Black Hills

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 357 of total 357 in this topic
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 29, 2014 - 09:31pm PT
I am curious as to why you all think that the Black Hills have hosted so many great climbers. From Fritz, to Kamps, to Robbins, to Bein, to Pratt, to Barber, McCarthy, to Gill, to Skinner and Piana, to Hong, to Becky, to.......


They all came to this backwater place full of rednecks and mystery to sample the towers and spires. They aren't the tallest or hardest, but many of the great climbers came here and left their mark. Sometimes I am baffled about the attraction, but am grateful that they came. There are no mountains here there are are no cities just some lonely hills and some great rocks, but there has to be more to it than just that. I have my own theories but I would like to know what others think.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 29, 2014 - 09:35pm PT
Cause it kicks ass?

And Harney Peak is the center of the universe
Byran

climber
San Jose, CA
Aug 29, 2014 - 09:57pm PT
Probably because you can belay from the bumper of your car. Climbers hate hiking.
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Aug 29, 2014 - 09:58pm PT
Maybe some of them came just to visit the Conns?


Is that a fairly recent pic of the Picket Fence?
Haven't been in the Cathedral Spires area for a while and was
wondering whats left for trees.
Byran

climber
San Jose, CA
Aug 29, 2014 - 10:23pm PT
No, here's a recent pic

johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Aug 29, 2014 - 10:27pm PT

Thanks, though sad to see.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Aug 29, 2014 - 11:39pm PT
I can't speak for any of the great climbers, but I can make some guesses. I think Fritz was the first climber to visit in 1936 and 1937. He wrote an article in Appalachia, predicting that the Needles would become a major U.S. climbing venue. Ha!

Fritz climbed Khayyam Spire in 1937. A young (I think teenage) Fred Beckey came along and, unaware of Fritz's free ascent, used two bolts of aid on the same route (or a variation of it). The short but steep bolted wall turned out to be 5.6 or 5.7, which Fritz would certainly have climbed without pro.

More articles on the Needles in Appalachia by Herb and Jan Conn followed in 1948 and 1953. I found these articles in the Geology Library at the University of Chicago while an undergraduate there and decided to visit, in 1963 I think. I became enamored of the place and made numerous return visits over the next ten years or so. Later, I brought McCarthy and talked up the place to Kevin Bein and Barbara Devine, who also fell in love with it and lived in Custer for a while.

I think the original draw of the Needles was that it lay on the route from points East to Devil's Tower and then the Tetons. (We've forgotten that for many years the Tetons were the epicenter of American climbing.) Once Herb and Jan Conn established themselves in the Needles, they became a focal point for visiting climbers heading West.

John Gill ended up visiting the Needles because they were the closest climbing area he had when he was in the Air Force and stationed in Montana. Gill was friendly with Kamps in the Tetons and I suspect that it would have been Gill who persuaded Bob and Bonnie to head East to the Needles. They in turn brought Mark and Beverly Powell and Dave Rearick and started the post-Conn era.

Edit: I got a note from Bonnie correcting me on part of this. Dave Rearick knew the Conns and he convinced Bob and Bonnie to visit the Needles. They met him there on their honeymoon in 1958.

My guess is that Pete Cleveland ended up in the Needles as a result of heading to the Tetons from Wisconsin, just as many others had done years before. Henry went out there because news of Pete's amazing ascent of Superpin traveled around the country.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Aug 30, 2014 - 12:06am PT
And don't forget, I started going there too when I heard it was fun.

Mike, I will be looking you up soon for a tour of Devils and the Needles. In truth I've been to each place just once, and of course I'm a nobody.

Arne
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 30, 2014 - 01:54am PT
Love to Arnie and Rich I know you're one of the greats that have climbed there as well. I very much appreciate your contributions. You very much were a pioneer in the area. I have been watching Honnold videos and I wonder if he could do all 89 Cathedral spires summits in one day. You would have to think he would love the area with all the history and the cool summits that are easy 5th class.

Any time Arne.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 30, 2014 - 02:04am PT
Didn't Fritz visit there shortly before he went to K2 and damn near summitted.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 30, 2014 - 02:54am PT
Before I read r golds nice piece I was going to say that it was on the way to the Tower and Tetons from the east.
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
Aug 30, 2014 - 06:57am PT
Aside from the wide variety of pegmatite textures and cool mineralogy, the biggest draw for me it the unquantifiable magic of the area.
The sheer number of independent features, each with their own character is very special. Perching on top of the skinny ones or lounging on top of large ones gaping at the micro ecosystems that reside there. Weisner and Conn whispering in your ear to quit being such a pussy, "it's only 5.8" they say.
The grading is a hoot. The current theory I'm using is unlike the YDS system, you take the hardest move and discard it. (Didn't we agree that route on Khayyam was a 5.8 with just a couple .10 moves?) A "5.0" on Picture Rock starts out with a 12' vertical 5" splitter.

It is a place to reset my ego and just enjoy the climbs for their native beauty and personal aesthetic. It's good for the soul.


edit: Didn't answer your question. Probably for the same reasons we all like it.
franky

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Aug 30, 2014 - 09:32am PT
The climbers come to see bear country USA and the reptile gardens. They climb on their tourist rest days.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Aug 30, 2014 - 11:17am PT
There's what gets you there in the first place, and then there's what keeps you coming back, which is a bit different. WyoRockMan mentions the magic of the place, and I think he's right. Although things are small and compact, there is a maze-like quality to the area that seems truly unique. You can get (sort of) lost in an extremely small region. Everything looks different as soon as you move a little, and there are surprises around every bend. It isn't at all like the cliff-face or wall-and-arete structure of most climbing areas, it is more like a fantasy landscape from a movie or video game.

