The Pioneer Range is located on the SW end of Montana, on the east side of the Big Hole River valley. Mt. Tahepia is a two topped mountain, deep within Montana's Pioneer Range. The South Peak is a long class 2 approach, but the North summit is a rugged knob at the end of a knife ridge. Probably the one of the least climbed points in the pioneer range because of its taller neighbors Granite Mountain, Torrey Mountain, and Tweedy Mountain.
Take the Apex exit (74) on Interstate 15 (15-20 north of Dillon, 40 miles south of Butte). Follow the Apex and take a right on Willow Creek Rd after 5 miles. After about 10 miles on Willow Creek Rd you will reach the Tendoy Lake trailhead. The hike to Tendoy lake is about 3 miles from the trailhead. Skirt the ridge north of the lake, go up beside the waterfall, and then you will be at the base of Mt. Alverson. The bad part is that with this route you have to climb over Alverson, which is just a walk up, to get to the base of Tahepia, because there is a small knife ridge that continues off of Alverson that prevents you from walking straight to the base of Tahephia from Tendoy Lake. Follow the knife ridge north on Alverson and drop about 600ft into the saddle between Mt Alverson and Mt Tahepia, then it is only a 600 ft climb back up to the South summit of Tahepia. The North Summit is a class 4 scramble for about 200ft across a knife ridge. Descend back into the saddle and climb back up over Alverson and go back the same way to Tendoy Lake. This route is about 5-6 miles from the trailhead to summit if you walked, but the wilderness boundary starts at Tendoy Lake so you can take a 4-wheeler all the way to the lake if you want.
The more direct route is to take the Waukena Lake trail at the end of Willow Creek Rd. The trailhead is at the end of an old clearcut. This trail goes up Rock Creek drainage to Waukena Lake, which is at the base of Tahepia. It is a about 6 miles to the Waukena Lake. The trail drops into Rock Creek Drainage and then climbs up to the lake. From the lake you pick you route up Tahepia. The easiest route is to climb up onto the SE ridge above the lake. The ground on this side is a rotten granite sand, and the rocks and boulders on this sand are not very stable, so be careful if you climb this side. The north ridge coming off of Tahepia in the saddle above Waukena Lake is a scramble and leads directly to the north summit.
Rock Creek Drainage
The cliffs below the north summit, on the west and east sides, might offer some trad routes, but the rock looks pretty rotten.
You can camp just about anywhere in the Pioneer Range, Tendoy Lake has a nice sandy beach to hang out on when you're done. Waukena Lake offers some great camping too.
When to Climb
During winter conditions, both summits can be reached via the Waukena Lake route, the north summit might be a pretty difficult climb in snow .
Tahepia from Granite Mountain
The East and West faces of Tahepia might offer multi-pitch trad routes. On the east face, below the north summit, there is a large series of vertical, blocky slabs that appear to be pretty solid, though the rock near the summit block is fairly broken up. The West face has a series of chutes that lead to the both summits, a route up one of those chutes would be low class 5.
The East face can be approached from Waukena Lake and the West face from Tahepia Lake.
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