Not In Vein – 5.6 – Gallatin Canyon – Montana


Climbing Not In Vein In The Gallatin Canyon

When you live in Big Sky, it’s easy to appreciate your backyard. There are mountains in every direction. It’s incredibly simple to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Just north of Big Sky in the Gallatin Canyon some impressive rock formations make for fantastic climbing. They are definitely worth exploring!

After breakfast and coffee, Jeremy Wood and I headed north on Highway 191 to the 35 MPH bridge. We made decent time as there wasn’t any construction traffic. Our plan for the day was to climb the Skyline Arete (5.6), but in the parking lot as we were sorting gear, we opted to climb Not In Vein (5.6) and Crystal Delight (5.8). Both routes we discovered from my favorite rock climbing guidebook – Bozeman Rock Climbs by Bill Dockins & Tom Kalakay.

Gallatin Canyon Gneiss
Not In Vein and Crystal Delight In Box

To access Not In Vein, we cruised down the Gallatin Riverside Trail for about a mile. We turned uphill just after House Rock and below the Waltz. At the base of the Waltz we headed up the climbers trail on the southside. The trail essentially dead ends into Not In Vein and Crystal Delight.

Not in Vein is located on the very north end of Fish Face – almost directly above the descent gully from the 3rd pitch of the Waltz.  It is just north of a bolted route that I don’t know the name of and to the south of a massive obelisk that looks like an Easter Island Statue.

CLimbing Gallatin Canyon
Looking Toward Not In Vein and Fire Escape
Not In Vein
Looks Like Easter Island!

Not In Vein is a one-pitch trad route that is rated 5.6. The route follows a set of white crystals for about 25 meters to two bolted anchors. I lead the climb and found plenty of places for pro. The footholds were great and the climb was an excellent warm up. The walk off to the looker’s left is easy to follow and straightforward.

Not In Vein Climbing
Not In Vein – See the crystals?
Not In Vein
Looking Down Crystal
Not In Vein
Bolted Anchors
Climbing Not In Vein
Not In Vein

Bozeman Rock Climbs rates Not In Vein as a 5.6. They give it a one star rating – not quite a classic, but well worth the effort. Not In Vein is similar to it’s southerly neighbor, Crystal Delight. Which we decided to climb after Not In Vein. Isn’t life great?