For reasons unknown, I'm a big fan of the Townsend limestone. There's a unique feel in the scraggily old gulches that is difficult to place. Maybe its the abandoned mining equipment in Indian Creek, or the petroglyphs in Hellgate, but there is a distinctly Ol' Western vibe, that I like.
What adds to the area, is the surprising number of routes. I have no idea about the specifics, but I'd guess between the three developed canyons that over 150 lines have been bolted. But perhaps the most important asset of the Townsend climbing scene is the weather, which for whatever reason, always seems to be warmer, sunnier and drier than Butte or Missoula.
The best part of this trip however, had nothing to do with the climbing. We just happened to roll into Townsend in the middle of its annual Fall Harvest Celebration, which entailed (but was not limited to) funnel cake, games, cotton candy,antique car show, a country western street dance, buckle-betties, and beer vendors. ...Mark your calendars for next year! This could turn into an excellent fall climbing tradition.
Unfortunately, an evening at the Commercial bar, meant that I was to haggered to take many photos.
Here is a series of Kevin Barnett dispatching the Indian Creek classic, "Vision Quest."
Entering the crux.
Roadside belay. Every old timer will stop and chat you up.
100' to the chains.
Looking forward to getting back.