About a year ago, my friend Tom mentioned that there was an alpine wall way back in the Beartooth Wilderness that not only had not seen an ascent, but had no name. He had done a reconnaissance trip in 2009 to see what this thing looked like and exactly what it would take to get back there. He told me about a 20+ mile approach, much of which was off trail and through swamps, down timber and difficult orienteering. Apparently, other parties had tried to access the wall from different locations, but all had been skunked. Often called the Phantom Wall or the Secret Wall, the details were undeniably intriguing. Tom’s pictures showed it to be steep, littered with cracks, and beautiful. I had to at least see it.
My enthusiasm grew, which only stoked Tom’s interest in an attempt. Once we persuaded Tom’s brother Pat to come along (an easy sell), our team was complete. Pat’s experience with dreaded offwidth cracks rounded out our skill set and and set us up to handle anything this mountain could throw at us. Since August typically has a short weather window, we decided that a week in the middle of the month … READ MORE >