ICE UPDATE: 3/15/2018

The road beyond the reservoir thawed, formed deep ruts, then froze.  High clearance and 4×4 are mandatory.  USFS let us know the county intends to plow again next week (3/20-3/22 time frame), once it warms up again.  Happy to say that Hyalite ice climbs will remain climbable until April 1st as usual.  Don’t let the warm days in town fool you  As we get farther into March routes with sun exposure will begin to take more of a hit, thankfully there is plenty of routes that receive limited sunshine.   It’s still an incredible ice year in Hyalite Canyon and The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem as a whole has been as good as any year.  We have been guiding and teaching at all the classics and they are mostly in great shape.  In fact we are finding down right pleasant “thunker” hero ice.   As per usual some routes that get more sun exposure take a hit on the sunny warm days and those days are upon us, but don’t let the warm valley temps fool you, it most .   We have updated other details on routes that we have guided, climbed, and heard about from others’ updates.   Some of the notable climbs include: Avalanche Gulch, Dribbles is holding on, Genesis climbs are great.  We guided Cleos’ earlier this week, Airborne Ranger is still connected as well.  Climbs in Flanders are in great shape.  “April Fools” (M6R, WI 5+, 100m) which we put up last March 31st still awaits the second ascent.  Contact us for details.  Check out details on climbs below.  Let us know if you see other changes we haven’t listed here and we will update.

Check below for details.

From November 28 – April 1st, Montana Alpine Guides will be updating ice climbing conditions for Hyalite Canyon and other southwest Montana areas on a weekly basis.

What may be “in” for one climber may be a fright fest for the next.  Enjoy it for what it is; an ego boost or lesson in humility.  We are just providing a general idea on conditions, but not too much info in order to keep some adventure in this pursuit.

Ice conditions change drastically from day to day, so it is up to you the climber to decide if a route is “in” for your own abilities, acceptance of risk, etc. We will be listing routes with “YES” if the ice is in and some one has climbed it, “NO” if it’s not in, “MAYBE” for routes that were close at the time of our last observation, and “?” which means we simply don’t know. Again, this list is merely a reference and it’s up to you to find out the latest condition of a route and make your own call. Ice climbing grades can vary one number grade in either direction so keep that in mind and make your own assessments. We have decided to make this list after numerous inquiries, we hope this is a valuable resource for our climbing community at large. Keep in mind that routes can fall out of shape/conditions in an hour. Take this list with a grain of salt and walk up there to find out the final condition, you may even find it to be “in” if you are willing to rock climb over enough choss.

Help us keep this list – We have 4-8 ice climbing guides who frequent the canyon both for work and play, but we need and want your input. If you see that a route has melted out, fallen down, formed, or feel it’s in different condition from our list please let us know by sending emails to

For the latest avalanche conditions please visit the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Advisory.

Hyalite Canyon Main Fork

Date of Last Update: 3/12/2018

Black Magic Wall

  • Black Magic –Yes, holding in there.
  • Smears for Fears – No
  • Smear Today, Gone Tomorrow – No
  • Smear Factor – No
  • The Shores of Pluto – No 
  • Pura Vida – No
  • Notes:  

Dribbles Area

  • Avalanche Gulch – Yes.  Was climbed two days ago.
  • Silken Falls –Yes
  • Silken Skein Falls –Maybe
  • Silken Slot –Yes
  • The Climb Above The Dribbles –Yes
  • The Climb Left of The Climb Above The Dribbles –Yes
  • The Climb Right of Silken Falls –Probably
  • The Dribbles –Yes, begins to get some sun affected ice this time of year.
  • Notes: 

Genesis Area

  • Clump Tree Gully –Yes
  • Genesis I –Yes
  • Genesis II –Yes
  • Hang Over –Yes
  • Hang Over Variation –Yes
  • Lower Green Sleeves –Yes
  • Sleeping Giant Falls –Yes
  • The Golden Mean –No, 
  • The Soprano –Yes, mostly snow
  • Through Four More –?
  • Home Field Advantage-?
  • Upper Green Sleeves –Yes
  • Willow Gully –Yes
  • Zack Attack –Yes, Lots of rock
  • Notes:

