Best American Adventures: Ice Climb Hyalite Canyon
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By Doug Schnitzspahn; Photograph by Boone Speed, Getty Images
The ice of Hyalite Canyon, just south of Bozeman,
has gained fame as the proving ground of legendary Himalaya climbers
Conrad Anker and Alex Lowe, as well as a spot for the locals to just
get out and swing their picks. Filled with countless waterfalls in the
summer, Hyalite sets up with a smorgasbord of ice climbs in the winter.
Routes range from popular, consistent classics to ephemeral wisps of
ice that have only have been climbed one season.
Genesis area is the center of most action, since it requires only a
scramble from the parking lot to access and offers standards like
Sleeping Giant Falls (WI 4) and Genesis II (WI 3 ). More daunting is a
rare climb like Black Magic (WI 5). Starting in 2007 there was some
controversy about keeping the Hyalite Canyon Road plowed in winter, but
the Southwest Montana Climbers Coalition has worked with the Gallatin
National Forest to ensure access remains open to one of the best
natural ice climbing playgrounds in the country.
Need to Know: An extensive online climbing guide to the Hyalites can be found at Montana Ice and Alpine Recreation (www.montanaice.com). Barrel Mountaineering in Bozeman has information and equipment and can set you up with guides (www.barrelmountaineering.com).
- Nat Geo Expeditions