Warm climbing in the Needles of South Dakota...

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 218 of total 218 in this topic
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 7, 2010 - 11:34pm PT
One of many fun climbing trips last year - here are some photos of the Needles of SD in June. The place is warm. The place is fun. And there are so few people there.

Post up your own shots.

Credit: Crimpergirl

Credit: Crimpergirl

Credit: Crimpergirl

Credit: Crimpergirl
F10

Trad climber
e350
Mar 7, 2010 - 11:40pm PT
Never been there, yet

Thanks for a climbing post, you rock
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 7, 2010 - 11:40pm PT
another place to go... dang!
L

climber
Hangin' by a thread and lookin' for my wings
Mar 7, 2010 - 11:42pm PT
I WANT TO GOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Awesome photos, Crimpie!
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Mar 7, 2010 - 11:43pm PT
Whoa! That first shot is a classic!

"the place is warm, the place is fun", you left out the part about the place can be way scary. Did you climb any of those pinnacles with no anchors at the top?
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Mar 7, 2010 - 11:49pm PT
Thanks for the (too short) TR. Never been to that Needles (just the other one), and don't know if I ever will, but it's fun to look at the pictures.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 7, 2010 - 11:51pm PT
Brassnuts has done them all. Scary Pin. Hairy Pin. Eeck. I've looked at them. Heck, walking around there is dangerous. If you brush up against some rock you'll start bleeding.

Fun rappels too.

Credit: Crimpergirl

And climbing near the tourists can be pretty darn funny..."OMG there's a PERSON up there!"

Credit: Crimpergirl

edit: I take that back, we did Tricouni a couple of times. That is one where you simul-rappel. One person on one side, the other person on the others. It's freaky.
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
mun jae upso yo
Mar 7, 2010 - 11:53pm PT
I'd like to get out there, sometime.
That rock is rough, eh?
Cool pics, Crimpergirl.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2010 - 12:11am PT
It may be the roughest rock anywhere. It's beautiful too - full of crystals.
L

climber
Hangin' by a thread and lookin' for my wings
Mar 8, 2010 - 12:11am PT
That last pic is way cool, Crimpie! Is the rock crumbly? It looks kinda like the CA Pinnacles, which, from what I hear, are mostly dried mud.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
Will know soon
Mar 8, 2010 - 12:14am PT
Really enjoyed your pics !!! Thanks for taking the time to share a new adventure others here might like to try. Missed Yo at Facelift, lynnie
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2010 - 12:22am PT
The rock there is bullet-hard. :)
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Mar 8, 2010 - 12:23am PT
Nice! I want to go there some time. How warm is warm?
L

climber
Hangin' by a thread and lookin' for my wings
Mar 8, 2010 - 12:31am PT
This is the area that Bob Kamps helped develop, right? I remember Bonnie Kamps posting some of his journal about it, I think...can't remember where though.

"Bullet-hard" sounds soooooooo inviting! Those formations are incredible.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2010 - 12:34am PT
I'm sure people out there have far better photos.

BrassNuts has great ones, but he is currently in Arizona climbing with some other tacos. Maybe he'll see this thread and can post some on the Scary and Hairy pin.

It wasn't too warm. I had a jacket on a lot of the time. BN doesn't care for the warmth so I doubt it was even 80 degrees. Yup, just checked weather dot com (http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USSD0079);. Highs in the year are at about 80 degrees.

It's a gorgeous place.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Mar 8, 2010 - 12:44am PT
Why is it that I read these reports, and feel needled?

Needled into doing more climbing!
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 8, 2010 - 02:29am PT

It's great to see you posting again! More please!
Curt

Boulder climber
Gilbert, AZ
Mar 8, 2010 - 02:41am PT
Don't go there--you won't like it. The rock is awful and the weather isn't much better.



You would all be better off climbing somewhere else.

Curt
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 8, 2010 - 03:09am PT
my slides ar eton the far side of my scanner, but Vurt is right , total choss, don't go there... esp the cool problems on cmpgrnd boulder, or the Thimble.....
adam d

climber
Mar 8, 2010 - 03:11am PT
The Cathedral Spires have a vibe like no where else...
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 8, 2010 - 04:56am PT
The Needles is such a cool place, and there is some good climbing there too. I happened to be there one summer years ago and can remember hitch-hiking into the park and camping out stealthily(I think it was no camping?) and eating berries and some warm beer and stale bread but still marveling at what a magical place it seemed like.
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Mar 8, 2010 - 08:33am PT
BrassNuts has great ones, but he is currently in Arizona climbing with some other tacos.


He's actually in Arizona watching it rain at the moment...
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 8, 2010 - 09:57am PT
Hahahaha! Yeah, I got the tragic news of the rain there. Meanwhile, for the first time in months, it was sunny and 60 in Boulder. Tell him to post his cool Needles photos!
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Mar 8, 2010 - 10:44am PT
I remember great times in the Needles.




Not all of them warm.

andy@climbingmoab

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 8, 2010 - 10:56am PT
The Needles is where I learned to climb - I grew up in Rapid City. The Black Hills have weird micro-climates, so you can basically always find somewhere pleasant to climb. I've climbed at Rushmore in a t-shirt on New Years Day, and in the Cathedral Spires in a sweater on the 4th of July.

The Black Hills Needles and the Gunks are by far and away my two favorite cragging areas anywhere, though the Needles would win if I had to choose one. The climbing is so varied there. Rushmore has tons of great sport climbing from 5.4 to 5.14 and the huge bouldering area at Old Baldy on really interested smooth granite. The Needles have a good mix of sport and trad routes on much coarser grained granite with enormous weird quartz crystals - in addition to the many famous death routes there are new good sport areas, well protected trad climbs, and iconic bouldering. There is also so much adventure climbing and new route potential if you hike into the boonies at places like the Playground, Elkhorn Mountain, Calamity Ridge, etc.

Aside from the granite, there is a lot of wonderful limestone sport climbing in the central and northern hills, and even some good sandstone bouldering in the central hills. With Devils Tower an hour away, The Rapid City area has some of the best and most varied cragging you'll find anywhere.
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Mar 8, 2010 - 12:22pm PT
Greetings from soggy Phoenix... so far, I've been here for 14% of their annual rainfall in the last two days...

Here's a sunny day shot of Superpin in the Needles. Very cool no anchor summit, pretty spicy climbing, but not as spicy as the Hairy Pin - yikes, that puppy is a real brain melter....
Super Pin summit
Super Pin summit
Credit: BrassNuts
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Mar 8, 2010 - 08:22pm PT
For crystal-face thrills at a much softer grade, there's Cerberus:

L

climber
Hangin' by a thread and lookin' for my wings
Mar 8, 2010 - 08:27pm PT
Great photo, Chiloe. Those formations look like a blast!
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Mar 8, 2010 - 08:34pm PT
All those needles look cool. Thanks all for posting.
Zander
golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Mar 8, 2010 - 08:38pm PT
Nice shot Brass.

I remember being much more scared on Superpinn than Hairy, hehe. Its all in the mind set I guess. Rapping off of Superpin is way gnarly, there were not slings when I did it just that little notch in the top.

Really cool and historical place.
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 8, 2010 - 09:04pm PT

Bump for another great Crimpster climbing TR!!!!

(no funnies)? Bwaaahhhh!!!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Mar 8, 2010 - 09:52pm PT
Top 15 areas I've climbed at.

Walking around near Rushmore and out walks this pure white billy goat from the forest. I mean, I seriously expected a gnome or some woodland nymph to dart from tree to tree next.


Tent Peg
Cerberus
Outlet areas
Rushmore areas

just like a tourist, only see the obvious stuff. Next time I want to go hiking and spire tagging.
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
Mar 10, 2010 - 09:59am PT
Nice!

While I have yet to climb there, my earliest memory of climbing is watching someone freesolo the Needle's Eye, I was probably 5 or 6...


A couple from the brotherman's adventures there


Hairy Pin


John's Jump
andy@climbingmoab

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 10, 2010 - 10:01am PT
John's Jump is one of the most intimidating parlor tricks you'll ever do. How the hell do you rate something like that?
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
Mar 10, 2010 - 10:03am PT
Yeah, Pat tells a pretty funny story about that one...though it sounds like a 'must do'


Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Mar 10, 2010 - 10:03am PT
The last time I was in the Needles I did a 'vision quest' run up Harney peak.

"harney peak is the center of the universe. Though, everywhere is the center of the universe." -Black Elk.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 10, 2010 - 10:26am PT
Blargh. The jump makes me queasy just looking at it. If my life depended on that jump,I'd surely die.
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
Mar 10, 2010 - 01:51pm PT
Pat said it took a bit of convincing...


