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Follow the Swarm

Follow the Swarm

Follow the Swarm

Page Type: Route

Location: Montana, United States, North America

Object Title: Follow the Swarm

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Most of a day

Rock Difficulty: 5.3 (YDS)

Grade: II

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: the fargoan

Created/Edited: Aug 7, 2006 / Jan 29, 2016

Object ID: 213630

Hits: 2861 

Page Score: 73.06%  - 3 Votes 

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EDIT: This route was previously named Southeast Couloir. After reading the guidebook "Select Alpine Climbs to Montana" by Ron Brunckhorst, I discovered that the route had been named in previous years "East Ridge a.k.a. Follow the Swarm", so I followed suit here using the same name.
FA: Unknown

Here is a recent account (2015) of this route: A Mountain Journey - Follow the Swarm

Approach from Beehive Basin trailhead. Once at the lake, hike (off-trail) towards the base of the main buttress. When you reach the boulder field at the base of the main buttress, hike towards the right to reach the entrance to the Honeycomb Couloir.

Route Description

SE Couloir

East Ridge

The Crux

SW Couloir

The routes starts in Honeycomb Couloir, the large gully right of the main buttress and left of Honeycomb Peak. Climb on solid rock along the left side of the gully for 50-60 meters on 4th class terrain. Some climbers may not rope up at all in the gully, but if you do, there is plenty of opportunity for belays and protection.

From the top of the gully, begin the traverse along the east ridge towards the summit of Beehive Peak. Even though this has a low technical grade, its real climbing with great exposure. Bring a rope for the ridge traverse section. As with many alpine climbs, the route options seem to be infinite. Staying on the spine of the ridge and dropping only slightly to the left or right of the spine, will get you past the difficulties.

This is mostly roped 4th class terrain with a few crux moves at 5.0-5.4(YDS). Four short pitches will allow for comfortable belays and no run-outs. You will most likely find the crux moves on a short windowsill ledge traverse followed by a short crack to regain the ridge on the 4th pitch. Once back on the spine of the ridge, a short scramble will get you to the summit.

Descend via the 4th class "4th of July Couloir" route. Locate the obvious couloir on the southwest side of the summit. Down-climbing or repelling will get you to the junction of a west-facing couloir (North Twin Couloir) and a notch in the summit ridge. Go left through the notch by scrambling up 5 meters and then descend into the "4th of July Couloir" which takes you to the base of the main buttress.

Essential Gear

A light rack (3 or 4 nuts, 3 cams, 3 or 4 24"-48" slings), an axe and crampons in early and late season and a 50m or 60m rope.


The East RidgeDown the East RidgePanoramic view from the lake...SW CouloirSE CouloirBeehive Peak from Beehive...Approaching the summit wall...
East Ridge TraverseEast RidgeThe CruxBeehive East Ridge