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Saturday, October 24, 2015

They call it Hunting, not Killing

Got to spend some quality time in the mountains with family and friends for the rifle season opener here in Montana (on public land). My dad and I met up with some friends from Great Falls and gave it our best! Nobody got to go home and show off their big bull but they were able to share a few funny stories.
This was the first year I ever really compared hunting to climbing and I found quite a few similarities. Sometimes, on those really warm October days when Im hunting, Im thinking to myself "man, I should be climbing right now!" This year I realized that hunting is actually pretty darn good training for climbing. You have to get up really early and walk around in the dark under headlamp, you're carrying expensive specialized gear, you wear specific outerwear and boots, you hike around the mountains all day, areas get scouted ahead of time, you're prepared to spend the night, start a fire and administer first aid (atleast we are), you're out there no matter what the weather is doing and you get that feeling of a 'just reward' after putting in all kinds of preparation and hard work. You're also out there with a specific group of like minded individuals. Oh yeah, and there is huntin' slang just like climbin' slang! I have to say, as far as trails are concerned, hunting is more adventurous than climbing. I have climbed all over the country and there is usually an obvious trail to point B. That is absolutely not the case with hunting. On Sunday, I probably hiked 6-8 miles of which less than 1 was on any kind of trail. Dead elk walking....
The 'Crows Nest'; same spot I got my bull opening day last year. Great place to see and make a cut-off move if necessary.
Text book elk country. If you're whining about there being no public land to hunt or where there is there are no elk, then look at a map and go somewhere else cause you're wrong. 
The wrong flavor. I actually PREFER there to be other hunters. I think all but one of my elk harvests was a ricochet kill; some other hunter spooked them out of their hiding place and they ran right to me. The more hunters, the fewer places to hide and in an area with healthy elk populations theres no need to be selfish. This year, I was the bird dog that rousted the herd out of their beds and if all the shooting that happened post bust, then a few hunters owe me a beer! 
My dad teaches me how to hunt and I come away with life lessons.  Someday, my kids will hunt too. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

6th Annual Butte Bouldering Bash

Sam, Manfred and I camped out at Pipestone all weekend for the Butte Bouldering Bash competition. This was Sam's 4th time competing and my 2nd though I didnt actually sign up to compete this year (I didnt bring enough cash, oops!). We spent the day walking around the Druthers, a new area to me. We both had decent sessions and finished with no fingertips left. We also found some huge smoky quartz crystals just laying in the road! Here are some select boulders we played on.
Birthday Crack
I dont remember what this guy is called but its where we warmed up. The little white tags are point values assigned to the routes.
Druthers Crack: This highball was not part of the comp but there is no way in hell Im walking by something like this without an honest attempt. And an attempt is all I can claim to have done. I couldnt get my feet past the ceiling ~6-7' up. The top of the crack looks a little funky: you're seeing the blue sky through it! Totally parallel! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Neat Rock: Standard Route

Sam has wanted to climb this local classic for a coons age now and we finally made it out there. Chasing some of his first trad leads, Sam took the first pitch. I ended up taking the second and we bailed before the roof. I guess I just chickened out even though I have climbed it several times before. Maybe if Sam would have brought a headlamp with him... No use crying over spilled milk right!? Just go back and do it! And we will someday.
We were there to get Sam some practice with multipitch climbing/belaying and we did just that. I believe that was his first time setting up an ATC in guide mode and he got it no problem.  

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Revenue Village: City Limits Buttress is all done

With this awesome Indian summer going on in MT let the rock climbing continue! A definite ROCKtober we're having! Manfred and I hiked out to the City Limits Buttress and finished cleaning the cracks and bolting the faces. 5 more routes were created, trad and mixed. That puts this buttress at 8 routes.
Friday night can get a little crazy in the Gypsy Wagon. High stakes domino argument going on here. 
City Limits has 3 ramps; this is the far left one. This face is bolted to the ceiling that takes two bomber cams then bolts to the top. I also cleaned an awesome crack line to the left of this. 

This is the middle ramp. The left arete is bolted, that fat crack and all its neighbors are clean and there are some face bolts right-of-center where needed. 3 routes but 15 different ways to climb it. 
I watched this spark, grow and take off on the ridge walk out. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

'SourBear' Rock Scouting

I spied this rock last summer and I finally got a chance to go check it out. Its in a gully between Bear Canyon and Sourdough Canyon so I dubbed it the SourBear. I figured I would be fighting private property to get to it but thank god for smart phones; I have an app that tells me exactly where I am and what type of land Im on (state, blm, private...). 3 miles later I reached the base of it. I reached the base of the North and East aspects anyway and Im kicking myself in the ass for not checking out the South and West aspects. I guess I was just hoping to find 'lower Bear Canyon'-esque Sandstone and when I found Limestone I kind of got turned off. Its not that I dont enjoy Limestone but Bozeman could use some more pockety Sandstone climbs. I found little badges of bomber rock but the rock itslef just isnt tall enough for me to bolt. They would be like 2-3 bolt quarter pitches. But the West side could be tall. I imagine its just like the rest of all the Limestone I have seen around New World Gulch and Bear Canyon though... spotty at best. I doubt people would walk that far for that type of climbing. Maybe Ill go back someday and give it the twice over. (Hint Hint: Im giving out the location in hopes someone else will walk all the way out there and tell me what they find on that big right/West side! If you need help bolting it, get a hold of me!).
As seen from Triple Tree. 

Are these really from the era when the Gallatins were the bottom of the ocean?
Rock Hound.
This is a look at the North and West aspects. I looked at it all and for some reason never poked my head over the edge. I think it was supposed to rain or something. But if you look at the first photo, you can see it has one big side to it; the side you cant see in this photo.