Bump for more photos...don't let me kill another thread!
L

climber
Yeah it's a furball...I TOLD you I was a cat!
Mar 10, 2010 - 02:01pm PT
Gotta bump this again because it's about CLIMBING and has awesome photos and peeps in it!


And that jump made my stomach hurt!
homemade salsa

Trad climber
west tetons
Mar 10, 2010 - 09:37pm PT
I think it is Spire 3- with a 3-pitch really easy route. but there is a huge rose quartz window at the top of the second pitch. You belay right below it, and it is translucent.

And I got thoroughly scared one day on, ahem, 5.8+ corner stemming on Khayyam Spire- a route called God's Own Drunk.

A truly magnificent and magic place. Thanks for the photos.
onarunning

Trad climber
Duluth, MN
Mar 10, 2010 - 10:58pm PT
Credit: onarunning
It's one of my favorite places in the world. The area is pretty magical. No wonder the Lakota consider it the center of the world. The climbing can be terrifying though.
onarunning

Trad climber
Duluth, MN
Mar 10, 2010 - 11:05pm PT
Leading on a blustery day in may:
Credit: onarunning

And Sylvan Lake is pretty cool.
Credit: onarunning
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 10, 2010 - 11:19pm PT
Did you see that AWFUL movie - a few years old - that Sylvan Lake was in? The characters when under the lake or something. Man, it was bad. But it was fun seeing these areas in the movie.

onarunning

Trad climber
Duluth, MN
Mar 10, 2010 - 11:21pm PT
Haha I did see that. National Treasure 2, I think? I got really excited for the ten seconds where they showed the area, even though they put Sylvan Lake right behind Mt. Rushmore...
tarek

climber
berkeley
Mar 10, 2010 - 11:53pm PT
bump
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 11, 2010 - 12:30am PT
Ah, that's right - National Treasure II. It was clear that Nicholas Cage was in financial dire straits because he took that role. Wow was it a really, really stupid movie!

Weeeee!
Weeeee!
Credit: Crimpergirl
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Mar 11, 2010 - 12:48am PT
Anyone interested in a little Needles lore might perhaps enjoy my
"trip report" about the "first ascent" of the Needles Eye.

I spent many weeks in August there with various climbers, primarily our beloved Bob Kamps. I always used to go there, ostensibly for rest and recuperation, after spending several weeks in the back country, either the Wind Rivers with a side trip to the Tetons, or the Bugaboos. Whatever the the Needles lacked in size or remoteness was made up by the maze-like character of the formations and the adventurousness of the climbs---a truly magical place.
onarunning

Trad climber
Duluth, MN
Mar 11, 2010 - 12:51am PT
One more picture:
Credit: onarunning
I cant wait to get back there this summer!
IntheFog

climber
Mostly the next place
Mar 11, 2010 - 10:04am PT
Just what the doctor ordered for those who are stuck in front of computers on Thursday morning.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Mar 14, 2010 - 04:02am PT
My bro following Eyetooth with some sweet cracks behind him on Spire 4
My bro following Eyetooth with some sweet cracks behind him on Spire 4
Credit: mike m
The super fun Wiessner Route on Inner Outlet done in the 30's.
The super fun Wiessner Route on Inner Outlet done in the 30's.
Credit: mike m
spire 5 with spire 6ish in the background
spire 5 with spire 6ish in the background
Credit: mike m
Pratt's crack on Photogropher's
Pratt's crack on Photogropher's
Credit: mike m
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Mar 29, 2010 - 12:28am PT
Cerberus (Tricouni Nail)



Rob Nob's Spire



Sore Thumb



Needle's Eye

Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 29, 2010 - 12:32am PT
Yay! Great stuff.
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
Mar 29, 2010 - 12:47am PT
Where are the pics of all of the climbers on "Vertigo"? ;-)
JOEY.F

Social climber
sebastopol
Mar 29, 2010 - 12:51am PT
I have never been to that part of the country, looks awesome. Thanks!
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Mar 29, 2010 - 01:19am PT







mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Apr 6, 2010 - 05:38pm PT
Below Harney
Below Harney
Credit: mike m
Needles bump
Sex Never did this to my Hands
Sex Never did this to my Hands
Credit: mike m
Eyetooth from Spire 5
Eyetooth from Spire 5
Credit: mike m
Spire Two and Spire One from the Wicked Picket
Spire Two and Spire One from the Wicked Picket
Credit: mike m
Picket Fence
Picket Fence
Credit: mike m
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 6, 2010 - 06:02pm PT
Mike M - is the weather getting nice there? Can't wait for the warmth to show in the Black Hills!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Apr 6, 2010 - 06:24pm PT
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
I was in the central hills yesterday and there was about 6 inces of new snow, but we did have some days in the 70's last week. I am sure around rushmore there is not a lot of snow, but unsure about the higher needles. Seems like Febrary and March are nicer than April and May around here. It has been snowing off and on all day today.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Apr 6, 2010 - 06:58pm PT
Thanks for the great photos . . . brings back some really good memories!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Apr 6, 2010 - 07:04pm PT
John, did you ever do any bouldring around Nemo in the central Black Hills?
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Apr 6, 2010 - 07:28pm PT
South Dakota, just East of the Badlands.



Me in the Badlands, circa 1983?



Tricouni Nail, or possibly Tent Peg.



Rubaiyat.



Sylvan Lake.



Half a days drive further West, me on the left.



My TR from that trip.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?t=109161
Edge

Trad climber
New Durham, NH
Apr 6, 2010 - 07:52pm PT
Another couple of shots from the above trip.



Gagner

climber
Boulder
Apr 6, 2010 - 10:19pm PT
Three classic, and very different climbing areas are in close proximity to each other.

Devils Tower - Classic cracks.
The Needles - The definition of adventure climbing - As I always tell people, you probably want to lead routes a number (not letter) grade easier than you normally lead - if you're a 5.11 leader, you probably only want to get on the 5.10's.
Mt. Rushmore - Awesome and fun sport climbing

Paul
Paco

Trad climber
Montana
Apr 6, 2010 - 10:53pm PT
stopped through for a short time last year.

the place really rips on your fingertips!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Apr 6, 2010 - 11:45pm PT
Vertigo
Vertigo
Credit: mike m
Old Peoples Dome
Old Peoples Dome
Credit: mike m
Totem Pole
Totem Pole
Credit: mike m
Tee the Ball
Tee the Ball
Credit: mike m
Dakota Illinois
Dakota Illinois
Credit: mike m
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Apr 7, 2010 - 12:06am PT
John, did you ever do any bouldring around Nemo in the central Black Hills?

Yes, some time back in that sandstone right across from Steamboat Rock. The area is now overrun with paintballers.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Apr 7, 2010 - 01:11am PT
Johnboy, I was wondering if John Gill had done anything in that area or others such as Whiterock or some boulders right off the interstate on the SD/WY border back in the day. There is some good stuff around Nemo, SD. To bad about the grafitee all over the place at the Rock Maze, but there is more in some areas off of Estes Creek Road on some real nice quartzite.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 5, 2010 - 04:45pm PT
Needles bump. http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/573024/A-day-in-the-Needles.html a little trip report from last year. Some of the photo's are the same as some of the ones I have posted earlier, but there are some new ones also.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 11, 2010 - 05:52pm PT
Ok so it wasn't warm but we got a couple of good old school trad routes done on Sunday after my brother and I did our Mother's day duties.
Vegan boulder in Rapid City at the Meat Packing Plant Boulders
Vegan boulder in Rapid City at the Meat Packing Plant Boulders
Credit: mike m
Other Truckers Favorite variation to the first pitch of Retable Route
Other Truckers Favorite variation to the first pitch of Retable Route
Credit: mike m
Regan and Jen on the top of Lander Turkey Shoot
Regan and Jen on the top of Lander Turkey Shoot
Credit: mike m
Just before entering the Chimney on Retable Route
Just before entering the Chimney on Retable Route
Credit: mike m
Pratt's crack on Photographer's Peak
Pratt's crack on Photographer's Peak
Credit: mike m
You can see the full "aquarium" on Aquarium Rock on the summit on the ...
You can see the full "aquarium" on Aquarium Rock on the summit on the right with the Outlets behind the lake in the background.
Credit: mike m
We did the a Variation to the first pitch of the Retable Route called Other Truckers Favorite done by Bob Archabald in the early '80's I think. We then finished with the awesome last half of the Retable Route which I believe was done by the Conn's in the '50's. You do about 200ft and then do a really long overhaging move for a route done that long ago and then climb up a giant ear like flake and mantel or "retable"onto it before entering an overhanging squeeze chimney that deposits you on top of Inner Outlet. We then went on to do Pratt's Crack on Photagrapher's Peak. It has a long Squeeze chimney before we moved right on to a variation on the face that you can do all in one pitch with a 70m rope, but just barely. I think Pratt put that up in the early '60's.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - May 11, 2010 - 07:10pm PT
Will it ever be warm again? Gorgeous photos. Can't wait to go back and play some more.
S.Leeper

