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P1: Entrance Exam pitch. Begin from a grassy ledge, aiming for a lone medium/small tree about 160' up the wall. Apparently there are 3-4 bolts on this pitch but we never saw them (we might have been too far right) and were just fine. This pitch has the most loose rock on the whole climb. 5.9+, belay off tree.
P2: 25' (if that) pitch to good sized ledge with 2 bolts for belay. 5.5 note: if you try to link the first 2 pitches the rope drag gets pretty heinous.
P3: Slab pitch. 90' up a moderately tough slab, a few bolts and a pin or two. Leads to large ledge with double bolt belay. 5.10
P4: Traversing pitch. Climb up and left (there's a hidden fixed pin right above the belay). Continue left, to a dihedral with a bolt on its left side. Do not go up the dihedral but continue traversing. At this, start up, pull a small roof- good holds just above roof. Continue another 30 feet to ledge with 2 bolt belay. 5.10c 130'
P5: Hematoma pitch. Go straight up small crack with fixed pins and a bolt or two to supplement good wires and cams. Tops out at decent sized ledge with 2 bolt belay. 5.10d, 140'
P6: Red Tower Pitch. Best pitch of the route and one of the best pitches in Montana-very aesthetic.
Climb easy ground above belay, moving left to the base of the tower. Climb 100' up sustained crack on right side of the tower, laybacking and jamming. Belay off two bolts on top of tower-small but good belay. 5.10c/d
P7: Climb up and right on easier pitch. I always seem to have trouble finding good pro on this one, but it really isn't that hard, sometimes you just have to clear a little moss out of the cracks. Tops out on decent sized ledge, 2 bolt belay. 5.9, 100'
P8: Crux headwall pitch. Climb up crack from belay. 30' up moves a little left past bolt, up tough finger crack for 25' feet of sustained climbing. Top is slightly easier. Leads to a semi-hanging belay that is now bolted, but can also continue right to alcove and belay. 5.11b 100'
It seems most people rap from the top of P8 because it's so easy with all the bolted belays; however, if you traverse an easy 20' right you reach an alcove with some fixed nuts and slings, and can continue to the summit from there over short, very easy ground. My third time doing this route we finally went all the way to the top and I now regret not doing it earlier. The walk off to the back and right down a large chute is really easy and quite scenic, and it eliminates the need to drag 2 ropes up the route.
If you want to rap, two 50 meter ropes will do the trick, but if you use two 70s you can link some rappels (I've linked from the top of P5 to the top of P3, and if i remember right from top of P4 to top of P2).
A classic route by any standard. I would highly recommend it.
Approach from west side of campground on north side of creek. Trail kind of disappears but travel northwest for about .5 mile to get to the base of the Prow (the first large feature in the canyon), gaining about 800 feet of elevation from the campground. Be prepared to hike over lots of unconsolidated talus. Continue to a gully that is the dominating feature at the base of the wall, the start of the climb is just to the left of this.
There are alternate approaches to this climb on the right to skip the first two pitches of the route. However, it can be hard to find the correct ramp. Some people may want to belay a really easy traverse to the anchors at the top of the 2nd pitch. Another way I've done it is belay an easy but dirty 5.7 pitch up to the large ledge at the top of the 3rd pitch.
Standard rack will do the trick. Doubles in medium/large size cams if you like to really sew things up.
BETA PHOTO: looking up the first pitch. the bolts are extreme...
Heading up the Red Tower Pitch, not the hardest pi...
Jeff Young following the space needle pitch.
So good I stopped for a picture.
from above before linking the pitch above.
Looking down from the top of the pitch below the c...
|By Ian Cavanaugh|
Feb 3, 2011
I climbed this route in '09. The first ptich (at the time) had 4 bolts that led through I believe 3 roofs and up a large slab. After the bolts, we headed right into the broken crack system the angles left, finding very sparse gear. I believe I was only able to find a single trust worthy placement after the fourth bolt until the tree anchor. I would agree that linking the first two pitches would add a ton of rope drag and would not be recommended. At the top of the 8th pitch it is recommended to traverse left 20-30 feet to a small alcove and a few fixed pieces. this is a much more comfortable place to belay from and leads right to the summit if desired. I would also bring some webbing to replace what is there as it would greatly benefit from a clean up. If you dont mind the extra rope 2-70m ropes will get you down in 5 raps. A great route that will test your lead head and your slab climbing abilities. well worth a try.
|By Kyle Pease|
From: Missoula, MT
Jun 19, 2013
There are a few decent logs across the river at the base of the talus field on the eastern side of the prow. A short bushwhack to get to the river, but a better approach than the traverse IMO. Trundled a large block on a ledge 1/2 way up the dihedral on the traverse pitch yesterday.
|By Nick Stayner|
From: The Magic City
Aug 22, 2013
If I remember right, this route gets sun most of the day, making a cooler fall day an ideal time for an ascent?
Also, anyone know if the raps can be done w/ a single 70m rope?
|By Kevin Kent|
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 6, 2013
Nick, almost all the routes in Blodgett get all day sun. Cool fall days are nice, but a little wind and clouds go a long way for hotter days.
A single 70m won't cut it for rapping unless you leave gear, but I would highly recommend walking off. It's awesome to top out the formation and the walk off is easy, scenic, and can be quicker than rapping, especially if it's windy when it's easy to get ropes stuck.
And Ian, you want to traverse RIGHT, not left at the top of pitch 8 to get to an alternative anchor and to top out.
|By Ralph Steel Dragon Dude|
Oct 10, 2013
If you have already done the Red Tower pitch consider trying the finger crack variation to the right of it. I know, I know, the Red Tower is great and super fun but the finger crack variation is awesome too and adds another 5.11 pitch to the route! Off the belay head straight up past a few bolts on mediocre face climbing and pull into the splitter finger crack just up and slightly left of the last bolt. Fun and sustained fingee jams will eventually lead you back to the belay on top of the Red Tower. Excellent! Try it!!!