|Route Type:||Sport Climbing|
|Time Required:||Less than two hours|
|Rock Difficulty:||5.6 (YDS)|
|Number of Pitches:||2|
On the main buttress at Blue Could and at the end of the approach trail is Dos Amigos, a nice two-pitch 5.6 on good granite that offers a rappel or a walk-off as a descent.
In my opinion, the second pitch was a little easier than the first but had more interesting climbing. Also, it is a little longer, so if you are swapping leads, maybe you want to talk your partner into leading the first pitch.
I solo-led this and used a large tree as my ground anchor for the first pitch, I may also have used the first bolt as a backup, but I don't remember. Anyway, if you're into the solo thing, there are options for ground anchors.
About 5 miles west of Helena, on U.S. 12, turn onto Baxendale Drive in Baxendale at the Baxendale Fire Department. It's pretty hard to miss this.
Drive a short way and turn right onto Blue Cloud Road. From here on out, you will be passing through private land on a road open to the public, so respect boundaries. 3.8 miles from the fire department, after crossing a third creek bottom and going up an incline, notice a short track and a pullout on the left. Park.
The first picture below should help.
The road was completely dry when I was there, and I had no trouble in a regular car, but this is not a road you would want to drive on when wet unless you have 4wd, and even that might not be sufficient.
Hike along a closed two-track road to a gate, pass through the gate, and continue on. Eventually, the road bottoms out and turns into more of a trail, and that trail leads to the main buttress at the base of Dos Amigos.
P1-- 60', 6 bolts and bolted anchors.
P2-- 80' 9 bolts and bolted anchors.
Rappel the route. With a thin 80, I was just able to get back down in one rap, but anything shorter will require two raps.
Or top out and find the walk-off descent. This requires a couple 4th Class moves to get above the anchors to flat ground. It would be possible to protect this very short "pitch" with some cams, but I didn't bring trad gear and just tethered a long sling to the anchor to protect me as I climbed above it. Yeah, that would have been a painful fall, but it would have beat decking.
At least 9 quickdraws plus whatever you like using at bolted anchors. With a 50 and 15 draws, you could do this in one long pitch and get down with two raps. If you really are into the light thing, take a 30 and do the walk-off.