Exploring Cascade Creek

I’ve been talking to Erik from boulderingmontana.com about the bouldering in Cascade Creek for a good part of the summer. So I finally decided to go check it out last Thursday. I didn’t know much about the area other than that the boulders are close to the river, you can be seen from the trail, and the approach is supposed to take about an hour. As I hiked up the trail I took my time and tried to peer through the dense lodge poll pine trees. Here is a image of the area from Google Earth to give you some perspective of how many trees are out there.

After about 45 mins of hiking I found a clump of boulders just off the trail and went over to see if that was the new area called the Lava Pit. I found a few problems but nothing that looked like it had been climbed on in at least a few years. I climbed four problems that day, two of which turned out pretty well. I’ll be going back soon hopefully to check out some other problems that I checked out on the way back.

I made a plan with Erik to head back up there on Saturday to find where the Lava Pit was. As it turned out Kyle, Jeff, Homer, Jakub, and Jo showed up too! With a little encouragement from Erik we decided to head out even though we were watching it snow on the Spanish Peaks. As soon as we got to the parking lot it started sprinkling, by the time we got about a 1/3 of the way up the approach it started to full on rain. No one wanted to turn around though, so we continued up. Luckily the Lava pit is two overhanging boulders sitting on top of one another with a large tree protecting the lower boulder from the rain.

With the rain soaked ledge for the top out, most of us opted for the  drop off finish, I ended up being the first an only person to top out the upper boulder, after had done it once I wasn’t too keen on doing it again . Homer worked on a project down in the bottom of the pit, Jeff and Kyle worked with on one of Jeff’s projects, while Jo, Jakub and Me worked on the Lava Lunge Traverse V4/5,  Lava Lunge SDS V6/7 and Magma Man V7/8. Since Magma Man revolves around one large reach Jo did the FA of a line just to the right of it instead. Erik meanwhile went on his normal exploration for new boulders, in the down pour no less.

After about two hours of climbing we called it quits because we didn’t have anything dry to climb on. So we walked back down the trail with soaked pads but stoked on the boulders. We retired to Spire for the rest of the day to even out the half day of climbing we got at Cascade Creek.

Tomorrow I’m heading out to Natural Bridge with my roommate Chris to hopefully finish up his second 11b and maybe his first 11c. We’ve got to make the best of this weather while it lasts. Now that I mention it I don’t think I’ve been out to Natural Bridge for a few months now, it’s sad really as it is one of my favorite places to climb in Montana.

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