Climbing and Mountaineering in Montana's Roadless National Forests

Backcountry mountaineering and climbing is an adventure that stands tall above the wall at the gym or roadside rocks.

From technical winter expeditions to family “peak bagging,” climbing is a form of outdoor recreation that can be experienced at different skill levels.  Many of the highly recreated outdoor rocks located near roads have been highly documented in dozens of guidebooks and the paths have all been determined with the routes previously bolted.  This type of climbing, called “sport” climbing, involves established routes where the path through the rocks has already been laid out for climbers.  Some great sport climbing can be found in places like the east face of the Bitterroots, where the roadless backcountry holds some of the finest bolted rocks around.

The second form of climbing is “traditional, ’ where the rocks are often infrequently climbed and not well documented, leaving the chosen route up to the climber.  Whether you’re mountaineering the good rocks of the Pintlers, Absorokas, or Beartooths, the whole experience of traditional climbing allows mountaineers to pioneer their way through rocks to the top where they can enjoy scenic vistas and few other people.

Whether you enjoy sport or traditional climbing, you will find no better experience than what can be found in Montana’s roadless backcountry.  Once you reach the top and look out at the view and beyond, the scenery really does matter and it doesn’t get any better than Montana.

Help maintain the best climbing in the west and spend just five minutes letting the governor know that you want the backcountry to stay the way it has always been – accessible by trails and full of the best backcountry climbing.

Look below or more information on where to go and how to get involved with climbing and mountaineering in Montana’s world class backcountry.