Get Elevated in Helena

Black and white picture of a rock climber at the top

Alongside robust offerings for hikers and bikers are rock climbing opportunities. You can prime your skills at the Stonetree Climbing Center and then head onward and upward on mountainsides including Mt. Helena where 25 routes await your summiting determination.

The Mt. Helena climbing walls, located about a mile from the parking area above Reeder’s Village on the 1906 Trail, carry informal names such as Red Slab, Sunset Slab, Vigilante Wall and Whit’s Wall. They provide a range of difficulties and heights from 60 to 120 feet.

Mt Helena:

Ansley’s Way, Sport, 5.6

One route where you can rock your fight with gravity is Ansley’s Way. Located on the Sunset Slab on Mt Helena, Ansley’s Way is one of the original routes on Mt. Helena and even with the addition of newer routes, it has not lost its charm. One of the most aesthetic climbs in the region, there’s a great exposed feeling and a view that will make you fall in love with climbing on Mt. Helena. This route can be climbed in one long pitch with 13 draws, or as a great introductory two pitch route, using the intermediary anchors to belay a second climber. Walk off by heading climbers right, scrambling down a gully and taking the climber’s trail back to the base. As you walk along the top, you will see anchors for the other routes on Sunset Slab. Set a top rope for your next route while you are up there, or poke along the base for your next lead. 

More information including route details is available at Mountain Project.

Just a short jaunt away (a 45-minute drive from downtown), on the rim of Canyon Ferry is another destination to adjust your altitude.

Hellgate Gulch

Red-Headed Stepchild, Sport, 5.10c

Hellgate Gulch is a local 5.10 test piece. There’s a little something for everyone on this climb – a tricky start, some balance moves, a chert interlude, with a little bit of pump to finish. This is a great climb mid-summer, as there’s just enough shade to stay cool and a wind block that minimizes the extreme alpine feel that the gulches tend to whip up. While this is a clean, well-established route, we strongly recommend all climbers and belayers to wear helmets, as most ledges are dirty, and our limestone tends to have some extra personality lying below the surface. Belay next to the road, which is open to motor vehicles and park in a way that keeps the road open. Wave at the 4x4s who will stop and take your picture. 

Person far off climbing a big mountain side

When circumstances spur an indoor adventure, Stonetree Climbing Center provides a hub for the Helena climbing community, providing an event space, youth programming, strength classes, yoga, and of course technical climbing courses.  They frequently collaborate with the Helena Climbers’ Coalition to support and grow Helena’s climbing community.

So get on up and discover to raddest way to conquer your fear.

Blog provided by Stonetree Climbing Center. For more information and events calendar, visit Stonetree Climbing Center’s website.

Learn more about local Helena routes by purchasing their new book on Stonetree’s website.