Sport climber
Austin, Texas
May 11, 2010 - 07:18pm PT
I'll be there in August! How far are the needles from devils tower?
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 11, 2010 - 08:30pm PT
Its about two hours between the Needles and the Tower. Supposed to be in the 70's this weekend.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 11, 2010 - 08:41pm PT
It's not the Third Pillar of Dana Crimpie but I guess it will have to do.
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
May 11, 2010 - 09:13pm PT
cool thread just keeps going.
Z
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 11, 2010 - 09:28pm PT
When the time is right we'll get you there during a vedauwooo boogaloo, Zbro, you'll love it!
Anastasia

Mountain climber
hanging from a crimp and crying for my mama.
May 11, 2010 - 10:07pm PT
Bump!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 11, 2010 - 11:29pm PT
East Gruesome
East Gruesome
Credit: mike m
The start of the crux crack
The start of the crux crack
Credit: mike m
Keith N. coming up the 4th pitch with Eyetooth in the background and t...
Keith N. coming up the 4th pitch with Eyetooth in the background and the picket fence behind that.
Credit: mike m
One of the best climbs I have done there is East Gruesome. Bob Kamps said it was the finest summit the Conn's achieved. It goes up a chimney to some intermittent cracks until you hit the right slanting crack you can see at the top of the first picture and you traverse around the other side and finish off on a nice hand crack. Before that though you get the business. A crack given 8+ in the Piana book, but I would say it would be more like 10b if it were at Devil's Tower. Yu then hang a belay off a flake and have some serious runouts on a hanging slab protected by RP's. I think this rarely gets done but it is a great route in a great setting.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 20, 2010 - 03:56pm PT
Getting nice again. Spent some time climbing quartzite a couple of days ago. the snow is pritty much gone
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Not the Needles, but not too far away.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
May 20, 2010 - 05:06pm PT
there's sandstone in Rapid City proper? trippy when I was there, everything looked flat as hell (except of course of the BH)


rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
May 20, 2010 - 05:54pm PT
Mike M, the East Gruesome is one of my favorite Needle's Climbs. It has been quite a while since I did it last, but is it possible that your shot is reversed? Somehow I remember that flake being left of the crack, but I could certainly be wrong...

One of the best (of the classic) Needles outings is to combine the East Face of the East Gruesome with the South Tower of Spire Four, which is right there when you rap off the East Gruesome.
andy@climbingmoab

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
May 20, 2010 - 06:21pm PT
That is a pretty weird impression Mungeclimber - Rapid is split in half by a good sized hogback ridge with lots of sandstone boulders and even short cliffbands. The bouldering in town is really pretty good.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 20, 2010 - 10:38pm PT
Rgold, I think the pictures are in the correct orientation. That route has a lot of mystique and I had been looking at it for about 10 years before actually just committing to the most logical looking line. I think there are two routes listed in the Piana book, but they give you little detail. There is a discontinuous crack left of the one that we did, but it looked as there was no pro with overhanging rock before it joins back up with what was our 4th pitch.
Our first pitch. We worked up and behind the tower below and right of ...
Our first pitch. We worked up and behind the tower below and right of the summit. we then went left and then back right on the second and that is where we hit th crux wide layback crack.
Credit: mike m
You can see the discontinuous crack above Keith.
The second pitch we did went up and slightly left and then way right t...
The second pitch we did went up and slightly left and then way right to end on a big flake that put you back above the 4-5 gulley with wonderful exposure.
Credit: mike m
Here is a picture of the belay at the top of the second.  An old pin t...
Here is a picture of the belay at the top of the second. An old pin that looks fairly solid and two small cams all within about 3 inches of crack.
Credit: mike m
Close up of the crux crack from the ground.
Close up of the crux crack from the ground.
Credit: mike m
The upper half of the route we did.  The crux crack is on the lower le...
The upper half of the route we did. The crux crack is on the lower left with the belay right on top of it. The last pitch is quite runout on RP's until you get to the hand crack at the top.
T
Credit: mike m
Also we did two two rope rappels to the ground not into the gulley between the gruesomes and south tower. Is this the same route you have done or could you possibly be thinking of West Gruesome as the rappel on that takes you right to the start of South Tower(which is also a top 10 classic). Do you have any off the old guides by Kamps or the Conns?
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
May 20, 2010 - 10:58pm PT
That's the route I've done for sure, and it is the Conn's route. Your other pictures show a flake to the left of the crack, and that was what I was thinking of. The first time I did the route was with Don Storjohann in the mid-sixties, and I did it several more times after that. Every time I did it, we rapped off the back and continued up the South Tower route.

Somewhere I have Piana's and Kamps guides. I used to have Conn's but haven't been able to find that for years.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 20, 2010 - 11:33pm PT
Rich, have you done the Laptad Route. Touch the Sky says it is to the left following an obvious crack system at 5.9. There is an obvious crack but that thing looks heinous and looks like it peters out at the top before the belay of the 4th pitch. The Piana guide talks about a 5.10 offwidth variation done by Paul Muehl in 1979. Do you have any beta on those routes? Would the Laptad route be the crack above Keith's head in the pitch one photo? I bought the Piana guide after accidentally doing Kayam Spire in the Cathedral Spires because it looked like the tallest one when you are hiking into the CS. That first route I did in there is still one of my best memories as Spire 4(the tallest in the CS) is a two pitch 5.4 we did a 4 pitch 5.7ish which is no give away in the Needles.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 21, 2010 - 04:29pm PT
Well you know what they say. A picture is worth a thousand words so I guess a thousand pictures is worth a million words.
Route on Rubyiat in the notch between it and Kayam
Route on Rubyiat in the notch between it and Kayam
Credit: mike m
Andrew Busse on Freaks Fright I think the bolt is a few feet below his...
Andrew Busse on Freaks Fright I think the bolt is a few feet below his feet. It looks like the hanger was made out of a tin can. Only 40ft to the next pro.
Credit: mike m
My brother on top of Station 13 with the International Chimney on Spir...
My brother on top of Station 13 with the International Chimney on Spire 3 on the left and Kayam on the right.
Credit: mike m
Conn Chimney on the first pitch of Spire 1
Conn Chimney on the first pitch of Spire 1
Credit: mike m
My other brother on Block Tower
My other brother on Block Tower
Credit: mike m
My other brother on Block Tower
My other brother on Block Tower
Credit: mike m
The Yellow Wall 12a on Kayam is in the background
The Yellow Wall 12a on Kayam is in the background
Credit: mike m
The Javiline splist off from Spire One(3 stacked blocks) in th...
The Javiline splist off from Spire One(3 stacked blocks) in the right foreground with the Picket Fence in the background
Credit: mike m
Gnomen with the Dooty Direct basically going up the sun shade line.  T...
Gnomen with the Dooty Direct basically going up the sun shade line. There is about a half a pitch below the trees that you can not see.
Credit: mike m
Balcony Point, Spire 2, Station 13 below it, Spire 1, and the Javiline...
Balcony Point, Spire 2, Station 13 below it, Spire 1, and the Javiline left to right with Climbers on Spire 1 and Spire 2
Credit: mike m
Spire 4 on the left and Spire 3 and the Obolesque on the right.
Spire 4 on the left and Spire 3 and the Obolesque on the right.
Credit: mike m
Eyetooth on the left and Bartizan is the wall on the far right.
Eyetooth on the left and Bartizan is the wall on the far right.
Credit: mike m
Spire 5ish
Spire 5ish
Credit: mike m
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 7, 2010 - 04:46pm PT
Out in the Needles yesterday and did two classic routes on two of the biggest spires. Rubaiyat and Khayyam
Rubaiyat
Rubaiyat
Credit: mike m
Khayyam
Khayyam
Credit: mike m
Csthedral Spires Khayyam is 3rd from the left and Rubaiyat is below it...
Csthedral Spires Khayyam is 3rd from the left and Rubaiyat is below it to the right.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
The Beautiful second pitch of Rubaiyat
The Beautiful second pitch of Rubaiyat
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
The Ten Pins
The Ten Pins
Credit: mike m
Bartizan
Bartizan
Credit: mike m
The upper half of Khayyam as seen from the top the first pitch of Ruba...
The upper half of Khayyam as seen from the top the first pitch of Rubaiyat
Credit: mike m
Pro at the crux of the second pitch of Rubaiyat
Pro at the crux of the second pitch of Rubaiyat
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
First pitch of Khayyam
First pitch of Khayyam
Credit: mike m
Crux of the first pitch of Khayyam
Crux of the first pitch of Khayyam
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Finishing up the second pitch of Khayyam Rubaiyat is now far below us.
Finishing up the second pitch of Khayyam Rubaiyat is now far below us.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Balcony Point
Balcony Point
Credit: mike m
Alex Baker

climber
Portland
Jun 7, 2010 - 05:36pm PT
mike m. These pics rock. I love SD, thank you.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 7, 2010 - 06:02pm PT
gotta echo the thx here. I'm thinking road trip next year.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 7, 2010 - 11:52pm PT
Thanks guys. I was hoping for a 1000ft day but the rain started and we had to settle for 600.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 8, 2010 - 12:01am PT
You are tearing it up out there! Love the photos. They are views I've not seen before. Can't wait to get back there...
the museum

