Almost unknowingly, the greater Yellowstone ecosystem stole a spot in my heart early in my experience with mountains. I spent 8 days in the Absoarka Mountains in 2003 and found my first alpine experience climbing Granite Peak (12,799′, tallest mountain in Montana). I’ve been back to the greater Yellowstone area at least a dozen times since, and it never ceases to amaze me.
When I started ice climbing, I bought a copy of Winter Dance- one photo stood out to me immediately. The view off the summit of a mountain I had never heard of called “The Beehive”. It didn’t seem like a realistic objective then. This year, with mileage, time, and the right partners, I knew I was ready to go when Drew mentioned it a few weeks ago.
I drove over to Bozeman on Friday afternoon with my favorite feeling: certain, inevitable awesome. A perfect forecast, stellar partners, and a long sought after objective lined up for some of the most fun I’ve had on rock in a long time. Enough talking, more photos…
We also thoroughly enjoyed the company of our friends Pete and Marco. They climbed a mixed ice/rock line just next to ours, and friendly banter continued throughout the afternoon. It’s rare to have another party in close proximity, and especially one with Pete Tapley. Pete has put up most of the first ascents on The Beehive, and also happens to be one of the chillest, most fun climbers I have ever met. I sincerely wish him well on his upcoming trip to the Alaska range.
Drew and summited about 15 minutes after Pete and Marco, and we took extra time to enjoy the late afternoon sun and dead silence. It was every bit as good as I had hoped- perfect partner, perfect weather, perfect route. No, it’s not the hardest thing I’ve climbed, but we had a hoot, and I got to tick one off the list that’s been well overdue. Booyah.
Technical details: The New World Route- 5.8, III, 500′. Gear: singles #0-#2 C3, #0.3-#3 Camelots, 1 set offset nuts, 1 set BD Stoppers, 12 alpine draws. Rock shoes don’t climb snow very well…
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