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Sparerib Area

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Broken Prow T 
Mr Friendly  T,S 
Piecrust Promise T,TR 
Prime Rib T 
Ski Tracks T 
Sparerib T 
Tick Itch T 
Zig Zag T 

Sparerib Area Rock Climbing 

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Location: 45.4196, -111.2293 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 7,872
Administrators: grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Sarge on May 15, 2007  with updates from Ted Lange and 3 more
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BETA PHOTO: Spare Rib buttress


The sparerib area is part of the Gallatin Canyon Climbing area. This area can be crowded (for Montana standards) but not to anyone else. The hike getting there limits some people. Good ole climbing trail.

Getting There 

From the parking lot, follow the two track into the single trail along the river for about 3/4 of a mile. Once you have left the rivers edge, take the first major trail to your right (should be a climbers access sign). Follow the switchbacks up past 1st and Blackline Buttresses, past the boxcar sized boulder, until you reach a small ridge line. From here you should first spy the Spare Rib formation. Hike another few hundred yards uphill, and veer left under the first major buttress you come across (Ashes of Stone). Follow the trail across the scree field to the base of Spare Rib Buttress.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.4 miles from here

8 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Sparerib Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Sparerib Area:
Sparerib   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 225'   
Zig Zag   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 190'   
Mr Friendly    5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 180'   
Piecrust Promise   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13     Trad, TR, 70'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Sparerib Area

Featured Route For Sparerib Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Spare Rib

Sparerib 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  Montana : Gallatin Canyon : Sparerib Area
This route is amazing. The crux is on the second pitch. For 5.8 it is very exposed but well worth the hike and effort. I can't say that there is anything bad about this route. To find the route look for the "tallest and most prominent clean rib/buttress on formation." There are two sets of double cracks that divide the west face of this rib.P1. (5.6) Climb right through the middle of the buttress along a beautiful 2' wide groove ending on an ample ledge. Bolted anchor. (50') P2. I...[more]   Browse More Classics in Montana

Photos of Sparerib Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: View of parking area from summit of Spare Rib. Zoo...
View of parking area from summit of Spare Rib. Zoo...

Comments on Sparerib Area Add Comment
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By Jimbo
Oct 10, 2008
In the early 80's I was filming a friend taking whippers off the first roof on the second pitch of Spare Rib for my sophomore film school project. My climbing buddy had placed a Friend in just below the roof and would climb a couple of body lengths above the cam then jump. I would film the resulting 15 or 20 footer. Then I would move or jug for a different angle on the fall and he would repeat the process.
The forth time he jumped his piece just below the roof popped as did his next one. He ended up stopping just as he landed on his belayer at the top of the first pitch. His belayer, a film school student and first time climber/belayer, managed to stop the fall, but promptly leaned over and puked he was so stunned and frightened. He, then, insisted upon immediately rapping to the ground.
As neither of the other two film students present would agree to take over the belay duties in spite of my insisting "it was safe", our filming was over for the day.
The climber... suffered only minor cuts and abrasions after his 75 foot plummet.
Did I get the big ride on film?... No I was jugging the line to get a higher angle and he had jumped, "just for the hell of it", when the gear failed. One of the roped stoppers on his harness did smack me in the head as he whistled by, however. The film camera was not damaged.
By Mitch Alexander
From: SLO, CA
Aug 28, 2016
Since everyone keeps mentioning how the approach is the crux but no one says how long I will: about an hour from car to base of route at easy pace.

Approach beta: Park at large pullout just past the 35mph bridge. Walk across road and follow trail to first fork, left ends within eyesight and right goes up a steep berm, go down the center. Follow for 10ish minutes until trail forks again, go right (currently there is a climbing access sign on the tree). Go up switchbacks for 30-40 minutes, easy to find.

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