Montana Rock Climbing

Jun 23rd 2015 — Bozeman,Climbing,Mill Creek,Missoula,Montana — 9:01 am

We aren’t in sandstone country anymore. Single and multi-pitch climbing near Missoula and Bozeman.

It was lovely to be back in one of my favorite states climbing with some of my favorite people.

Elk Meadows Conor Elk Meadows Cole on Venus Sophie Pitch 2 Sophie Top of 5.10 Sophie 6th Pitch Me Top Hamilton Gallatin Tower Michael Becky Becky No Hands Becky Rappel

Cole and Peter’s Route

Jun 11th 2012 — Climbing,Mill Creek,Montana — 11:32 pm

I am exhausted and I need to pack but all I want to do is think about the climb we did today. My friends Cole and Peter put it up a while back. Destined to be a classic.

More info on climb found here.

*** Edit: I took a 40+ foot fall on this route ***

While leading the 4th pitch I climbed past an orange TCU to a good rest and thought about putting another piece in. The climbing was in a finger crack where you could pretty much protect wherever you wanted to.

I could see another good stance after a few more moves and thought I would be able to make it and so I just kept climbing, a mistake I hope never to repeat.

The next moves involved liebacking on an edge that was less positive than it looked from below, a bit of lichen, some bad footwork by me, and a bush.

I remember thinking “I really need to get my feet higher” and I popped off without warning. The TCU was in a flaring crack and came out with what felt like zero resistance. My next piece was a #3 camalot 8-10′ below the TCU which held.

While falling I had time for a bit of swearing and a thought similar to “Why haven’t I stopped yet?” The climbing was vertical enough that the fall was clean, which was extremely nice.

While driving to Mill Creek in the morning I remember talking with Conor about the idea that if you end up with a marginal piece of protection in you definitely need to be mindful that it is marginal. After I put that TCU in, for whatever reason, I didn’t give it another thought.

I could tell after I fell I had done something to my hand, but it didn’t seem that bad at the time and I finished the pitch.

The next day it was swollen and I thought I might have hit it on something and broken it. A week afterwards it was still a bit swollen (not discolored at all) and sore and I decided to get it x-rayed. Fortunately, nothing was broken.

From when I can gather I tweaked to my A1 pulley and maybe A2 as well in my pointer finger.

At the hospital they said I had ‘trigger finger’ caused by repetitive motion, but I know it happened when I fell.

From this article

Imaging is used to grade pulley injuries on a scale developed by Schoffl et al.4 Grade 1 injuries are pulley strain with no bowstringing. Grade 2 injuries include complete A4 pulley rupture or partial rupture of A2 or A3, while grade 3 lesions involve complete ruptures of the latter. Multiple ruptures or single ruptures combined with lumbrical or collateral ligament trauma are grade 4 lesions.

Injuries graded 1 through 3 are initially treated conservatively, while grade 4 lesions are treated surgically.

Conservative management consists of rest, ice, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. No evidence-based guidelines exist as to how long climbing should be avoided, but generally the prognosis for these injuries is excellent. In fact, conservative treatment has been shown to result in no long-term strength deficit and a return to normal climbing levels within one year, even in cases of complete single pulley ruptures.


No Sweat Arête 5/5

May 6th 2012 — Climbing,Mill Creek — 4:35 am

Mill Creek Climbing- 4/21

Apr 24th 2012 — Climbing,Mill Creek,Montana — 10:54 pm

I managed to make the most of the good weather in Missoula last weekend. On Saturday, Conor and Cole wanted to put up a new pitch on a big route in Mill Creek. We climbed 3 pitches, the 3rd of which consists of a really clean hand crack that I got to lead. It was nice to onsight a 5.10 trad route. Then Conor grabbed his drill, took the sharp end of the rope, and burled out a new line for the new 4th pitch.

Mill Creek Rock Climbing

Mar 13th 2011 — Climbing,Mill Creek — 9:17 pm

Pictures from a 4-pitch climb in Mill Creek Canyon. A pitch of 5.10something, two of 5.11something, and one of 5.9. I led the first pitch with a bit of difficulty at the crux. Conner led the 2nd, Steve the 3rd, and both of them led the 4th. I managed to drop my shoe after the 2nd pitch.

No Sweat Arête, Mill Creek Canyon

Apr 19th 2010 — Climbing,Mill Creek,Montana — 6:36 pm

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day in the Bitterroot Valley. Steve and I made the most of it and went climbing. We did No Sweat Arête, a moderate 4-pitch 5.7 in Mill Creek Canyon.

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