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Cowen Cirque
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Montana Centennial Route T 
Northeast Arete T 
Passive-Aggressive Disorder T 
Standard Route, The T 
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The Standard Route 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 1500', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c [details]
FA: Kester Counts and Eddy Conner
Season: Alpine
Page Views: 219
Submitted By: Chiatt on Jul 31, 2016

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (1)
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The route climbs up from Elbow Lake to a small tarn below the SW face of Mt Cowen. It's mostly class 3-4 until the final 15 feet. Head west around the tarn, aiming toward a notch on the west ridge. Just before the notch traverse the face, following several cairns. The route splits beneath the summit, and you can head west to the ridge or east to the ridge. Both routes take you just below the summit blocks. There is an obvious 15', 5.4 chimney to get to the true summit. It's exposed, and the only part on the route most parties would want a rope. Descend the route. Pick up Ron Brunckhorst's book, Select Alpine Climbs to Montana for more info, and for the many other climbs in this Cirque.


The route is in the Absaroka Wilderness. It is accessed by a trailhead off the end of East Mill Creek Road. 8 miles in to Elbow Lake from trailhead gaining 3600'. 4-6 hours round trip from the lake for the climb. There is free camping at Elbow Lake.


There is a sling anchor at the top with rap rings to rappel off the summit blocks. You can easily protect anything on the route with a single set of cams, but you will likely only use a rope for the last 15'.

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