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[TR] Sphinx attempt, Beartooths, Carter Mountain - 11/5/2010

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Trip: Sphinx attempt, Beartooths, Carter Mountain -


Date: 11/5/2010


Trip Report:

We started our trip around Yellowstone checking out the Sphinx, a sick north face route in the Mission Range in Montana. We glassed the ice and it looked in so we gave it a go. Our goal was to climb the Lowe Direct, which was a big one with a 4 man team. We got up at 2:30, and made a crock-pot breakfeast( the theme of our trip)and got started we made it to the bottom of the face in good time and the Lowe Direct wasn't in, so we went for a line to the right of the Direct.


The climbing was super fun, nice alpine feel with traverses and frozen turf and great dry mooves. After 8 half rope pitches( due to rope drag and unsure if the line would go). We came to two full length pitches one was finnally ice!!!! By this time we were a running belay from the base of the good stuff, but by now the traverse ledge looked like a good option to get out almost before dark. We simu-climbed the traverse and almost made it to the saddle before dark. Does anyone know if this line has been done before? The Lowe Direct doesn't seem to get done very often, and we've never heard of another line that takes on the lower pitches of the Sphinx. It would be a great way to try the Earl-Trimble Route, our line went at M4 R WI3. Here are some more pics










After that we drove over to the Beartooths and walked into Funeral For a Friend, and it didn't appear to be in. So we bailed after exploring for a while and getting chased out by a storm, which probably left behind a good amount of snow. I hadn't ever been in the Tooths and if you havn't either go there it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!




Then we went out to Cody to check things there, we walked up to Morritorium, Bozo's, and everything else on the way to the Spotted Owl which we heard was in, no such luck but we got to touch a little bit more ice on the bottom of the Hunter Pillar.




The next day we checked out the last place on our journey, Carter Mountain. After a cold night we walked up to Courtains and got up to the 3rd pich and it wasn't touching. At least we got a little bit of ice, mixed with alot of driving and alot of walking.








Gear Notes:



Approach Notes:

Lots of rock pro

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Good effort. In your last couple pictures is that the first pitch of curtians on carter mtn? Looks way more dramatic than when we climbed it last year.

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dude...props on the driving.


Ummm I am a little confused though:


You climbed from the base of the sphnix to the actual ice then traveresed to the saddle? How did you get to the base? On purpose? I mean that trail is pretty distinct and with all the elk hunters our and about I have trouble believing that there wasnt a boot pack all the way to the saddle.... I guess I am just curious about why you didnt hike to the saddle then climb the actual ice route instead of scraping up that shitty rock?


the earl trimble and the Lowe are in BTW.

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It looks like they traversed from the saddle out to the bowl on the north side, then ran out of time after climbing for a bit and traversed back to the west ridge and back down to the saddle.


P.S. It's in the Madison Range, not the Missions.

Edited by Argus

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It looks like they traversed from the saddle out to the bowl on the north side, then ran out of time after climbing for a bit and traversed back to the east ridge and back down to the saddle.


Umm it doesnt work like that if you were to head directly across the face from the saddle you end up not far under the actual ice climbs. I have done this three times and you end up maybe couple hundred feet under the ice climbs, the best traverse starts above the saddle and puts you on the same terrace as the bottom of the ice climbs. When Alex did the lowe direct they started way down at the bottom of the face....probably 800-1000 vertical feet under the cilmbs.


I guess I am just having trouble figuring out how the day ended up so screwed. I want the real story:)


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We started at the saddle and dropped into the base of the north face hoping to score the Direct, when it wasn't in we decided to shoot for getting to the traverse ledge and seeing if we had enough time to go for the rest of the Lowe, which we didn't so we bailed, only getting to climb the lower section of the Sphinx to the traverse ledge. Basically all of the ice was in but we had high hopes of doing the whole face not just the Lowe, it didn't quite work out though.

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