In the spring of each year the Junior Mountaineering Team host a family rock climbing trip. This provides an opportunity for the JMT members to teach their parents, siblings, and friends what they have learned. It is fun to switch the traditional roles of parent teaching child, to child teaching parent. Not only do we climb, but we also eat smores, sit around a campfire, tell stories, and get to know eachother. This year the family trip was at Pipestone, a climbing area outside Whitehall, MT. Here’s some photos, Enjoy!

The weekend began with a short demonstration about equipment and belaying.

Grant and Nina demonstrated belaying.

And then the climbing began.

Abby Lair, Grant's sister participated in the family trip for the third year.

Doug, Grant's dad, came along for his third family rock climbing trip as well.


Ben, a mountaineering continuum alumni, came all the way from Billings to hang out with friends and do a little climbing.


Kate worked her way up one of the climbs.

Kate's dad, Richard, had a wonderful time. Of note, he has great campfire stories.

Rebecca sends....




Erin talks with doug about techniques for crack climbing.

Nina, a first year JMT member, was excited to show her parents her skills on the rock.

Nina's mom makes her way up one of the routes.


Nina's dad, Jerry.



Jason Heath, MMA instructor.


Rebecca Taylor.

A few folks worked on a difficult hand crack called 'Cruise Control.'






Ben brought his dog Cooper along.

Nathan works his way up one of the routes.

It was a great weekend of climbing, campfire stories, and good company. Thanks to everyone who came along!

For more information on the JMT and other MMA programs visit http://www.montanamountaineering.org.

Photography by Kt Miller http://www.shredkt.com


The Ice Season Opener is an event held by MMA in December to celebrate Ice Climbing. It is a venue for aspiring and competitive ice climbers alike to practice their skills. Various workshops are offered including; Ice Climbing 101, Ice Anchors, Ice Screws on Lead, and Piton Craft. Here are a few photos from this year’s event courtesy of Greg Switzer.

The Ice Season Opener is a great place to ask questions and become more knowledgable with climbing techniques, protection, and safety evaluation.

MMA board members manned the tent and provided chili and hot chocolate for participants.


Participants prepare for various workshops.

Participants in the 'Ice Screws on Lead' workshop practice "mock leads."

The event is held in the infamous Hyalite Canyon.

Participants practice placing ice screws.

Participants in the 'Ice Climbing 101' workshops started by learning technique.








MMA instructors coordinate the event.

Special thanks to ProLite Gear for all of their support throughout the event.

The Sufferfest is an event hosted by MMA annually to raise money for the Junior Mountaineering Team. Each member collects pledges, and then spends two hours climbing as many routes as possible at the local climbing gym, Spire. Each route earns them a certain amount of points based on its difficulty, and the pledgers pay according to the points accrued. So, the more climbing done, the more money raised for the program. Here are some photos from this year’s Sufferfest. Enjoy!

This event is held at Spire climbing gym in Bozeman.

Kate makes her way up a route during the beginning of the event. By the end the members are generally worked.

Kate Siberell gets her pump on.


For many leaning back is the scariest part.

Nathan came to participate in the event and contribute to the JMT by climbing.

Many people chose to support the JMT by climbing in the Sufferfest instead of pledging themselves.

It's great to see the enthusiasm of the outdoor culture in Bozeman.

Jason Heath, Director of Finance & Development for MMA, climbs for pledges to support the JMT.

Grant Lair works on a difficult route. Third year JMT member, Grant is no amateur at this fund-raising event.

Nina Hance makes her way up an awkward 5.10.

Nina was the overall fundraising winner during the event.

I thoroughly enjoyed snapping photos 😛

For more information check out http://www.montanamountaineering.org/Sufferfest.shtml

The Junior Mountaineering Team skins up a 2500 vertical foot slope on the SW end of Hebgan Lake. The group worked on putting in the perfect skin track to make following laps effortless.

The JMT and instructors talked about safe uphill travel; things to avoid, ways to manage risk, and how to cross slopes, especially in a large group.

Kate makes her way up the skin track.