Trad climber
Rapid City
Jun 8, 2010 - 12:04am PT
Too much rain. Too much rain. Too much rain.

the museum
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 10, 2010 - 12:31pm PT
Gods Own Drunk, Kayyam Spire in the Cathedral Spires
Gods Own Drunk, Kayyam Spire in the Cathedral Spires
Credit: mike m
At the belay of Gods Own Drunk
At the belay of Gods Own Drunk
Credit: mike m
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 18, 2010 - 02:14am PT
I did the Goldstone/Kamps route on Spire 4. It was not warm. There were 50 plus mile per hour winds, but it was still fun.
The route takes the big chimney just right of cener on the large forma...
The route takes the big chimney just right of cener on the large formation Piana's book says it was done in August of 1966
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
There was some vegitation on the first pitch, but it had some moves th...
There was some vegitation on the first pitch, but it had some moves that were quite hard
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Beautiful chimneys to the top about a 300+ft. route
Beautiful chimneys to the top about a 300+ft. route
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
We then did the International Chimney on Spire 3.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Then we did the Gill Net at 5.7 and right on the road. Garunteed to get an audience.
the Gill Net not an easy 5.7
the Gill Net not an easy 5.7
Credit: mike m
One last pitch on the Gnomen with the Doody Direct.
Nice crack to start
Nice crack to start
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Spire across the way by Little Devils Tower
Spire across the way by Little Devils Tower
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 18, 2010 - 12:21pm PT
Lots more rock yet to be explored
Lots more rock yet to be explored
Credit: mike m
Mt. Rushmore and Old Baldy in the distance.
Mt. Rushmore and Old Baldy in the distance.
Credit: mike m
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 30, 2010 - 02:05am PT
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
I took my son up his first spire yesterday. I was very proud of him and look forward to climbing many more with him in the future.
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
Transporter Room 2
Jun 30, 2010 - 02:09am PT
Now, THAT'S Cool.......
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 30, 2010 - 03:15am PT
radness
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Jun 30, 2010 - 03:28am PT
They sure did do a lot of thinning up there on the trail in and in between the spires and picket. I was up there last fall/winter when they were going at it. I know they need to get the pine beetle trees out, but man, don't seem like much left after it all.

Got to wonder what Harney's gonna look like in another year,
Old Baldy?

Sad, but needed.
Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Jun 30, 2010 - 07:26am PT
What a beautiful place...'cept for the trees getting 'chunked' due to beetle infestation.

I was there last Memorial Day weekend tagging along with some members of the Chicago Mountaineering Club.

Credit: Bill Mc Kirgan


Had fun climbing a few of the smaller spires...one which looked almost too delicate to climb.

Credit: Bill Mc Kirgan

The parking lot area was a blast. We did the easy climb to setup the harder 'Dog and Pony Show' top rope and did a few laps. What fun, and yes, sharp.

Credit: Bill Mc Kirgan

There were many curious onlookers.

Credit: Bill Mc Kirgan
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 30, 2010 - 04:19pm PT
Johnboy, I have been very disappointed that they are leaving all the tree debry just lay there. they cut down all of the largest trees some up to around 3 ft in diameter in two foot pieces and left them laying there on very steep hillsides all over in the spires. These will stay there for 50 plus years I would imagine if they are not burnt or removed. I saw some talk earlier about helicoptering them out but they have not been doing it in that area and IMHO that is the most beautiful area in the Black Hills. I would have rather had tipped over whole trees than the mess that is out there right now.
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Jun 30, 2010 - 06:18pm PT
I've wondered about that too, don't the beetles just crawl out of the fallen trees and get into another? IDK. As a FF I've butted heads with the FS more than once about the amount of debris left from thinning and slashing in places. Sometimes it creates more of a fire danger.

I did see some perfectly green trees cut and some bug infested ones left standing, makes no sense to me, but I'll leave that up to the ones that know. When its all said and done, the Harney area isn't going to be pretty. There are a lot of bug trees that are coming out of that area. The fire in Yellowstone wasn't pretty either, but with time, look at it now. Hope they know what they're doing here.

Doesn't look to busy in the Spires so far this season.
Curse this working for a living.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 1, 2010 - 02:13am PT
Terror-Cracktyl is the big gash in the center and Crack of Earthly Del...
Terror-Cracktyl is the big gash in the center and Crack of Earthly Delights is a crack just left of T-C with yellow rock on the right side of the crack it trends left at the top of the crack and hits a small pinnical in a large Chimney on the Ridge.
Credit: mike m
Afternoon Delight is on the right side.
Afternoon Delight is on the right side.
Credit: mike m
I got out with a buddy another day last week as well and we did a few routes on Bartizan. They were Crack of Earthly Delights, Terror-Cracktyl, and Afternoon Delight some of the parties involved in the FA's were Bob Archbold, Pete Delannoy, Jim Black, Steve Levin, Rich Cordes, John Matteson, Jay Ellwein and Todd Van Alstyne. I know Pete and Bob and I have done a bunch of their routes. They were picking off some real plums considering names like the Conns, Kamps, Robbins, Steve Wunsch, Chuck Pratt, John Gill, Jim Beyer, Mark and Beverly Powell, Rich Goldston, Dick Williams, Pete Cleveland, Dick Laptad, Kevin Bein, Barbra Devine, Tom Higgins, Paul Muehl, Fritz Wiessner, Dennis Horning, Paul Piana, Frank Sanders, John Bragg, Art Gran, Dave Rearick, Walt Bailey, Don Lauria, Greg Child, Lawrence Covney, Mark Hudon, and Fred Beckey have already had their pick of the litter. I bet those guys and gals could tell some stories.
Looking down on Crack of Earthly Delights
Looking down on Crack of Earthly Delights
Credit: mike m
Terror-Cracktyl(attempt)
Terror-Cracktyl(attempt)
Credit: mike m
Afternoon Delight
Afternoon Delight
Credit: mike m
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Aug 1, 2010 - 11:37pm PT
OK crimpie it is finally warm. Upper 90's most of the week. Getting a little greasy out there.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Here are some pictures that aren't in the Needles but still good Black Hills rock. The warm weather really makes the rasberries ripe.
BrassNuts

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Aug 2, 2010 - 01:41am PT
Cool! We were driving home from today's adventure on the East Side and I was actually day-dreaming about the Needles. Very neat to get here and see these photos. We need to make plans and get out there! Thanks for the mini-TR!

edit: Ooops. Crimpergirl here - Obviously BrassNuts was signed in on the machine.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Oct 23, 2010 - 10:21pm PT
Took my 9 year old up Spire 4 yesterday. It is the highest summit of about 90 in the immediate area. He had done a couple of 5.8's at the the tower a couple of weeks ago, but old school 5.4 kicked his but a little. He made it to the top though and had an experience he wont soon forget as he did his first multi pitch and his first rappel controling himself with me backing him up.
Cathedral Spires
Cathedral Spires
Credit: mike m
Gill arrow on Flying Buttress.
Gill arrow on Flying Buttress.
Credit: mike m
Spot on Flying Buttress where the Gill problem is located.
Spot on Flying Buttress where the Gill problem is located.
Credit: mike m
Hiking up to Spire 4 with the Freaks Foot behind us.
Hiking up to Spire 4 with the Freaks Foot behind us.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
100 ft chimney to start the route.
100 ft chimney to start the route.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Writing in the summit register
Writing in the summit register
Credit: mike m
Nice view on top can you guess which one is Eyetooth
Nice view on top can you guess which one is Eyetooth
Credit: mike m
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Nov 14, 2010 - 08:36pm PT
A little cool in Grizzly Bear Creek
A little cool in Grizzly Bear Creek
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Looonnnggg runout on Kid Sister
Looonnnggg runout on Kid Sister
Credit: mike m
Did some climbing in Grizzly Bear Creek and the Playground this weekend with a good crew. We did Yellow Devil, Kid Sister, Mopsie, Owly, Cowly, Wren Nest, Long John Silver, and some others that I can't remember the name of.
Long John Silver, a piton at 10ft, a sling on the shoulder at 25 feet ...
Long John Silver, a piton at 10ft, a sling on the shoulder at 25 feet then nothing for 35 feet to the summit.
Credit: mike m
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Nov 14, 2010 - 08:43pm PT
Kid Sister
Kid Sister
Credit: mike m
Long John Silver
Long John Silver
Credit: mike m
Captain...or Skully

Big Wall climber
leading the away team, but not in a red shirt!
Nov 14, 2010 - 08:50pm PT
That's a sweet bunch of pics, Mike!
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2010 - 11:09pm PT
Love the posts Mike. Given the addition of titanium in our house, only one trip was made to the Needles this year - and it was for a single day. BrassNuts went with a friend.

