Beautiful but Deadly

My vote for the most stunning mountain in Greater Yellowstone, and also the one I find most alluring of its technical peaks. Enlarge for better viewing.

Pilot (left) and Index Peaks, two well-known Yellowstone-area landmarks, at dawn from the Beartooth Highway in Wyoming. Pilot Peak is a spire that rivals the Grand Teton itself in magnificence, and it is more difficult to climb. The easiest route is 5.6, but there is terrific exposure and terribly rotten rock, so bad that anyone but an expert climber may be putting himself at serious risk by setting and using protection here. Index is reputed to be about as difficult.

Both mountains are in the North Absaroka Wilderness, which is one of the largest and probably the wildest of this country's wilderness areas outside Alaska.

Absaroka Range, Wyoming-- July 2008


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Viewing: 1-10 of 10

cp0915 - Nov 13, 2008 10:00 am - Voted 10/10

New to Me...

Never heard of this mountain, but wow!

Bob Sihler

Bob Sihler - Nov 13, 2008 8:25 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: New to Me...

It's actually not one of the best-known among the peaks out there; unless you're up high, it's hard to see well except from certain spots along the Beartooth Highway, which is popular but not anywhere near as busy as the other gateways to Yellowstone. But it is one of those sights that almost causes car wrecks since you can't take your eyes from it.

Hey-- there's a good chance I'll be moving to Sin City by 2010, a slim chance I'll even do so by late next summer. So you might have to make good on those offers of showing me the backcountry of Zion and the hidden canyons of Death Valley!


cp0915 - Nov 14, 2008 11:09 am - Voted 10/10

Re: New to Me...

Sounds great! I'd be more than happy to take you into the backcountry. I look forward to it.

Bob Sihler

Bob Sihler - Nov 16, 2008 10:37 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Inspiring!

Thanks for the encouragement, Byron. And that's great news your wife will finally be here. Congratulations for your perseverance!


TJ311 - Nov 15, 2008 9:08 pm - Voted 10/10


Very nice shot!

Bob Sihler

Bob Sihler - Nov 16, 2008 10:37 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Stunning!!

Thank you!


BobSmith - Nov 17, 2008 6:06 pm - Voted 10/10

How close...

to the summit can you get without having to worry about technical climbing?

Bob Sihler

Bob Sihler - Nov 19, 2008 5:42 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: How close...

You can get to within about 1000' of the summit before it gets technical. However, just getting up there involves some Class 4 on loose rock and some exposed traverses across scree. I hope someday I will have the guts and the skill to take on this peak.


mgrebe57 - Jul 15, 2011 4:43 pm - Hasn't voted

Re; how close

My family has summer cabins 3 miles east of Cooke City and directly across from Pilot and Index, So every summer since i was a kid I'd look up and say I,m going to climb that some day. Several times we climbed to "Rams Pasture" which is the meadow between the two Peaks, but thats as far as we got. 2 years ago we climbed Republic Pass fairly easy. So I had one of my brothers talked into it. If I could find the best route. We will still try to see how close to the top we can get, but thanks to this web site and your comments we won't get summit fever or do anything too stupid, thanks

Bob Sihler

Bob Sihler - Jul 23, 2011 2:41 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Re; how close

Have fun! Just getting up to the pasture and the pass must be nice. I envy those summer views!

Viewing: 1-10 of 10