Classic Alpine Climbs of the Pios

While we’re better known for the classic alpine rock climbs of the Sawtooths, the Pioneer Mountains southeast of Sun Valley hold some of our best moderate alpine routes. With short approaches and fantastic ridge climbs on solid granite and quartzite rock, these climbs shouldn’t be missed!

The Broken Arrow Arete is a hidden gem up Wildhorse Canyon on the east side of the Pios. The route follows a winding ridge with exposed 4th class scrambling and a few moves up to 5.7 in difficulty to the summit of locally-named Mustang Peak. Named for the aromatic wildflower found in rugged alpine terrain, Sky Pilot wasn’t climbed until 2010 and is quickly earning classic status. The climbing is more sustained than the Broken Arrow Arete, but never exceeds 5.7 in difficulty. It tops out on an unnamed summit at 11,280 feet. Both routes can be climbed in a long day, but scenic camp sites make an overnight equally appealing.

SMG guide Drew Daly recently climbed both routes with a strong and adventurous client. Take a look at the photos to get a feel for these incredible routes.