Next year.... Until then, these photos rock!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Feb 17, 2011 - 01:57pm PT
Just wanted to share some great areial photos taken by Andrew busse who is a hllecopter piolot in the guard and is writing a new guidbook to the Mt Rushmore area that will include a huge area and a massive amount of stone. These photos give you a good idea of the huge resourse available to climbers in the SouthernBlack Hills.
Photo by Andrew Busse
Photo by Andrew Busse
Credit: mike m
Photo by Andrew Busse
Photo by Andrew Busse
Credit: mike m
Photo by Andrew Busse
Photo by Andrew Busse
Credit: mike m
The book will have photos by the well know climbing photographer Andrew Burr and will cover a lot of obscure areas that were documented in Touch the Sky in 1980 but with little real way to find them. They have researched this ifno maticulously and have devised a system to make it much easier to find what you are looking for in a very complex area. Here is a link to his site on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Black-Hills-Rock-Climbing-Guidebook-Vol-1-Harney-Peak-Southeast/102014433195714

The rocks in these photos can be upwards of 400 ft so as you can see there is a lot of potential.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Feb 17, 2011 - 02:45pm PT
Just a few more from the area taken about 2 weeks after Sturgis this last year.

Credit: ydpl8s
Credit: ydpl8s
Credit: ydpl8s
Jeremy

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Feb 17, 2011 - 02:48pm PT
WANNA GO SO BAD BUMP!!!!!
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 17, 2011 - 02:57pm PT
Oh, this is just what the doctor ordered. My feet feel tingly just looking at these. Thanks!
Bobert

Trad climber
boulder, Colorado
Feb 22, 2011 - 01:28pm PT
If I had to pick a favorite rock climbing area, it would be the Needles near Sylvan Lake. I like everything about it. Some people whine about the tourists, but I have been able to successfully ignore them. They are harmless and don't venture very far from the road.
The climbing is spectacular and steep, mostly on crystals, and tests your ability to trad climb. Protection is mostly hand-drilled bolts (many of which are old and too small to begin with).
Paul Muehl, one of the area's pioneers, guarded the area like one of his children. Bolts were to be hand-drilled on the lead. That means its very challenging to put in new routes. Actually its very challenging to repeat the old ones since bolts are often few and far between due to the difficulty of placing them.
So far, the area has not been reduced to thousands of rap-bolted sport climbs. I like rap-bolted sport climbs, but I also really like at least one place in the world that requires a leader to climb with total commitment.
The Indians were rumored to consider the place one of great "medicine". I always feel something like that when I am there.
And the spirit of Paul Muehl seems to be floating around. Sometimes I imagine seeing him perched on top of one of the pinnacles and can hear his sardonic chuckle in the distance. I still automatically look for his old white pickup driving up to the parking lot.
Bob Culp
Bobert

Trad climber
boulder, Colorado
Feb 22, 2011 - 02:07pm PT
Rich,
I just read your account of the first of Needle's Eye. Classic story and really takes me back there. My palms were sweating just thinking about it.
Paul took me up that climb on my first trip to the Needles. I still remember trying to figure out reasonable moves near the top above that manky old pin. When I got up I asked him "How hard is that anyway?" He replied "I think Goldstone called it 5.8." Then he added with a little snort "Needles 5.8."
Anyway I know I'm in Needles climbing shape when I can lead that one without freaking out.
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
Feb 22, 2011 - 02:45pm PT
Did one trip, totally memorable.

I remember the rock is like concrete with broken shards of glass mixed in.

Crimper is right... all ya gotta do is brush up against it and you'll know it.

Love the scenery there and the pins... beautiful, wanna go back.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Feb 22, 2011 - 02:50pm PT
Bob, thanks for the perspective. I did your route on Hallet's a couple of years ago and it reminded me a lot of climing in the needles. Sort of a macro version on East Gruesome. No extra bolts on those routes.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:42pm PT
Got over to the needles to do a little ice climbing.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Found a nice hand crack after climbing some easy ice on Elkhorn Peak
Found a nice hand crack after climbing some easy ice on Elkhorn Peak
Credit: mike m
Honey Bear Falls
Honey Bear Falls
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Walked by Pratt's Crack on the closed road on the way to the falls
Walked by Pratt's Crack on the closed road on the way to the falls
Credit: mike m
Offwidth crack that had a ribbon of ice at the back that looked like y...
Offwidth crack that had a ribbon of ice at the back that looked like you could protect it with 4's and 5's
Credit: mike m
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 13, 2011 - 11:47pm PT
BBBRrrrrrr! Cool stuff.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Mar 13, 2011 - 11:50pm PT
Weschrist, tried to see why they put the smith rock pic up but could not find anyone that would claim the site. "Contact us" just sent you to advetisors. Lame.

Crimpie, I wanted to rock climb but too cold. It was fairly warm ice climbing though.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Apr 9, 2011 - 12:50pm PT
Its getting to be time. Mid 60s yesterday.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 2, 2011 - 07:44pm PT
nice looking stuff on Mt. Rushmore. Too bad it is off limits.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - May 2, 2011 - 07:49pm PT
It's cold here again. Warm climbing photos are good for the soul - thanks for posting. I've not climbed at Mt. Rushmore. Other good photos of what it's like?
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 2, 2011 - 11:32pm PT
The bottom of Dire Spire, has some very beautiful rock
The bottom of Dire Spire, has some very beautiful rock
Credit: mike m
Area of White House Wall probably some of the tallest cliffs in the Ne...
Area of White House Wall probably some of the tallest cliffs in the Needles Many good 3-4 pitch routes.
Credit: mike m
I believe this is the Monster Area
I believe this is the Monster Area
Credit: mike m
Old Baldy.  Lots of routes from 5.7-5.12.  Very good bouldering all ov...
Old Baldy. Lots of routes from 5.7-5.12. Very good bouldering all over its base on the Plateu it sits on.
Credit: mike m
Cool coridor in formation by the monument.
Cool coridor in formation by the monument.
Credit: mike m
Crimpie, tons of climbing by the monument and actually the Park is very climber friendly. No fee to climb in the park a nice free climbers campground with the toilet.There are probably around 1000 routes that have been done in the area. There is a new book coming out fairly soon that will cover everthing east of Harney Peak. There is an unlimited about of rock in this area with many many clasics. Many have been retro bolted and now have too many bolts IMO, but there is plenty of trad as well. Here is a trip report http://www.supertopo.com/tr/A-Short-Walk-with-Dingus-McGee/t10834n.html we did last year to do some old routes in the Mt. Rushmore area. There is an unbelievable abount of unclimbed rock in the backcountry. Seems as they were only try to bag the skinniest spires back in the day and there are a ton of granite that has barely been touched beacuse it has something other than a 5th class summit.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - May 2, 2011 - 11:34pm PT
Thanks. Sigh. Looking forward to it warming up so I'll move away from the fireplace and go outside. :)
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 16, 2011 - 12:12am PT
Got out hiking in the Balck Elk Wilderness behind Horsethief Lake on a cool day with the family a week ago. Too many spires don't know the names.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
May 16, 2011 - 01:31am PT
Is that trail up the draw where the creek comes into Horsethief open again?

A year and a half ago we went up to the Window and it was posted that the trail was closed.

Mike M,
I see your other thread about summit registers, there's one at the Window too.
Aya K

Trad climber
New York
May 16, 2011 - 01:42am PT
Glad to hear a new guidebook for Rushmore is coming out. Did a roadtrip out west last summer and we had a bit of trouble finding some stuff at some of the areas, although that kept it more adventurey and fun. The rock was just so cool, the big crystals and knobs and fins and stuff, all kinds of stuff I don't really see back east.

Only spent two days at the Needles, but met up with a bunch of cool local climber/guider who were really nice and super duper hospitable, and we made the most of our time. Learned that if you tell the breakfast sandwich woman in the concession by the lake that you're a climber, you get MEGA breakfast sandwiches.

