<-- Map of summer 2018
     climbing roadtrip 
     (click to enlarge)

BEEHIVE Peak (GALLATIN)
Route: Javaman aka Original Route (5.10, 5p, 700')  

& 2 Afternoons/Evenings Cragging in GALLATIN CANYON

SEPT
9-11
2018
TR #: 319

Category: Montana       Elev: Beehive summit: 10,246 ft;  Gallatin Canyon: ~5,000 ft       Rock Type: Gneiss

Partners: Beehive: Adam Sultan;  Gallatin Canyon: Chad Hiatt

Gneiss climbing in the Gallatin area just south of Bozeman.

INTRO

In September 2018, I climbed in Montana for my first time. The original plan was a quick 4 days in Blodgett Canyon, but I enjoyed these four days so much that I ended up extending my trip, turning the trip into a 2-week effort to climb as many classic routes in Montana as I could. I spent the last three days of my 2018 Montana adventures climbing in the Gallatin area, just south of Bozeman.

Two of these days (a Sunday and a Tuesday, Sept 9 and 11) were afternoons/evenings of cragging in Gallatin Canyon, a mecca of roadside gneiss outcrops just south of Bozeman. I climbed here with Chad Hiatt. Chad had been my partner in Blodgett Canyon, and when I found myself in Bozeman a week later, he was able to free up a couple of afternoons for some after-work cragging (so Chad was my partner for about half of my Montana adventures—I had a blast climbing with him, a super solid climbing partner and a fun guy to hang out with). On our two afternoons/evenings in Gallatin Canyon, we climbed several classic moderate routes, on our second day linking up 8 pitches that brought us from the base of the canyon to near its top and enjoying sunset high above the canyon floor.

On the Monday between these two days of cragging in Gallatin Canyon, I squeezed in another Montana classic alpine climb: The 5-pitch 5.10 route Javaman (aka Original Route) on Beehive Peak. Beehive Peak is a beautiful alpine area located just south of Gallatin Canyon, in the Gallatin National forest near the Big Sky Ski ResortDespite the fact that it is alpine, the area has a very short approachThe rock is high quality alpine gneiss that is fun to climb, and the south face of Beehive has several multipitch routes as easy as 5.7 and as hard as 5.11. Javaman ascends the tallest part of the face; the route is known to be an accessible 5.10, with short cruxes and only one true section of 5.10 section on the second pitch. Javaman had been recommended to me by a local as a route I should climb during my extended trip (thanks for the tip Greg!). I climbed it with once-Washintonian-now-Bozeman-local Adam Sultan, who had responded to my Facebook partner post (thanks Adam for climbing this route with me and putting up with my desire for an early start so I could climb again the next day!). It was definitely a fun day out on gneiss rock.

 
SEPT 10
BEEHIVE PEAK

Javaman (aka Orignal Route) (5.10, 5p, 700')

Partner: Adam Sultan         Rock Type: Gneiss         Summit Elevation: 10,246 ft

ROUTE OVERLAYS

Another version in afternoon lighting:

PITCH BY PITCH PHOTOS
Photos:
Photo descriptions:
Approach
From the Beehive Basin Trailhead, hike on a nice trail to a lake and then hike up a fainter trail (either directly up the talus or up and around right work) to the base of the south face of Beehive Peak. Took us 2 hours and 15 minutes from trailhead to base of route.
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1. Beehive Basin trailhead.
2. A pleasant approach. After the lake, pretty much head towards the base of the south face whatever way looks good to you. There are a couple of faint trails.
3. Approaching the base of the south face of Beehive Peak. We came in from the right on the approach, and descended by going straight down the talus.
4. View of the Big Sky area from near the base of Beehive Peak.


Pitch 
1
5.9, ~100'. Start at base of corner directly on top of black dike. Make a few bouldery moves and continue up cracks to a belay stance somewhere up there. (Beta note: Seemed the least-hanging belay stance was just above a short steep 4-inch crack section which might actually be the first few moves of Pitch 2.)
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5. Start of Pitch 1.
6. Adam starting up Pitch 1.

Pitch 
2
5.10, ~110 or 170' (seems to be a couple of options of where to end the pitch, see notes below). Climb the short steep 4-inch crack section (#4 is nice, but can get a smaller cam in somewhere I think), then continue up the corner system. The 5.10 crux is where the corner steepens with steep crack to the left. I built a belay just above this crux corner (~110' pitch), which fits the belay spot described in the mountainproject route description. However, the guidebook overlay and pitch length (170') seem to suggest that the pitch actually continues further up the corner; continuing up the corner looked a bit difficult, and there was a bail sling/biner up there, suggesting that it might indeed be a bit hard. 
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7. Start of Pitch 2. (Or belay just above this at the top of Pitch 1, as it may be a slightly less-hanging belay than right below it.)
8. The corner on Pitch 2.
9. Adam just below the 5.10 crux.
10. Looking up the corner above where we belayed. Looks a bit hard to continue. 


Pitch 
3
5.7+, ~140'. (The following description assumes you belayed where we did at the top of Pitch 2.) Make a hand-traverse out left on an angling, nearly horizontal crack. Reach a stack of (seemingly) stable blocks, then continue upward to a gravely ledge by some trees. You can see the crux roof of the next pitch above. (It seems that if you climbed higher in the corner on the previous pitch, then Pitch 3 would be awfully short, another sign that perhaps you don't go any higher in the corner after all, and we belayed in the correct spot.)
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11. Where we went for Pitch 3. This way works and seems to make sense.
12. The second half of Pitch 3. Important note: Adam got a bit off route at the top of the pitch and set his belay a bit too far to the right. Above him is the "Bees Knees Variation" described on mountainoprroject, which is supposedly good climbing but also grungy. The actual route (and the way we ended up going) is the roof/left-facing corner a bit to the left and above Adam in the photo. I've added annotations to the photo to make this clear.