Mummy Cooler Area

  • Amphitheater Corner Climbs – Yes
  • The White Zombie – Yes
  • Sun Vow – Yes
  • Desert Dance – Yes
  • Switchback Falls – Yes has ice on right and left, thin at top, but there’s moss
  • Switchback Variations – Yes, some of these are covered in all ice
  • Mummy Cooler I – Yes
  • Mummy Cooler II – Yes
  • The Scepter – Yes
  • Upper Mummy (3 & 4) – Yes. 
  • Crypt Orchid – Probably
  • The Matrix – yes, in WI3+ shape
  • Cave & Gully – Yes
  • Feeding the Cat – Yes
  • Alex’s Solo I & II  maybe

Overlook Mountain

  • Disco Party – Probably
  • Poseidon – Probably
  • Strong Persuader –Yes
  • The G-Spot – Probably
  • The Monkey Ass Wall – Yes 

Palace Butte

  • Palace Butte Falls – Yes
  • Kansas Cornfield –Yes
  • Reparation – Yes
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – NO

Notes: Additional info

The Responsible Area

  • Responsible Family Man –Yes,
  • Rocket Boy – No
  • The Western – Probably


The Unnamed Wall

  • Bingo World –Not touching
  • Breadfan –NO
  • Bulldog World –Yes
  • Come and Get It – Could be lead
  • Expanding Horizons – NO
  • Fatty Access Ice –Maybe
  • Grassroots Revival – NO
  • Jeff’s Left –Yes
  • Jeff’s Right-Yes
  • Magically Delicious –Yes
  • Sharp Dressed Man – Yes
  • The Elevator Shaft –Yes
  • Broken Stair – Yes (mixed variation on right side of ES)
  • The Fat One –Yes
  • The Good Lookin’ One – Yes.
  • The Itchy and Scratchy Show –Yes, Fair bit of ice
  • The Penthouse– Yes
  • The Scrappy One –Yes
  • The Thrill is Gone –Yes


Twin Falls Area

  • Airborne Ranger –Fell down
  • Cleopatra’s Needle – Yes
  • Equinox – Yes
  • Marc Antony’s Wicked Tool –NO
  • Solstice – Yes
  • The Matriarch – No
  • The Shimmy – ?
  • Twin Falls – Yes
  • Twenty One Stitches- NO
  • The Cesarean Start: No


Winter Dance Area

  • Curtains –Yes
  • Dielectric Breakdown –?
  • Land of the Lost –Yes
  • Over Easy –Yes
  • Slot Corner –Yes
  • Winter Dance – No
  • The Nutcracker –Yes, top ice pitch is probably quite delaminated

Notes: Additional info

Hyalite Canyon East Fork

Date of Last Update: 3/12/2018

Emerald Lake Trailhead

  • Cave Falls – ?
  • High Fidelity – ?
  • Horsetail Falls – Yes
  • Lucky Feet – Yes
  • Slight of Hand – Yes
  • Rock And Hoar Pic Show – Probably
  • The Asteroid – Yes
  • The Comet – Yes
  • Notes:

Road Conditions: Closes annually on 1/1.  After 1/1 you must ski in to gain access.

Flanders Drainage

Lower Flanders

  • Champagne Sherbet – Yes
  • Champagne Slot – Yes- all ice
  • High Crimes And Misdemeanors – Yes
  • Right Side Routes – Yes

Upper Flanders

  • Code Red – ?
  • Fact Or Flander? – ?
  • Flanders Field – ?
  • Red Dog – Probably
  • Slick Willy – Probably
  • The Ice Miser – Probably

Flanders Cirque

  • Bulging Blues –Yes
  • Pigs In Zen –Yes
  • The Ghost Of Flanders –Yes
  • April Fools: Could be in great shape?

North Side of The Mummy

  • Bobo Like –Yes
  • Corkscrew Silliness –Yes
  • Direct Start to The Big Sleep –?
  • Men Are From Mars –Yes
  • Narcolepsy –Yes
  • Lurking Smear- Yes
  • Resurrection Start –Yes
  • The Big Sleep –Yes,  P1 is looking thinner, P3 was all ice, which is rare
  • The Killer Pillar –Yes
  • Women Are From Venus –Yes


Road Conditions: Closes annually on 1/1.  After 1/1 you must ski in to gain access.

Palisade Falls Area

  • Alpha –Gets cooked out late season, south facing
  • Omega –Gets cooked out late season, south facing
  • Palisade Falls –Gets cooked out late season, south facing
  • Notes: Road Conditions: Road closes on 1/1 . Ski in after that date.