The guidebook for Devil's Tower, the stupid one with the dumb cartoons and photos, is almost as bad as the one they recently did for the gunks. Gotta say, as soon as my hand heals up (surgery, still in a splint, I may be out for a while yet) I really want to get back out there. It was allll awesome, although the needles were maybe a little scary for me!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 29, 2011 - 06:18pm PT
It will certainly be warm today 102 in the shade.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 28, 2011 - 02:37am PT
Old Baldy.  Lots of routes from 5.7-5.12.  Very good bouldering all ov...
Old Baldy. Lots of routes from 5.7-5.12. Very good bouldering all over its base on the Plateu it sits on.
Credit: mike m
Hung out at the free climber campgroung and took the family up to Old Baldy. It was nice in the shade.
We made a hillbilly hammock out of our old blue tarp.
We made a hillbilly hammock out of our old blue tarp.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Nice crack on Baldy
Nice crack on Baldy
Credit: mike m
Jack got out a little.
Jack got out a little.
Credit: mike m
Going up the fourth class route on Baldy
Going up the fourth class route on Baldy
Credit: mike m
sweet gulleys toward the top
sweet gulleys toward the top
Credit: mike m
awesome bouldering to top out on bomber rock in an unreal setting
awesome bouldering to top out on bomber rock in an unreal setting
Credit: mike m
Spires
Spires
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Pot hole on top of blady
Pot hole on top of blady
Credit: mike m
Thing living in the pot hole how it got there I do not know
Thing living in the pot hole how it got there I do not know
Credit: mike m
Heading out
Heading out
Credit: mike m
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 16, 2011 - 12:20am PT
Is there, currently any sort of up to date bouldering guide to the needles? .pdf would be ideal.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Sep 30, 2011 - 12:48pm PT
I don't think there is Jaybro, but Mountain Project has some stuff on it I believe. The best thing to do is just hike up to Old Baldy(big dome on the hill behind Mount Rushmore) and there is a lot of really good problems on the plateu at its base.
Lander Turkey Shoot
Lander Turkey Shoot
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 30, 2011 - 01:28pm PT
Beautiful place. It's been tooooo looooooong. Thanks for keeping alive this terrific thread Mike M.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Nov 28, 2011 - 02:46pm PT
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Not the Needles but Spearfish Canyon can be surprisingly warm in the winter. Had three 60ish degree days last week. Sunshine Wall is about 2 miles long and south facing that heats up very nicely when everything else is cold. About 100 routes in this area.http://www.mountainproject.com/v/sunshine/105868936
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 15, 2012 - 08:59pm PT
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
It was supposed to be in the 50's today, but still some fat ice to be had on the north side of Harney Peak.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Mar 22, 2012 - 01:34am PT
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
80+degrees but belaying off the ice. Warm and cold climbing in the needles.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 22, 2012 - 10:32am PT
Jealous!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 22, 2012 - 12:06pm PT
Great thread folks!

mike m-Nice shots and lots of them!

More Needles nonsense here...

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=424115&msg=1710149#msg1710149
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 6, 2012 - 01:16am PT
It has been almost two years since getting to Sylvan Lake. This place oozes with history and adventure.
Outer Outlet with Vertigo to the left
Outer Outlet with Vertigo to the left
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
The classic 4 Little Fishies on Aquarium 4 bolts in 165 feet
The classic 4 Little Fishies on Aquarium 4 bolts in 165 feet
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Climbers on Heck of a Note
Climbers on Heck of a Note
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Rummor has it that the pledge of allegence was led by NIC from the summit of the Thimble with a flag draped below to an audience of hundreds who all joined in on the 4th.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 16, 2012 - 02:37pm PT
Got back again yesterday but it was very warm and we did not get a lot done but did do some good reconnasence(?).
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Great views of the Cathedral Spires from the Picket Fence.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 16, 2012 - 07:31pm PT
Anyone know what the name of the thin curved spire in the center of the last photo I posted. It is on the north side of the cathedral spire group maybe in the Spire 8 area or something.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 30, 2012 - 09:57am PT
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 19, 2013 - 09:18pm PT
Got up to estes creek to day for the first time rock climibng in a couple of months. Had to be 60 in the sun late in the afternoon. Really nice once you got there but thought I was going to get stuck on the way up the steep snowy road that goes up the north side of the mountain on the way in.
Credit: mike m
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Jan 19, 2013 - 09:40pm PT
Mike, that's eyetooth.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 19, 2013 - 09:44pm PT
Eyetooth is farther south this is north of spire seven and possibly the spire eight group. Don't know the area very well.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 19, 2013 - 11:28pm PT
Definitely not the Eyetooth, which appears in the middle of the previous picture Mike posted and is just East of Spire 4 and right on the Northern rampart of the Cathedrals.

I think it's the Bayonet, which Piana describes as "a blade-like rib in the Eight-Nine notch." I remember doing a short but sweet 5.9 Kamps route on it BITD. There's also something called the Spike nearby with a 5.8 Gill solo route, but I don't think that what we're looking at in Mike's picture.
jogill

climber
Colorado
Jan 19, 2013 - 11:36pm PT
I think it's the Bayonet

Yep, I think so. Ray Schrag and I did the 2nd ascent, after Kamps. I was wearing shorts and spent some time face climbing the crack leading to the upper part to save my skin. I wasn't very enthusiastic about cracks.

;>)
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 20, 2013 - 11:35pm PT
Cracks I like. Run out face not so much. Seems like better gear when there is cracks. bayonette it is I will try to find it this spring or summer.
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 20, 2013 - 11:36pm PT
I was just thinking about this thread last night. In bed with the crud and thinking of warm, beautiful climbing.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 21, 2013 - 01:44am PT
Cracks I like. Run out face not so much. Seems like better gear when there is cracks. bayonette it is I will try to find it this spring or summer.

A few crack climbs that I remember liking:

Nick of Time, Outer Outlet

Sore Thumb

Kamps Crack, Bell Tower

Wavy Crack, Empire State Building

Kamps Route, Edison Memorial
jopay

climber
so.il
Jan 21, 2013 - 07:31am PT
A friend tells a story of climbing in the Needles, and apparently one of the "Pins" is close to a parking lot, and his partner is climbing one and getting a bit sketched out, all the while being watched by a couple of tourists and at one point the lady leans over to the husband and asks do you think we should move the car?
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 21, 2013 - 11:15am PT
I don't think there is any parking under a climbing route in the Tenpins. Maybe under Sandberg Peak? But you can park right underneath the route on the Needle's Eye, and moving the car might be a good idea; on the first ascent back in 1964 I nailed a car with a broken foothold. Full story, complete with an early version of the Supertopo boob fetish, at http://www.supertopo.com/tr/The-First-Ascent-of-the-Needles-Eye/t222n.html.
Vegasclimber

Trad climber
Las Vegas, NV.
Jan 21, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
Still love all the shots in this thread. Someday, I have to visit there...
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 27, 2013 - 09:31pm PT
Credit: mike m
Climbed all weekend as the temps were very nice. Even camped with the 6 year old. Poor owl as we found out after this picture had a broken wing. Called the GFP to see if they could save it.
Steve Hickman

climber
Norwood, CO
Jan 29, 2013 - 10:54pm PT
Re the Needles- - is Wren Fenton still around?
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 30, 2013 - 11:26am PT
It's Renn, and no, he died a October 1, 2007 (I think). I think there is a memorial plaque for him somewhere at Sylvan Lake.

Some info:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/455478/Renn-Fenton
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Apr 21, 2013 - 11:23am PT
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
OK it wasn't warm. It was kind of the Cat's Me-ouch.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 5, 2013 - 11:19pm PT
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Great day with Jack in the Needles.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 5, 2013 - 11:47pm PT
Wow that tirst date in the register is exactly one month before I was born!

