Hyalite Ice Conditions Update – 12/8/15

This warm weather will take a toll on some routes and help others to grow. With the warm weather came super high winds = wind loading so watch for deposition and wind slabs through out the canyon – As always check GNFAC for the latest snow conditions. Let us know if you have seen something we haven’t.


Hyalite Ice Conditions 2015-16

From November 1st – April 1st Montana Alpine Guides will be updating ice climbing conditions for Hyalite Canyon and other southwest Montana areas every 1-2 weeks. We will be listing routes with “YES”“NO”, “MAYBE”, and “?” indicating if the ice is “in” or “not in”.

For the list of climbs and detailed description visit the Hyalite Ice Conditions Page.

backcountry ski photo

Montana Alpine Guides now offers guided backcountry ski and snow board trips …

Montana Alpine Guides offers guided backcountry ski and snow board trips in and around Yellowstone National Park. This includes guided backcountry ski areas near Big Sky, Bozeman, and Cooke City. With reliable snow fall from December through May this area is renowned for its spectacular backcountry ski options for all levels of experience. More details …

Gear Review: Scarpa Vitamin (Approach Shoe)

Over the past year I have used and abused a pair of Scarpa Vitamin approach shoes while guiding for MAG – Montana Alpine Guides at the crag and in the mountains. The Vitamin, first and foremost climbs like a “big comfy” climbing shoe but still has great support and comfort for the approach and descent. This combo makes it the ideal shoe for moderate climbing objectives.

Where and how Montana Alpine Guides uses the Scarpa Vitamin:
  • Approaches: Most of our approaches are 10-45 minutes over trails, boulders, and talus slopes with a heavy pack. We also have the occasional 5-10 mile approach.
  • Climbs: The climbs we have guided with the Vitamin range from cracks to smearing and edging on face routes from 5.6 – 5.10 in The Gallatin Canyon. We have also used the Vitamin on 2,000’ 5.6-5.8 ridgelines up to 12 miles deep in the heart of the Beartooth Mountains
The MAG Review:
  • Approach: Cushioned heel, arch support, and sticky rubber make the Vitamin comfortable and at home on long ascents or descents with a climbing pack. I have yet to have any blisters with these shoes.
  • Climbing: The Scarpa Vitamin performs just as well as my “big comfies” on technical rock routes. The toe is chiseled down just like a traditional rock shoe with lacing right to the end, a thin under sole at the toe box, and sticky rubber all add up to make one feel quite confident climbing moderate vertical rock whether it be jamming cracks, edging, or smearing. The climbing zone and the way the foot is positioned over the inside edge allows for impressive edging ability. If I find myself pushing the limits of the shoe I will simply lace it down to the max for better climbing performance, which usually does the trick.

Reviewed by Sam Magro
Lead Climbing Guide
Montana Alpine Guides