For many years, this elusive slice of the Beartooths has been at the top of many alpinists’ checklists. In fact, this was Daniel Burson’s 5th attempt. It wasn’t so much the difficulty of the climbing as much as the conditions not aligning for a safe ascent and not having enough ice. The primary stopper on the route is a massive chockstone, which is what halted many of the other parties trying to connect the dots.
At the bottom of this massive chimney system in the East Rosebud drainage lies the well-known Spaghetti Falls. The chimney system rises over 3,000 feet from the valley floor with very little relief. For years, many of the climbers who frequented Spaghetti Falls wondered what lay above the route.
I had just gotten back from Norway, still super psyched to get out and climb, when I received a call from Daniel Burson who was thinking the cow was fat and it was time to slaughter. We quickly rallied a third because, well, I don’t like to carry too much weight in my pack. Shawn Gregory joined us, fresh off the bar stool from an epic night, but he was ready to get after it.
We made quick time into the uncharted ground above and things were looking very good for us at the chockstone pitch, the one that had turned previous parties around.
We were super stoked to break new ground, through the chockstone, and to see what lay above.
Above the chockstone pitch was more steep snow, leading us into the steeper terrain above.
At the end of the day, we were pretty damn stoked to have added a 2,200 ft. extension to Spaghetti Falls. We called it “Meatballs” (WI5 M7ish).