When skinning in a large group it is important to keep your senses open watching everyone if the terrain gets open or steep.

There was plenty of pow left from the storms earlier in the week.

The group chose to dig snow pits just before cresting the ridge.

The results of the snow pits were very spooky. We were getting quality 1 sheers at compression test 18+ about 2 feet below the surface.

We talked as a group and quickly came to a consensus that we would be avoiding slopes steeper than 35º, taking great caution on slopes between 25º-35º, and sticking to areas with trees.

Grant skins up to the summit of the ridge.

The weather was pristine.

Kate and Ashley prepare for the sunset descent.

Kate demonstrates her stoke!

It doesn't get much better than this.

Kate and Ashley enjoying the fresh tracks!

We found great low angle tree pow.

The 'Tin Chateau' is directly across the lake from the skiing, 1km to be exact. It always seems that the skin across in the morning is a great warm up, while skiing back in the evening it seems like the shore line never gets closer.

The boys skin back towards the 'Chateau.'

The photo ops are endless...

The next morning was stunning.

Grant reaches the top on the second day, ready for some turns.

The lake provides a beautiful backdrop. The scenery seems to reinforce any doubt as to why we would exert so much energy for just a couple turns. After all, it's more than skiing, it's an explosion of beauty and joy and appreciation; hard earned and well worth it.

The backdrop of our adventures is what creates our drive and passion.

Kate and Grant prepare for downhill glisse.

It all culminated in a great weekend. Lots of learning time, and lots of playing time.

The Junior Mountaineering Team just returned from their weekend at Hebgan Lake. This weekends focuses where safe travel, setting and maintaining a skin track, evaluating avalanche danger, evaluating terrain, and safe downhill travel techniques. The weekend was filled with pow, and I believe almost everyone got at least one face shot. Overall it was a great weekend, enjoy the photos!

Jason Leppi leads up a small ice step near Cody, Wyoming.

Inge Perkins climbs near Cody, Wyoming.

A gigantic frozen river provides a beautiful approach to many ice climbs in the area near Cody, Wyoming.

Inge 'shredding' an ice climb.

The Junior Mountaineering Team prepares for a day in the backcountry of Beehive Basin with Jay Poppi of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center.

Quinnie Mawhinney listens as instructor, Pete Tapley, discusses the danger of wet slide avalanches in the springtime.

Erin Taylor teaches students about equalized anchors at practice rock.

Inge Perkins leads her first trad climb at Practice Rock in Hyalite Canyon.

Executive Director, Erin Taylor, belays Inge Perkins on her first trad lead.

JMT students teach their parents and family members how to rappel in The City of Rocks, Idaho, demonstrating all the the skills they have learned throughout the year.

MMA Executive Director, Erin Taylor, does a demonstration on lead climbing for JMT family member in The City of Rocks.

Since the seniors on the team missed their Prom to go to the City of Rocks, they decided to dress up anyway. Quinnie Mawhinney climbs in her 'Prom' dress.

Adam Pohl gazes at the Tetons from the Climber's Ranch in Teton National Park one early June morning.

These are photos from the 07-08 JMT. The photos span the entire year including rock climbing, ice climbing, and backcountry skiing. This year in particular the team was comprised of seven students who will be shown in the photos; Adam Pohl, Phil Straub, Inge Perkins, Quinnie Mawhinney, Bowie Foote, Grant Lair, and Kt Miller.

The Junior Mountaineering Team gives enthusiastic kids the tools they need to explore their local mountains and the adventures that lay beyond: to make them alpinists. While this mission may have a clear technical focus, the impact that the JMT has on its participants goes far beyond learning about ropes, knots, and climbing technique. This program instills not only a rich aesthetic appreciation for the natural environment but also helps participants gain a deeper awareness about their own inner landscapes and their inter-relatedness to the Earth and those around them. Through an amalgamation of all that is experienced and learned throughout this program, the ultimate objective of the JMT is to develop community leaders with a critical consciousness of the essential facets of life.

For more information visit http://www.montanamountaineering.org or find us on Facebook and Vimeo!