South Slopes

Page Type
Montana, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day
class 2/3

Route Quality: 6 Votes

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South Slopes
Created On: Aug 25, 2002
Last Edited On: Dec 9, 2003


Refer to the "getting there" section on the main mountain page to get to the Siyeh Bend Trailhead. Take the only trail (Siyeh Bend cut-off trail) uphill for about 1 mile. At the junction with the Piegan Pass Trail, turn left, toward Piegan Pass. After about 1/2 mile, the forest will clear and you'll be treated to your first views of Matahpi Peak and Going-to-the-Sun Mountain.

Leave the trail when convenient, heading east-north-east toward the obvious saddle between Going-to-the-Sun Mountain and Matahpi Peak. On the way to the pass you will encounter two cliff bands. The lowest band, made of limestone, can be skirted to the south. Find a class 3 route (not unique) through the higher band, made of diorite. Mark your route to assist the descent.

Ascend to the lowpoint of the saddle.

GMS Climb Classification System

The Glacier Mountaineering Society (GMS) climb classification system "expands on the system published in the Climber's Guide to Glacier National Park by J. Gordon Edwards. It contains information on the overall rating of a climb, the degree of difficulty of the most difficult pitch, the round trip distance and the elevation gain." The GMS system is outlined here.

The South Slopes of Matahpi Peak would receive a "II (3) M M" rating, translating to "mostly class 2 with short class 3 sections. Medium distance and elevation gain."

Acknowledgement: Fred Spicker.

Route Description

Simply climb 1000 feet up the the south ridge of Matahpi Peak from the saddle to the summit. The closer you stay to the ridge, the cleaner (and more difficult) the rock gets, and the more exhiliarating the exposure. Multiple game/use trails wind up the south ridge, though up class 2 rubble a bit left (west) of the south ridge proper. Bands of ancient red mudstone provide a bit of class 3 for the last 100 feet to the summit.

Essential Gear

  • Water is scarce, especially in late summer. Plan accordingly.
  • Ice axe in early season. Route is normally completely snow free by August.
  • Recommended: some means of marking your descent route.

Miscellaneous Info

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