iClimb Too: Here’s Where in Billings
Two days ago Jodie posted an article about how she was getting into rock climbing. She asserted some of the finer details and explained how a beginner gets started. For those out there that are anxious to get out and try this wonderful sport, there are quite a few places around Billings to climb. Just make sure you go with someone who knows the area, and be careful, sandstone has a tendency to crumble and break under the weight of a person.
There are two basic types of climbing to be done on the Rimrocks. Bouldering, which is doing smaller yet often harder climbs, and longer climbs that require ropes, harnesses and other gear. Many of the areas have routes already set up, and the climbs have been graded assigning them names and difficulty levels.
Although Phipps Park (aka Diamond X) is known for its folf course, it also has some great boulders strewn about. Several years ago there was a preliminary map drawn, however it may not have come to fruition. To get to Phipps take Rimrock Road west until it turns into Molt Road. As soon as you pass under the train bridge the parking area is on the left.
Jodie mentioned this was where she learned, and it is a great park even if you are not climbing! Located just west of the top of Zimmerman Trail, the park has a good number of shorter cliffs for bouldering, and taller ones that require ropes.
North of Rimrock Road, east of Rehberg, is the Gregory Hills Subdivision. Taking the outside loop (Gregory Hills Dr.) will get you to the north end of the subdivision. Make sure not to trespass on anyone’s property and work your way to the base of the Rims. You will need to have someone that knows the area show you around, but most of the climbs here have bolted anchors.
The entire stretch of the Rimrocks is all potentially climbable. However, I would recommend sticking to these areas. There is a lot of private property you can accidentally infringe upon, and some of the lesser climbed areas are laden with loose rock. I have had many of them break off in my hands while climbing. When you do go, make sure to use the proper safety equipment and take someone along who knows the area. It will make the climbing experience that much more enjoyable. If you are unsure of your skills, head down to Steep World on North 13th St. There you can train in the climbing gym, talk to the staff about equipment, and even hook up with a climbing partner or two. For those getting started, this is the best place to start. And if you are not able to find anyone, leave a comment, I can always clear out an afternoon in my schedule to enjoy the unique cliffs of Billings.
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