Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 45.47140°N / 110.4656°W
Additional Information Elevation: 10941 ft / 3335 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Located in the Absaroka/Beartooth Wilderness is the second highest mountain in the Absaroka Mountains. At 10,941 feet, it is just 300 feet shorter than Mount Cowen, the highest peak in the Absarokas. The mountain is semi-popular by Montana standards, but chances are, there won't be anybody above Pine Creek Lake, located at it's base. The mountain is a full day walk-up, with only one sketchy section. However, this section is easily avoidable.

Getting There

The trailhead to Pine Creek Lake, the most popular trail in the immediate area, is accessable by a paved road. To get there, take highway 89 south from Livingston. Turn left at the first bridge across the Yellowstone, it will be at the 'Carter's Bridge Fishing Access.' Follow the road through the small rural town of Pine Creek, after leaving the town, within a mile or two, there will be a sign that says 'Pine Creek Recreational Access.' Again, turn left and follow the road toward the trailhead. There is ample parking, and a campground. Just watch out for the occational bears.

Red Tape

The area is located in wilderness designated lands, therefore, there can be no motorized vehicles or bicycles. Please obey these laws, they are there for a reason!

When To Climb

The mountain can be climbed any time of the year, and has been done numerous times during the winter. The easiest season to climb the mountain is in the mid-summer to early fall. June may be slightly early, unless backcountry skiing is the focus. Sometimes, mid-july is the best because of the hard snowfields to climb on, it's easier than the talus found in late summer.

Winter ascents aren't common, but have been done. The biggest concern is the avalanche danger. Good planning and good avalanche knowledge could make a winter ascent greatly rewarding.


There are tons of perfect campsites in the area around Pine Creek lake. The northern and eastern shores have the best campsites, but there is room for several different parties. Room is not a problem, except maybe around the 4th of July. Camp with care, the area gets a lot of use, so keep it nice for everybody who follows.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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gato - Oct 8, 2004 4:28 pm - Voted 10/10

Untitled Comment

This peak is included in a climbing guide to this part of MT:Alpine Ice & Rock Guide to Southwest & Central Montana by Ron Brunckhorst. Gives route info for the Y couloirs.

There are also some burly ice lines on this peak in the winter, those are in Brunckhorst's ice guide.


gato - Oct 26, 2004 11:46 am - Voted 10/10

Untitled Comment

Here's a new guidebook that has information for Black Mountain. It's hot off the presses. Winter Dance: Select Ice Climbs in Southern Montana & Northern Wyoming by Joe Josephson gives excellent information for ice routes on this peak.

kyle.christenson - Jan 18, 2006 9:21 pm - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

A trip report on a ski decent of the west branch of the y couloirs is on my website.
and on


Eleutheros - Apr 8, 2007 7:31 pm - Hasn't voted

Highest Point

I'm confused, SP lists Francs Peak as the highest in the Absarokas, while you mention that Mt. Cowen is #1, followed by Black Mountain. Which is correct?

tristan_mt - Apr 25, 2007 2:47 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Highest Point

Ah, you are confusing the Absaroka Mountains of Wyoming with the Absarokas of Montana. They are completely separate ranges, and I think this is why SP lumps the Montana Absarokas with the Beartooths, but on every map they are separate ranges. Basically, there are two Absaroka ranges, as confusing as that may be.


Eleutheros - Apr 25, 2007 7:59 am - Hasn't voted

I See


craighall - Feb 25, 2014 3:52 pm - Hasn't voted

2 Absarokas

Well, we should debate this. Are the two Absaroka ranges really just one big one? I vote we treat it that way, as a climbing community. Maybe the mountains between, say, Gardiner and Livingston should be "The North Absarokas." But I like including the Wyoming "Absarokas" in with the Montana ones. They're more or less joined. Confusing the issue, geologists today call the north Absarokas "The Beartooth Block." And what we call the Beartooths they consider just a side-block of the mountains between Gardiner and Livingston. (Even though they're higher.) Go figure.

Viewing: 1-7 of 7



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.