I'd watch out for some of them South Dakotans though, they seem like a quirky bunch;

Credit: Dingus McGee
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
May 6, 2013 - 12:06am PT
So Mike, you guys were the fourth ascent and the first one in 38 years? Cool!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
May 6, 2013 - 12:21am PT
Rich, no there are about maybe 6 or 8 ascents with maybe 20 people or so in the register. Those were only the first two pages, but I think this is probably the first Conn register I have seen in 20 plus years of climbing there. It was a really great route and someone took the time to put a really nice register up there with the original and a new one. Really cool day though.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 11, 2013 - 11:27pm PT
On top of Woodpecker Ridge
On top of Woodpecker Ridge
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
The Scab
The Scab
Credit: mike m
Another Jogill masterpiece I can't do.
Another Jogill masterpiece I can't do.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Orc Cave
Orc Cave
Credit: mike m
Camp Remington Road
Camp Remington Road
Credit: mike m
Have been doing a lot of exploring and desperately but feudally been throwing myself at some John Gill problems while the kids play on the beach. Have done some bouldering but with Jack's bum ankle not much roped climbing. It has been really nice in the needles this year and a strong crew of locals have been putting up a bunch of new route in ground up and hand drilling when bolts are needed.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jun 12, 2013 - 01:02am PT
I'm sure John Gill would be highly amused to see someone throw themselves
at one of his problems feudally. Would that be with a lance or a mace?
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 12, 2013 - 01:30am PT
I guess spell check doesn't fix everything, but even with those tools I am sure I could stick that crimp.
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Jun 12, 2013 - 01:34am PT
Mike, nice to see that pic of that wall up the trail from Camp Remington. I've put up a half dozen solo routes on that wall. I'll have to get my pics out of the two walls in that area. When your going down into Remminton, and go to the second bridge crossing in Camp Remington, park there and walk up past the cabin on the left side and there's a really sweet canyon with a small creek, really narrow bottom with rock on both sides for the first 1/4 mile or so. Fun place to explore. If you walk it all the way it hits the trail (old road) up past where your pick is. Not talking about Monkey gulch either, few see this one.


Have you done the Remington needle there yet. I ticked that one off my Conn list about 15 years ago. In the 70's you could drive up that road (wilderness trail), but back then I was into the Needles area on over to Elkhorn and Horse Thief. We used to get fire wood up there, still kicking myself for not spending more time in that area back then. Trying to make up for it in the last 10 years or so, one of my most favorite places in the hills.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 12, 2013 - 10:08am PT
Johnboy, seems like a great area. Just did a lot of hiking and some bouldering, but would love to do some routes. Let me know if you would like to get out there sometime. Mike
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 3, 2013 - 02:26pm PT
I just posted some climb recommendations in response to a query on MP; perhaps some of these would interest folks here. I posted images of Herb Conn's maps and tried to indicate where the recommended routes begin. See http://www.mountainproject.com/v/heading-to-needlesrushmore-sd-for-a-week---recommendations/108223601#a_108224112 .
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jul 3, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
Credit: Gregory Crouch

Wonderful times in the Needles in the late '80s and early '90s.

Can't believe it has been almost exactly 20 years since I last climbed there.

I soloed Four Little Fishies on my way out. Haven't been back. Kinda breaks my heart. Some of my very best climbing memories.

What the hell happened to all the trees? Those damn beetles?
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
Yeah, Pine Bark Beetles. Untreated areas especially were devastated:



What the picture doesn't show is that inside the park, in order to control infection, they've cut down something like 175,000 trees.

Behind Rushmore looking up to Harney Peak



Picket Fence before:



Picket Fence after:



Stripped like this, some of the mystery of the place is gone...
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jul 3, 2013 - 05:39pm PT
Holy. Sh#t,
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jul 3, 2013 - 07:50pm PT
Thanks for the memories, posters. I had the privilege of climbing there with Bob Kamps for several summers in the 60's.

Just for fun, here's an old photo of me on a FA there. Tiki is near the reservoir I believe and I think my partner was Dick Laptad. Could find the date if I leafed through an old diary, but who cares about dates. The place and climbing experiences there are timeless anyhow.

First ascent of Tiki, Tom Higgins, pretty long ago
First ascent of Tiki, Tom Higgins, pretty long ago
Credit: LongAgo
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 3, 2013 - 09:41pm PT
Tom's ascent of Tiki was August 22, 1966 with Dick Laptad and Bob Kamps. This 5.8 route was surpassed the next day by when Tom made the first ascent of the 5.9 Pooper Pin with Vivian Mendenhall and Dick Laptad.

Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Jul 4, 2013 - 02:52am PT
I LOVED those forests. Seeing that is way more heartbreaking than missing the last 20 years.

Scott "Vice" Van Orman and I spent a year sharing a surveying job that needed 5th class climbers to mark the boundary of the Black Elk Wilderness. (A few of the corners were on 5th class summits.) Each of us did two of the four 10-hour days the crew worked every week. $7 per hour, and a joy, every day. Great gig. I'm shocked to see those massive swaths of devastation. Depressing.
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jul 5, 2013 - 08:06pm PT
Thanks Rich for the date.

I should translate my old hand scrawled diary into digital form and load onto the cloud so if no when the next big earthquake hits the SF Bay Area and knocks our house down I can still reference the old climbs in posts on supertopo. I mean, what else to do after all I own is gone, presuming I'm still alive?

But as long as I am alive, I'll remember days in the Needles as I'm sure you will too.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 5, 2013 - 10:04pm PT
I have climbed there my whole climbing life and the place will not be same in my lifetime. Lost a little charm but at least the rocks are mostly the same. The north side of harney is devistated. A forest of 40ft stumps with the crowns of the trees sitting like 30 ft diameter tumbleweeds everywhere you look.
MisterE

Social climber
Jul 6, 2013 - 12:16am PT
There is an interesting little
psychological game
that tears at the sensibilities
climbing in the Needles.

The first is that the crystals
feel slippery to the hands
and yet get surprisingly good purchase
with the feet.

But the mind is tricked, initially -
what feels slippery to the hands
MUST be slippery to the feet.

The stretch of trust is extended
by the extra layer the feet have
between the rock and flesh.

The second BIG DEAL is
(the already mentioned)
laceration potential
for even the most minor of falls
(or brushing against the rock even).

The combination of these things
is firstly terrifying
and secondly humiliating.
Nohea

Trad climber
Living Outside the Statist Quo
Jul 6, 2013 - 04:19am PT
Great threat OP! Aloha

Mr. Gold very good stuff.

Thanks all, this was an enjoyable view and read.

"And miles to go before I sleep"

mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 20, 2013 - 12:41pm PT
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Wyorockman and myself got out for several pitches in CSP after going up to old baldy and getting rained out.
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Bighorns
Jul 20, 2013 - 11:51pm PT
Thanks for the tour Mike! Can't wait to go back.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Sep 2, 2013 - 10:19pm PT
Loading up for a possible new route on the Prince
Loading up for a possible new route on the Prince
Credit: mike m
"Little Trad Corvette" on the Prince
"Little Trad Corvette" on the Prince
Credit: mike m
Jack leading it up on Better Pool than Pie
Jack leading it up on Better Pool than Pie
Credit: mike m
Spent the last four days in the needles. Beautiful weather and good company. Labor Day signals the beginning the best season for climbing in the Hills. Few people, crisp weather, sticky rock and low gravity.
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Sep 2, 2013 - 11:20pm PT
Labor Day signals the beginning the best season for climbing in the Hills. Few people, crisp weather, sticky rock and low gravity.

Spot on.
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
Sep 3, 2013 - 11:41am PT
Jack slinging the horns! Fantastic!
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Sep 3, 2013 - 11:41am PT
Name me a spot in the lower 48 for which that isn't true.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 3, 2013 - 12:02pm PT
Oh yeah! New route, Wyde in a needles vernacular!
Was there a couple weeks ago.
Nathan the route that Jack sent (I think), Chasbro on one to'the left, euro guy on slightly harder one left of that
Credit: Jaybro
Note, Chazbro' vintage eguipage!
Credit: Jaybro
( Elin, his daughter/ my oldest niece belaying...)
Credit: Jaybro
Vintage JRat harness with matching Skeletor chalk bag!
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Sep 3, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
Great place and great thread. Here are a couple from Mt Rushmore last month,



mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Dec 15, 2013 - 08:54pm PT
I don't know if it was warm for you all but since it was 75 degrees warmer than last week it felt warm to me. So we had a ice climbing, rock climbing, and skiing sunday.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Captain...or Skully

climber
Dec 15, 2013 - 10:33pm PT
Pretty fricken cool, that.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 24, 2013 - 11:11pm PT
Mike M, are you familiar with this artist?
Credit: Jaybro
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Dec 24, 2013 - 11:26pm PT
Who is it?
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 24, 2013 - 11:33pm PT
Richard Dubois
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Dec 24, 2013 - 11:47pm PT
Yes I do know him. He is a retired bhsu professor. Also the name of the formation in front of the car is picture rock. Jack and I did it earlier this year. The ten pins are in the background. Was it a Christmas present? I got a framed picture of the tower.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 25, 2013 - 04:33pm PT
Yeah Chazbro got it for Christmas. Cool stuff, I understand he has a lot of other local subjects.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 26, 2014 - 09:19pm PT
Honeybear which is by the "Sex Cave" by Sylvan Lake
Honeybear which is by the "Sex Cave" by Sylvan Lake
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Harney Flow or "Nelson Creek?"
Harney Flow or "Nelson Creek?"
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
Jack and I climbed and camped in the needles all weekend climbing most of the needles ice. This included Honney Bear, Harney Flow, and the Elk Horn flow. Jack got to solo lots of easy ice. We camped in the cave above Little Devils Tower parking lot. Some of you may have hung out there back in the day. It is a great site but the forest is either been killed by beetles or cut down by loggers. The walking is not pleasant. It will never look the same in my or my sons lifetime.
Credit: mike m
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jan 27, 2014 - 05:52pm PT
One thing not shown or mentioned is the incredible devistation of the forest. It will not be the same for a long time. The whole north side of Harney is a forest of broken trees. What hasn't been killed by the beatles and boken off 40 feet up the trunk by the wind has been logged heavily. We were in major wind all weekend I know many more thousands of Trees broke off. Many are stacked like pixie sticks and have made getting around much tougher. I guess it will be a true wilderness. Not sure what this means but if you have not been there in the last 10 years you would find the chages sureal.

