Genesis I

Page Type
Montana, United States, North America
Route Type:
Ice Climbing
Time Required:
Less than two hours
WI4-5 I
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Genesis I
Created On: Oct 13, 2009
Last Edited On: Apr 8, 2010


Genesis I may be the most popular route in Hyalite Canyon. Years ago it was half as wide - modern 'farming' has diverted some of the melt to the side, creating a wider, though thinner, wall of ice. The small climb just left of Genesis I, Willow Gully, was where ice climbing in Hyalite Canyon began.


To get to Genesis I, park at the Grotto Falls trailhead in the main fork of Hyalite Canyon. Hike back on the road about 10m from the parking lot and find the well-traveled trail off to the right (east). Follow the trail for 10-15 minutes to the wall, which you won't be able to spot (very well) until you are just below it.

Route Description

There are 2 climbs included here

Genesis I: 60' WI3-5
FA: Pat Callis and Brian Leo - October 31, 1971
Genesis I usually has 3 distinct sections - the left side is easiest at WI4 and the most popular. In the center of the wall will be a pillar at WI5, next to the right side, also WI5. Because the left side receives so much traffic, it will usually be 'stepped out', or will have stairs going up with pick placements ready to hook. This brings the difficulty down to ~WI3. The pillar and right side are not as popular and usually does not get this effect.

Above the left side there are 2 chain anchors (sometimes they are buried in snow), and as you go across the top you will find several slings around trees that are used as anchors for the rest of the wall.

Willow Gully: 60' WI3
FA: Pat Callis and Brian Leo - December 1970
Willow Gully is the ice found on the left side of Genesis I. This was the first ice to be climbed in Hyalite Canyon. Climb the ice that becomes less steep as you get higher, then climb through the bushes to the trees. If you can find it, there is an old rope attached to a tree that can be used to belay or toprope this route.

Many beginning leaders will lead Willow Gully and traverse to the anchors above Genesis I to toprope another part of the wall.

Essential Gear

Ice screws to your comfort level if you intend to lead these climbs. If you are toproping, many anchors are already in place, so minimal gear is needed.