REI Community
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 

Zig Zag 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 190'
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Dave Vaughan & Scott Travis - 1972
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Page Views: 1,372
Submitted By: Sarge on May 15, 2007  with updates from Matt Wenger and 1 more

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (21)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]


This is a good route. Be careful there is some rotten rock on the route and as the name of the climb denotes, it challenges your route finding skills.

P1. Ascend crack to small ledge with tree (30') and follow zig zag crack to top of the rib.

P2. Veer up and left following dirty low-angled chimney all the way to the top.

Descent: Double rope rappel from large tree or walk off.


This routes is about 40' to the right of Sparerib Buttress proper.


Typical alpine rack. P1: Chain anchor P2: Build your own anchor.

Photos of Zig Zag Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd pitch of zig zag
BETA PHOTO: 2nd pitch of zig zag

Comments on Zig Zag Add Comment
Show which comments
By Bryan Gartland
From: Helena, MT
Sep 20, 2007
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Big gear is nice to have on this one.
By W.S.
From: Montana
Oct 9, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

There is a walk off, no rappel necessary. First pitch and first half of the second pitch are great, but the top (scrappy, loose, low-angle chimney) keeps this route from being fantastic.
By Ted Farley
From: Bozeman, Mt
Aug 12, 2010

the second pitch is the toll you pay for a blissful first pitch, totally worth it though.
By Timmamok Murphy
From: Durango, CO
Aug 14, 2011

Climb the face to the right at the end of the second pitch for cleaner face climbing. It is about 5.6R+
By Ball
From: Oakridge, OR
Oct 23, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

You don't have to chimney. You can stem on the outside and place pro on the left intermittent crack.
By Carl Smith
From: BeaUTAHfull
May 21, 2015

Awesome first pitch with room for big gear. 30ish meters up is a ledge with bolts and chains that are beginning to rust.
By B-Mkll Mackall
From: Bozeman, MT
Jul 18, 2015

Just do the first pitch and tag a rope unless you reallllly wanna top out! Second pitch has about three fun moves in 30m of climbing but really is just a scramble.
By Ted Lange
Apr 9, 2016

WARNING! If you climb the first pitch of Zig Zag (fun and highly recommended as others have noted) to access Piecrust Promise (two-star 11a in Bozeman Rock Climbs guidebook), you need to be climbing a LOT stronger than 11a. Piecrust is definitely quite a good route, but it is one of the more extreme sandbags I've encountered in Gallatin Canyon - which is saying something! Plus the very sustained climbing above the bolt protected crux requires MANY tricky, and fairly desperate gear placements. Piecrust Promise doesn't appear to be on this site yet. So I'll see if I can figure out how to submit a description.
By Matt Wenger
From: Bozeman
Jun 2, 2017
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

This route has some of the neatest jams I've ever done. Second the big gear, #4 and #5 very handy. 2nd pitch is dirty, but still fun. Tight finish. If Skyline has the "birth canal", then this is the "buttcrack" finish. 70m rope makes it down from chains on P1.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About