Bozeman, Montana, with the Wells family

After Glacier NP, I was headed to Bozeman, Montana. I was meeting up with Tom and Matthew Wells, who I'd met at Smith Rock earlier in the month. We started off with a day in Gallatin Canyon, with the three of us, and our ropegun, Martin. Martin fired up Diesel Driver, 5.9+, and a classic local sandbag. Extremely pumpy. Overhanging jams the whole way. Nice Gniess. Next stop was Black Line, and variations, which was quite stiff, and very varied. And very long too.

The Wells' were excellent hosts. Being in a house again was very relaxing. We had a kitchen to cook in, and a dining room table to eat at. Wireless access from a next door neighbour if you sat on the front porch. Bozeman is a very nice little town. Some beautiful houses, and gorgeous tree lined avenues.

The next day, we climbed at Bear Canyon, one of the new areas that Tom and co have been developing over the past couple of years. We had Katya with us, who we'd met the day before at Gallatin Canyon. We started at the Bat Wall, which is a nice short very well bolted wall, with a couple of Montana 5.8s on it. We moved around to their new wall, the Under the Sea wall. The whole wall is covered in coral like formations, particularly on the upper wall.

Tom and Matthew had a few new lines they had been scoping out, so we set up a rope on them, and started working out exactly where the route would go, and where bolts would go. We also had a hammer, for beating off the loose rock. Some nice climbing.

The next day Matthew and I headed out early with the drill and the hammer, to keep working on the route, we had only really done the lower portion of the climb yesterday. We pryed off a lot of loose rock, and worked out most of the bolt locations, and then Tom turned up after work, to show us how to drill.

Drilling is hard work. It's a great big heavy brute of a machine, and you are dangling off a rope, trying to hold yourself to one side because the line moves up and right, not just straight up, and somehow apply enough pressure to the drill to actually drill. Drilling by hand on lead would be badarse.

We got a rain day after that, and I joined the Wells for a day at the movies, seeing the Manchurian Candidate. After three days of wonderful climbing, and relaxing in town, it was time to move on.

Katya working hard on the Bat Wall

Tom Wells pulls up

Tom Wells reaches high

Matthew Wells shakes out

Matthew Wells doesn't need no stinking climbing shoes.

Matthew reaches high

It sure is hard to put those shoes in pockets

Katya, Karl, Tom, at the Bat Wall