Pitch 
4
5.9, ~180'. Climb up towards the left-facing corner in the black roof above. Pull over the edge of the corner/roof, and then continue up on easier terrain as far as you want. Lots of places to belay.
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13. The roof/left-facing corner near the start of Pitch 4. This is the 5.9 crux of the pitch.
14. Easier terrain above the 5.9 crux roof.


Pitch 
5
3rd-4th, ~120'. Head up to the summit through easy terrain, mostly 3rd and 4th. (Might be a move or two of low-5th depending on how far you went on Pitch 4.)
15.     15. Easy climbing to the top.

Top!
Enjoy the view!
16.     16. On top, looking north. (Photo by Adam.)

Descent
From the summit, scramble north and west on the ridge to reach the obvious descent gully which heads down left. Downclimb the gully back to the base of the south face. It's steep and loose, but nothing harder than 3rd. For more solid rock, stay close to the edges. Took us about 45 minutes from the summit to descent back to our packs.
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17. The start of the descent gully.
18. The descent gully. Descend straight west, then cut left to notch and go down that gully alongside south face.
19. The descent gully alongside the south face.
20. Garnet porphyroblasts. About the size of nickels.
21. Large red 'fragment' is poikiloblastic garnet in quartz.

22. A view back towards Beehive Peak on the hike out. The colors are starting to look very fall-like up at elevation.




 
SEPT 9 & 11
GALLATIN CANYON (between Bozeman and Beehive Peak)

2 Afternoons/Evenings Cragging
 in Gallatin Canyon

Partner: Chad Hiatt        Rock Type: Gneiss         Elevation: ~5,000 ft
Photos:
Photo descriptions:
Climb 1: 

(West Side of canyon)

(Sept 9)
Standard Route (5.8+, 2-3 pitches, 300'), Gallatin Tower
Classic route on the tower, on high-quality gneiss.
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1. Pitch 1 of Standard Route.
2. Gneiss cracks are nice.
3. Gneiss banding.
4. More gneiss climbing on Pitch 2 (which we linked with Pitch 1).
5. A healthy pile of guano en route.
6. Gallatin River and Highway 191 below.

Climb(s) 2:

(East side of canyon)

(Sept 9)
Ashes of Stone (5.9, 1 pitch, 190'), Ashes of Stone Buttress + Skyline Arete (5.6, 4-6 pitches, 500'), Skyline Buttress
Fun climbing with sweeping views high above the canyon.
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7a. The crags on the east side of the canyon. We headed over here after climbing on Gallatin Tower. Ashes of Stone + Skyline Arete climbs the tiers of gneiss to the highest point in the photo.
8. Giant quartz crystals on Ashes of Stone. Fun to climb but difficult to protect.
9. Climbing on Skyline Arete.
10. Narrow squeeze through the hole at the top of the chimney midway up the route.
11. The canyon classic Sparerib (which we climbed a couple of days later) climbs the arete on the lower skyline.


Climb(s) 3:

(East side of canyon)

(Sept 11)
Mother's Day (5.8+, 2-3 pitches, 180'), The Lower Watchtower + Silver Foxes (5.10a/b, 3 pitches, 350'), The Upper Wartchtower + Sparerib (5.8, 1-2 pitches, 220'), Sparerib Area
Great 8-pitch linkup of adventure route + bolted face climb + canyon classic.
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7b. The crags on the east side of the canyon. Mother's Day + Silver Foxes + Sparerib climbs the three tiers of rock on the left side of the photo and is one of the longer continually-upward linkups in the canyon.
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 Pitch 1 (variation on north side) of Mother's Day. It's a fun vertical staircase of ledgy gneiss.
13. Pitch 2 of Mother's Day. This route is not climbed as often as others, so its somewhat of an adventure route.
14. Pitch 3 ("birth canal" section) of Mother's Day.
15. Pitch 1 of Silver Foxes. Fun bolted face climbing.
16. Pitch 2 of Silver Foxes. More fun bolted face climbing.
17. Pitch 3 of Silver Foxes. The 5.10 crux is gymnastic move pulling the bulge. Nice lead Chad!
18. Base of Sparerib. This 220-ft rib is one of the coolest features in the canyon, and hence one of the more popular routes. I led the full 220-feet in one long pitch instead of using the intermediate belay.
19. Looking up from the base of the route. Double hand jams much of the way up!
20. Another photo of the rib higher up along the route.
21. Chad topping out. The sun was just setting when we started up the route. I made it up without needing my headlight (took me 30 minutes to lead the 220-ft pitch), but it was pretty dark by the time Chad arrived at the top 15 minutes after me. This route is kind of fun to climb in the dark, actually, and watch the headlights of cars on Highway 191 below.

My geologist friend Doug McKeever's comment on Sparerib: "Really cool! Not common to see something like this. The rib is a granitic pegmatite dike . It was probably intruded as a fluid-rich late- stage magma associated with a batholith, and is coarse-grained due to high ionic mobility rather than slow cooling rate. You can see how the dike is parallel to the foliation (alignment of minerals) of the host rock, the gneiss, so being concordant to the structure in the host it is more like a sill, but due to its vertical orientation conventionally we can call it a dike. The clefts along both margins are due to differential weathering along the contact between the pegmatite and the host rock, the gneiss. Perfect for jamming! "