You can deffinately see the Rock and Routes better now but the approaches are much harder if you get away from the road due to the tree hopping.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 22, 2014 - 10:46am PT
Credit: mike m
Got out with Jack last week at Mt. Rushmore. Beautiful morning and there was only one car when we got there at 9:30am. A place with around a 1000 routes and many many classic moderate long clip ups. Waves is about 160ft with about 14 bolts at sustained and varied climbing on dikes and crystals at about 5.8.
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
Jun 22, 2014 - 04:59pm PT
Nice one Mike! One of my faves! T- one month!
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Jun 22, 2014 - 09:10pm PT
I absolutely love the Needles. Had a bad experience one time though. Came back to camp to find one tent missing(and everything in it). The thieves went into my tent and sifted through the stuff they wanted and stole selectively. We ended up losing about $2000 in gear(cook set,headlamps,sleeping bag,tent,etc.). The guy next to us got even more screwed. The really suck part was that we are sure it was climbers. I know,I know our fault... The day before,when we came back from climbing, a couple guys from Ft. Collins were milling around our site and acted shocked when we pulled in. They were shopping. The next day our stuff was gone and so were the Ft. Collins dudes. Sorry,thread drift. But,if you thieves are reading this-there is a special place in hell reserved for you. End of rant. :-)
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 22, 2014 - 10:08pm PT
Bummer capt. Where were you camped? Not too many free areas left. Pay sights Are usually pretty safe.
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Jun 22, 2014 - 10:18pm PT
Mike-Yeah,I'm not too bummed about it anymore.Just had to tell my tale.We were at that place right past Rushmore Needles. I bet it's not free anymore though,is it? Super cool to walk to the Rushmore areas and the bouldering was also pretty cool. I seriously considered moving to Rapid.I love that place.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 23, 2014 - 07:01am PT
There is still free camping at Mt Rushmore at wrinkled rock. It is patrolled by the rangers quite often as they have lots of officers and little territory. .
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
Jun 23, 2014 - 07:10am PT
Stayed at Wrinkled rock last summer, great tent pads. Bummer about your gear Capt. That happened to us up East Rosebud one time. Tweakers probably in that case. They took everything.

Back to Needles climbing. I can't wait to get back there, luckily only have to wait until the end of next month.

Tent Peg?
Tent Peg?
Credit: WyoRockMan
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Jun 23, 2014 - 09:57am PT
Wyo-Buzzkill on your theft situation too. To me it was the feeling of being violated more than the gear loss.
But yeah,back on topic-Tent Peg is awesome.Have a framed pic on my wall of it. I think I've actually done it like four times. One time Sturgis was goin' on and all these Harley folks kept stopping on the road below us and pointing. It was quite fun and funny! :-)
DWB

climber
Madison
Jun 24, 2014 - 08:33pm PT
Spire One, cathedral spires, custer state park, south dakota.  Summit ...
Spire One, cathedral spires, custer state park, south dakota. Summit shot, from spire 2.
Credit: DWB
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jun 24, 2014 - 08:49pm PT
Wow . . . what happened to the nice thick forests I remember from 50 years ago?


;>(
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 24, 2014 - 08:57pm PT
They cut all the trees down to save the forest.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jun 24, 2014 - 09:16pm PT
Mountain Pine Beetle infestations. Infested trees have to be removed. Forest has to be thinned to allow for healthier tree growth.

It will be generations before it looks like it did when we were there John.



Since this picture from 2009 lots of trees had to be removed from Custer State Park. Edit: in view of Mike's comment below, make that "were removed."

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/blackhills/landmanagement/?cid=stelprdb5113978

mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 24, 2014 - 09:44pm PT
I think some of the trees would have survived.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jun 25, 2014 - 05:09am PT
"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot"

Well not really. It's the Beatles invasion, but I couldn't resist....

It's Truly a changed place!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 25, 2014 - 06:13am PT
Take that picture today and a lot of the green will be gone. As they cut them down. Machines have driven all over next to the needles highway and many trees are laying chunked and laying on the forest floor in huge piles of rotting timber. Which is worse? I am not sure, but the place doesn't seem as special anymore. A match would have worked better.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jun 25, 2014 - 08:53am PT
Station13 nine years ago


Station 13 now
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 25, 2014 - 12:10pm PT
Credit: mike m
crazy horse right now.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 13, 2014 - 01:38pm PT
Credit: mike m
Got into the Cathedral Spires yesterday with WYOrockman and his buddy. Always thought this was the Wild Man Traverse but unsure.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 13, 2014 - 02:27pm PT
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jan Conn in the company of Paul Piana. In the course of preparing for this interview I came across this wonderful book authored by Lindsay Stephens specifically about the routes done by Herb and Jan Conn during their time actively climbing here from 1947 on.



Fred and Heidi Knapp published this wonderful guidebook through Sharp End Publishing and they were gracious enough to hand me a copy so I would like to promote this book to those of you that love the Needles and the unique climbing and history that this powerful place has to offer. Herb and Jan Conn established over 215 free climbs up to 5.8 in difficulty using an 80' rope and crepe-soled canvas boat shoes. They usually downclimbed from these airy summits occasionally leaving a piton to protect the moves.

Truly unique and unconventional folks and it was a delight to meet and get to know Jan after missing her last year when I traveled up with Bonnie Kamps after the Diamond Reflections event in Boulder.

More on Herb and Jan on the memorial thread for Herb.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=1740864&msg=2434385#msg2434385

Paul Piana says howdy to his friends here on the ST! We had a fun walk around in the drizzle after wrapping up the interview with Jan and sending her home with a strawberry-rhubarb pie from the classic pie shop in Custer.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 13, 2014 - 02:52pm PT
Did the Conn Route on Rubyatt(Spelling) a 5.8 that felt about 5.10 off the start of the second pitch. Lindsey's book has a lot of the maps handed down from guidebooks over the years so if you can't get touch the sky it is a good alternative and a good book in its own right.
Credit: mike m
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Jul 13, 2014 - 04:25pm PT
I was on Rubaiyat only once. I friend and I had just driven out from Georgia about 1957 - before the Interstate system - and I remember starting up that second pitch (a shallow chimney or crack?) and putting in a pin I think, threading into it and moving up many feet, then looking down aghast at the rope hanging free all the way to my friend. Apparently as I moved past the pin (bolt?) I had brushed against the karabiner and the rope slipped out. My friend was petrified and refused to go further, so I roped or climbed down somehow (I don't recall that part)and we got off the spire. That was to be our warm-up climb in the Needles!
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 13, 2014 - 05:37pm PT
John- Jan still remembers coming across your name solo in a few summit registers and wondering about just who this bold John Gill fellow was.

So few people climbing there BITD that evidence of traffic was conspicuous.

"Two cats in an untended fish market" by Herb's account with a lifetime's worth of first ascents ahead and dozens of miles in Jewel and Wind Caves after that.

I got to look at the Thimble again and thought of you crimping away on that lovely little fin.

Warmest Regards from the Black Hills.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jul 13, 2014 - 06:19pm PT
Down climbing the last move would certainly be exciting as it is off a ledge 150ft up. One thing about the beetle kill of the trees is that now you can see it very well.
Credit: mike m
Credit: mike m
I think this spire is often overlooked because it is so low on the hill. It is one of the bigger spires in the Needles with no easy 5th class route on it. This route checks in at about 300+feet with very sustained climbing.
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
Jul 14, 2014 - 12:58pm PT
What a place! So magical and mysterious. Thanks for the couple days of climbing Mike.

Lessons learned about CSP:

1) Not really the place to go "off the couch", unless you have really like the humble pie.

2) YDS system is different here. Instead of the hardest move dictating the grade of the pitch, the hardest move is discounted. If it is 5.8, that means most of the pitch is 5.8, minus the .10 moves.

3) Point 2 probably isn't true, but gees, it sure feels like it.
Messages 1 - 218 of total 218 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Trip Report and Articles
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews