Thanks Hyalite folks, with pics

Posted: Fri, 11/29/2013 - 15:28

Karla and I want to give a shout out to the Hyalite community for being so friendly and helpful, and making our trip there in March of 2013 memorable.

We’d met Conrad (I don’t want to seem overly familiar, but it seems like Conrad is like the “Governator,” “Arnold,” no last name necessary) at the Banff Film Festival a few months earlier. So we emailed him before our trip to ask which routes were "can't miss." All he can do is ignore us, was our thinking. But he was extremely helpful, and he pretty much settled our tick list.

Early the morning of our second day, we stood in the parking lot, looking lost. It had snowed a foot the day before and trails were faint. We wanted Scepter badly, and we hate getting lost and stomping around an unfamiliar forest—especially with potentially unstable snow. A local guy, Mike, who was also heading for Scepter, saw us looking lost, showed and us the way in. He knew we were jones'ing for Scepter, so he insisted we climb it first, insisted we pull the rope and both lead it, while and his partner, Nate, cooled their heels on Mummy Cooler. This really made our day.

As we moved around the canyon we kept running into Sam Magro, who gave us advice on how to manage our day between Scepter, Mummy Cooler, Feeding the Cat and Matrix. On that cold but very bright day Sam sported a pair of sunglasses that he’d found at the base of Scepter. This is only memorable because he’d actually forgotten his glasses that day. (And they looked great, so I doubt they were ever returned) A couple of days later we saw him and Bud Martin putting up a new route in the Un-named Wall area. There we learned that sometime you guys glue your rock in place. As they were trotting down the hill Sam was yelling over his shoulder, to make sure to see the Boiling River. Martin (I think) let us have a go on his M9ish he was developing around the corner from Candlestick. The area below the climb was littered with a half acre of tawny Hyalite rock, and from that we learned why you guys sometimes have to glue your rock in place.

We had a great vacation, and we’ll return. The town of Bozeman is a gem too. Karla and I are occasional leaders with the Alpine Club of Saskatchewan, and we’re hoping to take a bus-load of northern prairie folk down there to experience the warmth amid the ice. Here are a few of the pics that remind of us the great ice and great times we had in Hyalite.

Thanks Greg for the fine

  • Thu, 12/05/2013 - 08:37

Thanks Greg for the fine update and the props to our community. Hopefully I'm not as bad as Der Ahnald - lord knows I can't pump iron like he can.

Glad you guys came to visit us. It is nice to have a kind and opening community for visitors. The last thing we want is an attitude of angry provincialism. Being a gumby surfer I experienced the negative vibe in an awful way. We are all learning and we will all pass away, all too soon. Negative energy is counterproductive.

If you would like to share your experience with the Gallatin County population at large please consider a letter to the editor at our local news paper, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. You can submit a letter up to 300 words at :

As ice climbers we are very active in keeping the road plowed and props like yours go far in reaching those of that don't know what a figure four is.

We look forward to seeing you soon.