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Big Creek/McCalla Ridge

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Cold-Shut Rodeo S 
Crack Town T 
Cream Wheat on Toast S 
Fun-Town S 
GB Packers Crack T,TR 
Grandpa Dale S,TR 
Kablamskies! S 
Meat Stick S 
Off-Campus House Party  T,TR 
Quail Milk S 
ScarredFace S,TR 
Seamstress , The S 
Zinger S 
Unsorted Routes:
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Coyote Coulee
The antidote for a long day at work. Near Hamilton, Montana
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Big Creek/McCalla Ridge Rock Climbing 


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Location: 46.46936, -114.20059 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,236
Administrators: grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Michael Lee Moore on Jun 6, 2017
Forecast:
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The view atop a McCalla Ridge climb

Description 

Big Creek is an out of the way crag with some stellar routes. There's not much history available about the development here, but the rock is bomber, with cracks, thin crimping and some slab. Grades range from a sandbagged 5.8 to 5.12. The area is higher than most Bitterroot cragging spots and is often breezy. It has mostly south and west-facing aspects

Getting There 

Out of Missoula, take highway 93 south past Stevensville. You'll be looking for a right turn on St. Mary's Peak Road, which comes up after you've crossed over McCalla Creek. Take St. Mary's for 2.1 miles, then turn right. There's a Forest Service hiking sign on this road, but currently no other marking. Drive about 3/4 of a mile to a fork, and go left. This is FS road #1319 and used to be marked as McCalla Creek/Ridge road. Take this for just over four miles, bearing left. The traditional approach comes right before you switchback right (again) and have your second view up the Big Creek canyon. Look left for a faint trail that heads slightly uphill and walk 5-10 minutes. You'll then encounter a steep, loose trail down to the crags. A second approach starts a couple of turns below, where the road turns sharply right and there's a pullout area often used as a shooting range. A small dirt track starts uphill from this area and you should head west into the woods just as the dirt tracks starts to climb. This approach is easier, with less scree scrambling.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 6.3 miles from here

13 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',3],['5.10',5],['5.11',3],['5.12',1],['5.13',1],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Big Creek/McCalla Ridge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Big Creek/McCalla Ridge:
Fun-Town   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Big Creek/McCalla Ridge

Featured Route For Big Creek/McCalla Ridge
Rock Climbing Photo: Kenley top roping Quail milk on a windy day

Quail Milk 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b  Montana : Big Creek/McCalla Ridge
A spicy 5.10. Climb up to a high first clip and continue up using the small finger crack. Crimp your way up to a big side pull rail, then keep crimping to the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in Montana

Comments on Big Creek/McCalla Ridge Add Comment
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By Michael Lee Moore
From: Missoula, MT
Jun 6, 2017
There are at least 20 routes here, but it's hard to find much information about them. There are two distinct buttresses, referred to on rockclimbing.com as First and Second Buttresses. The first is the higher of the two. Numerous routes are spread across a couple of formations on the First Buttress, with a mix of trad and mostly sport lines. The climbing ranges from a tough 5.8 (not!) that starts with a crack before moving left onto a face to hard, 5.12 slab. That 5.8 shares an anchor with two crimping routes in the 5.10c range. Toprope the middle between those two routes for a techy 5.11 now dubbed Split the Baby. Those routes face west on brilliant orange rock, while the 8 faces south. On this buttress, there are climbs historically named Jimmy the Toe (10c) and Fire in the Sky (11b), but we are unclear which routes those names are attached to

On the face right of these climbs, there is a slabby 9, two harder 10s and a .12 on a blunt arete. The names of these routes seem mostly unknown, though perhaps someone will chime in here with more information. This area was damaged by rockfall two years ago and the climbing is significantly harder on the 9, which moves up a scooped, smooth face.

Information about the Second Buttress is scarce, but there are several trad lines, and several sets of anchors on this lower buttress.
By Kurt HR Krueger
From: Missoula, MT
Jun 6, 2017
Talked it over with Michael and am going with the name GB Packers Crack for the 5.8 (?) crack/face. This is to continue the theme at Mill, Rattler and Maiden (as soon as Eric can find the route on the west side). This also continues the idea from the mid 80's where I had a business naming climbs for people who couldn't come up with names by themselves (see CLIMBING - Issue 75 Letters - all by me - you have to go thru them to dig it up).

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