continued the traverse until the end of the crack, reaching a large stack of (seemingly) stable blocks. Once up these, I continued angling up and left on moderate, sometimes protected terrain. I built a belay on a large gravely ledge, about 15′ left and 20′ below the crux roof of the next pitch. (5.7+, 140′)
P4: From the belay, move up and right on easy, but poorly protected terrain, aiming for the black roof above. I placed an offset nut in a solid constriction before turning the roof, and that was the only good gear I could find, so just a heads up. Once past the roof, the climbing becomes easy. Continue up until you come to an overhanging narrow corner. Build a belay here. There are likely several options for where to end this pitch. (5.9, 180′)
P5: If you belayed in the overhanging corner, head up it, pulling one last 5.7 section. From here it is all 5.Easy and 4th class to the top. There is a convenient terrain belay on the first large ledge you come to. I belayed there. (5.7, 120′)
From base to summit took us 3:15.
The Original Route is located on the left side of the south face of Beehive Peak, ascending the tallest part of the face. The crux pitch is distinguishable as a large, right facing corner, capped by several roofs.
From the Beehive Basin Trailhead (GPS: 45.306839, -111.385645), hike the well established trail until you pass the large puddle, and reach the lake (about 3 miles). If you want to bivi, there are several nice spots in this area.
After passing the lake, the trail shrinks considerably, but try to stay on it as long as possible in order minimize impact. Once you reach the scree fields, contour your way up and left to reach the base of the climb. If you head far left too early, you’ll get stuck below the black dike, which is not part of the climb.
From the car to the base of the climb took us 2:30.
Scramble the rest of the way to the summit, then follow the ridge line to the left (west). When you reach the top of a gully, you can choose to either rap (there was fresh webbing with rap ring around a beefy horn when we were there) or down climb. If you’ve done this route, you’re likely fine to scramble down, but do what is best for you. I felt the moves were high 3rd or extremely low 4th class.
Once at the bottom of the steep section, contour along the scree/gully to your right. Once you reach a rock ridge, head straight down the gully. Be cautious as it is very loose and somewhat steep. When the gully turns to the right, head up a short section of scree that leads to the top of the saddle between Beehive Peak and the rest of the ridge.
From here, you have two choices: Head down the 4th of July Couloir directly ahead of you, or turn to the right and go along the ridge until you reach a moderate scree slope to descend on your left. We had threatening weather, so we chose to stay off the ridge.
If you go down the 4th of July Couloir, expect your experience to vary depending on snow level. We went down it mid-July and troughs were melted out along the walls on either side, making it reasonable to downclimb the slabs and walls. If there is more snow, or harder snow, an ice axe (and maybe even crampons) would be advisable. We were able to kick step in approach shoes across sections when we needed to. Had the weather not been bad, I think the ridge descent would have been a bit easier.
Once you reach the bottom of the couloir, find your way back to the lake and the rest of the way home!
Car-to-car time for us was around 9 hours.
We brought doubles from #3-0.75 C4, along with a single run of smaller cams from #.5 C4 to #00 C3 (including orange and yellow Mastercams). A set of nuts (including DMM alloy offsets), some quickdraws, and 8 shoulder length slings rounded out the rack. I felt this was a good selection for the route.
ROUTE OVERLAY JAVAMAN ON BEEHIVE PEAK
“Identifying the Pitch 4 roof.”
ROUTE OVERLAY JAVAMAN ON BEEHIVE PEAK
Pitch 5 easy climbing to the top.
Descent gully. Descend straight west, then cut left to notch and go down that gully alongside south face.
Pitch 4 roof (5.9 crux).
Start of Pitch 3.
Looking down Pitch 2 corner. 5.10 crux is at top of corner (base of photo).
Base of Pitch 1.
Topo for the Original Route.