I'd convinced myself on a previous hike that the connecting ridge between Little St. Joe and St. Joe looked quick - "probably runnable" is how I put it to my friend. Turns out that smooth section is just a blip on the radar. We took the E Ridge up and had to climb some stout 4th class to avoid the snow-choked gully (no ice axes). The move at the top of the gully definitely got my attention, but it didn't feel unreasonable. We opted to descend the SE ridge before dropping a few hundred feet into a bowl and then climbing back up to the connecting ridge.
Little farther than it looks
Wonderful and long day. Very glad I read the helpful comments from others on this log beforehand. Not comfortable past class 3, so followed M. Hoyt's rec and dropped down to about 9,000 feet after clearing the connecting ridge. Crossed the NE bowl at that elevation to a nice class 3 path up a gully towards the far end of bowl. This gully climbs up through a goalpost-like set of rock towers at approx N46.60123° W114.25299°, exits right near the summit (will post a picture). Glad I saved majority of my water for the return trip.
Bypassed the cliffs on the east ridge with the gully on the south face, nice outing overall
Traversed the skree and class 4(~) scramble to summit on Northeast side, summited about 5PM (its a lot farther from little joe than it looks.) Descended southeast shoulder and back to the car by Dark.
It had been awhile, so - back again 9 years later! Great hike, beautiful day! East ridge from Little St. Joe, but we always cross the southeast bowl to get on the south ridge to the summit. Really nice, and not too tough of a day.
Solo from little St.joe. I climbed west through the lower cliff bands and climbed up the loose sand and rock of the N.E. bowl to the top.
Summited with the GMS on a very hot day! Everyone had a great time, and many routes were taken on the summit block, I traversed on steep snow to the light band of granite and had an easy 3rd class scramble to the summit. Some went a 4th class route higher on the traverse, and one fellow took a mid 5th class free solo route from the first deep notch! A long day, but very worthy!
A very hot, smoky fall day. My buddy Adam and I had talked about doing the ridge traverse after seeing the route from Little St. Joe on a previous hike. Had fun boosting the dogs up through the notch in one of the gendarmes on the east ridge. Adam built a huge cairn on the summit, as he is prone to do. I don't think I brought enough water for myself and the dogs on this extremely hot day!
Nice direct route from a camp near Bass creek. Wish I'd brought skis instead of snowshoes, but this is very steep to get onto the ridge top with skis. Nice weather until top (white-out). From summit, I decended into a great ski drainage to the east of this ridge. A normal winter snow would make this loop route an excellent ski trip.
We did this unroped and it was a bit nerve wracking, especially on the descent. Fortunately we had grippy shoes. I recommend a rope for this route if you don't want to do a short free solo. Good views and some very fun scrambling though. Also there is a rock formation on the ridge between St Joe and Little St Joe that looks like Scrat from the movie Ice Age.
A great hike with a good friend. The trail is easy to follow as is most Bitterroot summit hikes. Great weather and awesome Bitterroot views!!
Another great night hike! Doesn't get much better than sunrise over the Bitterroots
Been up here plenty of times for skiing, but this was the first time in the summer. Nothing technical, still a good day out though. The trail seems more steep without skis...
Another nice Bitterroot spring climb. Bluebird day. Good partners.
The longest route possible, a very windy day, a little on the cool side, a touch of a headache. All the things needed to leave a lasting impression by this Bitterroot big boy.
18aug09 - Found a better route up the northeast face which goes at no more than Class 2+. Almost anyone with the stamina to do a full day of hiking and climbing could make this route.
12sep06 - My second attempt at St Joseph was successful using the East Ridge Gully Route. I descended off the south side of the broad plateau and traversed back to the east ridge.
8aug06 - Made an unsuccessful attempt at St Joseph with my brother. It was one of the hottest days of the year, so the two "old men" decided to save this peak for another day.
7sep05 - Used the Little St Joe route during a reconnaissance trip to determine possible routes to St Joseph's summit.