Heavens Peak South Ridge Alternate

Page Type
Montana, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hiking, Mountaineering
Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Most of a day
Rock Difficulty:
Class 3

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Heavens Peak South Ridge Alternate
Created On: Apr 16, 2013
Last Edited On: Aug 5, 2015


This is a fun alternative to the south ridge route straight up the center of the south-facing facet. 

Route Description

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 Park at the small one car pullout on the North side of the road just southwest of where Heaven's Creek (a large avalanche chute) drains into McDonald Creek. Cautiously cross the creek (late summer is best) and proceed up the canyon, switching sides or climbing slightly up the banks if it becomes too slippery or steep. The densely vegetated areas to the west of the stream offers safety from the steep stream climbing.  

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Once above the creek canyon, veer to the left facing the mountain along a rocky outcrop and then aim for the small patch of trees.

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Continue straight towards the center of the mountain until one reaches a steep wall.  Follow the wall east until one reaches a vegetated ramp that leads up to the rocky steps.

Scrambling up Class 3 on Heavens Peak
Once the rocky steps are reached, it is a straightforward Class 3 up to just above the large permanent snowfield on the SW flank just below the summit.

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The permanent snowfield on the southwest face just below the summit. Always kept the slick rocks covered in water from the snowmelt to the right when facing the mountain.  BUT please do not use this as a guide because this will vary depending on what time of the year you climb, or from year to year.  
Above the snowfield, one can take the ridge straight to the summit (Class 4) or traverse slightly onto the west side of the mountain for an easier class 3 scramble. A scree gully is visible and easily traversed  to that extends from the Camas drainage to the summit.