Mill Point West Image

Mill Point West (8,650’) is slightly more than three quarters of a mile from Mill Point, almost due west. It is visible from many places in the Bitterroot Valley. For those willing and able to expend the effort, a huge bowl on the peak’s northeast side provides some terrific backcountry skiing.

Of the three sibling summits on the eastern end of Printz Ridge, Mill Point West may be the most interesting to climb. It has the most-craggy crest of the three and affords the best views of nearby peaks. Reaching it requires a serious effort, no matter what the route. The most direct approach requires plenty of bushwhacking, careful route-finding, and substantial elevation gain.

From the Blodgett Creek Trailhead, hike 3 miles to the stock bridge and cross to the north side of Blodgett Creek. Leave the trail and bushwhack to the base of an obvious avalanche chute which proceeds up the south face to the summit. Ascending the chute requires careful route-finding through underbrush, cliff-bands and side channels. Class 3 climbing over slab-granite is required just below the summit.

—Michael Hoyt

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