About

The SMCC is an all-volunteer organization. There is no “they” when it comes to protecting SW Montana climbing areas. It all depends on YOU. Bolts and trails don’t fix or repair themselves. Active stewardship from each of us ensures that we can all continue to go climbing in the places we love. Consider volunteering today for one of our upcoming events or take a leadership role and start one yourself. 

SMCC governance structure consists of an Executive Director, a Board of Directors, and appointed Committee Members in charge of various activities.  All of these are unpaid positions. Here is how you can engage.

  • Get involved in issues pertaining to climbers’ access to currently-used, historic, and future climbing areas;
  • A forum for positive communications and relations between climbers, land managers, landowners, and other land users;
  • Education and outreach to land managers, landowners, and the non-climbing public about matters of concern to the local climbing community;
  • Informing and educating the climbing community about local climbing issues;
  • Promoting climbing safety best practices in Southwest Montana;
  • Organizing and promoting trail improvement and maintenance, erosion control, and resource conservation projects.

Board of Directors and Officers in 2019:

Tom Kalakay, Executive Director – Tom is one of Southwest Montana’s most prolific route developers, establishing classics such as the Montana Centennial Route on Mt. Cowen, Bowling For Buicks on the Gallatin Tower, and China Crisis at Rocky Pass.  Tom co-founded SMCC in the early 2000’s with the primary goal of preserving access to the area’s climbing resources. Tom is a geology professor at Rocky Mountain College.

Aaron Hjelt, Secretary – Aaron’s first lead in SW Montana was on BBB at Practice Rock in 1998. He’s enjoyed falling on bomber stoppers ever since. Aaron enjoys all disciplines of climbing, and continues to poke around every corner of rock looking for unique and high quality unclimbed lines. His business, Alpha Climbing, takes teen and young-adults on international climbing adventures.

Tom Kingsbury – Originally from northern Minnesota, Tom moved to Bozeman in 2001 and started climbing in the Gallatin Canyon 16 years ago. For the past 12 years he has been mainly pursuing new bouldering in the Boulder Batholith, near Butte Montana. Working in GIS mapping, Tom has been working closely with appraisers, state and federal agencies, conservation groups, non-profits, and private landowners, as well as mapping many bouldering areas throughout the Pipestone/Homestake Pass.

Hillary Eisen – Hilary has been climbing rock and ice for 17 years and has yet to find a route she doesn’t like (her theory being that even scary, chossy, climbs are better than not climbing). A Billings native, she moved to Bozeman in 2013 after having lived and climbed in New England, Wyoming, and other parts of Montana. Hilary works as the policy director at Winter Wildlands Alliance and brings her background in public land management planning and policy to the SMCC Board.

Sam Magro

Sam has guided professionally since 2004 throughout the contiguous US, Alaska, Europe, and South America.  He has made many first ascents in the Greater Yellowstone region including “The Infiniti Line” (V, 5.12b, C1, 1,000’), “The Velvet Hammer” (5.12, 900’), “The Reverie” (WI 6+, M7 600’), and “Raven Crack-ed” (1,400’ WI 5+ M7).  He has an immense love for climbing and for teaching folks the mountain skills it has taken him years to learn. He is the owner and Lead Guide for Montana Alpine Guides.

Casey SmithCasey Smith has been climbing around southwest Montana for over 20 years and has established routes in the Gallatin Canyon, Ross Peak, Frog Rock, and Hyalite. He enjoys all disciplines of climbing and has climbed in 19 states and 6 countries.

Pat Dyessbio coming soon

Mike Kehoe, Treasurer