By: Cheyenne Stirling
As the sun begins to crest the horizon, the icicles on the eaves of our home begin to drip rapidly as the day begins. It’s the beginning of February in Bozeman, Montana. Most of the outdoor enthusiasts woke up this morning with dreams of ether skiing powder at Bridger Bowl or ice climbing in Hyalite canyon.
On this fine day four guys and I rallied together to head into the abyss that is the Gallatin Canyon. With high hopes we take a stop at the local grocery store to grab the essentials typically known as snacks. What came of this stop were three bottles of champagne and one liter of orange juice for none other than the classiest of drinks … mimosas.
As we load up the car to head out, we realize just what we are getting ourselves into; the temperature is 24 degrees. Mumbles of turning around and going to shoot snowmen with tannerite in them were going around. As we kept driving further into the canyon, the temperature kept creeping down, bringing the psyche with it. As we make it to the parking lot, we can see the wall we set our sights on basking in the morning sun just waiting to be climbed.
Suddenly, the five of us were excited to trudge through the snow to get to the cliff. After a quick jaunt up the shadowy snow packed trail we reached the bottom of the climb. Sun blazing, shirts beginning to come off as our skin hasn’t been touched by the sun in months. The temperature has gone up to 35; the boys are like giddy kids out at recess.
We are climbing on rocks, drinking mimosas, during February in Montana. The feeling is like no other. We got four pitches of immaculate climbing in before the sun began to set on a perfect winter day of Montana rock climbing. The season is finally upon us and, now that we all got a taste, plans for more are already in action as we continue our search for rock in a rockless month.