Friday, October 15, 2010

Whiskey Gulch

After Riggins we weren't really sure where to go next. I had heard about a bouldering destination called Whiskey Gulch, outside of Butte, Montana, but we had no information about it. I knew a guidebook existed, but I hand't gotten around to ordering it before we left in the spring. We could have easily started heading south, to more quickly get to Utah, but we decided to take the exploratory approach and see what we could find in Montana.

A quick search online at least pointed us to an outdoor sports store in Missoula, called Trail Head, which was on our way, and, in addition to an awesome strawberry smoothie from the coffee shop downstairs, we were also able to pick up the guide book. Kristal also spied the Montana Hot Springs guide, and we got the information for one that looked promising near the bouldering.

Whiskey Gulch turned out to be a pretty good destination, with quite a variety of climbing on granite boulders that have mostly flat landings. Free primitive camping is also allowed, which we took advantage of. The ranchers also use the land as pasture, so the local herd of cattle would often stop by in the mornings.

The grades were a little all over the map, but we got on some really fun problems. Here I am on Fear of Friction, a super cool and easy high face climb.

Not all of the problems are documented in the guide book, so we would often jump on stuff we thought looked cool. Here I am again on some unknown face climb, with an awesome view of the mountains.

As we were leaving we decided to check out the nearby hot spring. You can never be too sure what you are in for when you go to natural hot spring. They could be tepid, mungy, shallow, or all of the above. We were trying not to get our hopes up, but man, after two solid days of bouldering were we ever looking forward to it. It turned out to be an awesome find. The water was clean and hot, and it was right on the bank of the Jefferson River, so we could just jump in the river to cool down, and eventually bathe when we were finished.


  1. A fun area to be sure!

    Looks like you got a good sampling of the Butte area. Humbugs, Whiskey and the waterloo/renova hot springs. NICE!