Then there are the climbs themselves. Real summits are, nowadays, a novelty for rock-climbing. And a number of climbs have "horizontal" as well as vertical exposure. The pinnacle is slender enough to curve away from you on both sides, leaving you feeling perched in midair, a sensation that isn't as intense on buttresses and walls.

I can't help feeling, from a distance, that the loss of the forest has taken some of the magic with it, since greater visibility leads to less mystery and makes it easier to anticipate what you will encounter. But the formations themselves endure, and what is gone is only known to those of us who were there when things were different.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 30, 2014 - 12:01pm PT
Yes the place is magcical! Those Tolkien names seem so natural and one expects to fine real Elfs in the woods and often feels the need to keep a sharp eye out for Orcs.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 30, 2014 - 12:48pm PT
Magic Ed

Trad climber
Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Aug 30, 2014 - 12:56pm PT
The Needles have always been one of my favorite all-time places to climb and camp and hang out.
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
Aug 30, 2014 - 12:58pm PT
A better question would be what good area hasn't hosted well known climbers in the US.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Aug 30, 2014 - 01:02pm PT
In the days before the internet articles in the Alpine journal and mountain mag carried a lot of weight.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 30, 2014 - 01:42pm PT
Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Aug 30, 2014 - 01:43pm PT
Well worded Wyo. Part of me still wishes I would've moved there. Oh well, Bishop ain't so bad. ;-) Also, doesn't a .75 fit in that slot on Gossamer? ;-)
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
Aug 30, 2014 - 01:44pm PT
A 1 is perfect there Capt. But when three of you forget a rack, options still exist!

(Schnikey! The Durrance is steep these days!)
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 30, 2014 - 07:31pm PT
Bryan, are you on top of Bartizan. Here are a few pictures I pulled off my Instagram acct. There is more to the Black Hills climbing than just the Needles and Devils Tower. There is probably almost a 1,000 limestone sport routes, quartzite routes and bouldering by Nemo, some great sandstone bouldering by Rapid City, Custer State Park, Newcastle, and Nemo, a few ice routes here and there, and sandstone routes scattered throughout.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Aug 30, 2014 - 10:00pm PT
Three shots of the Sore Thumb I don't think I've posted...




Bell Tower regular route...


West Face of the Outer Outlet (Storjohann Route) (Yeah, I shoulda placed a bit more pro, but there is some not visible in the OW, which is 5.8.)

mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 1, 2014 - 05:22pm PT
Nice shots Rich. I haven't done that one but definitely need to. Went for a hike with the family by Elk Horn Peak and took a few photos between downpours and hail. The new guide says there is only one route on this face which is well over 300ft in places. The middle shot is of Harney Peak.
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Sep 1, 2014 - 08:41pm PT
Remember the old picnic area there? Really torked me when they dozed that under. Use to park
there and do a bunch of climbing at Elkhorn Springs with my old partner. Used to be a real nice ice
fall there some winters where all the water came together from the upper bowl and spilled out down to the springs. Fun times. Did a lot of climbing all over Elkhorn back in the 80's. The wife got a real nice picture of a Nanny and her very young kid. Scared the begeebers out of that goat when we showed up 20 from her and blocking their only way out.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 2, 2014 - 06:19am PT
Don't think I know where the picnic area was. Certainly a cool area but the tree loss up there is as bad as it gets.
reason

Big Wall climber
Fort Collins Co
Sep 2, 2014 - 11:58am PT
Paul Piana owned a climbing Gym in Lander. We went to lunch once and when we got back to the gym he gave me a copy of new routes he just put up in the Black Hills. A very nice person.
dakotakid

Trad climber
Rochester Hills, MI
Sep 2, 2014 - 01:39pm PT
I grew up in the Black Hills in the '50's and 60's, and have spent a lot of time up and down the drainages. The amount of bug trees coupled with last October's storm has laid waste to a lot of the Black Elk Wilderness, especially up on the Elkhorn - Harney ridge, and back in the Upper Pine Creek area. It makes bushwhacking really really challenging, to say the least. Some of the major trails have deadfall on them as well.
That said, the area in Custer State Park (read tourist areas) has been logged, the trails rerouted in some instances, and the whole of it sanitized to a degree that I don't recognize it much. The understory is growing back though, and five years after the logging, is showing a beauty that was never visible before.



I haven't climbed in the Hills as much as I'd like, though. Growing up there, my father discouraged such activity. I occasionally listened to his advice, but enough that my buddy Eric and I mainly scrambled around on the rocks near Sylvan and Elkhorn. Elkhorn remains my favorite slab of granite in the Hills. I first attempted to climb it when I was fifteen, by myself, on 40 year-old beta from my aunt Ellen, who then told me not to try it.




I have fond memories of getting stuck in the Spire Four Wormhole. My cuz HJ and I ran into George Hurley and friends at the belay point there, both parties having a completely enjoyable day in the Spires.

Tried to get up Spire Three, which is one of the prettiest of the Spires, but my flatland legs wouldn't take me up the second pitch. There's always next time.

hogger

Trad climber
great plains
Sep 2, 2014 - 06:13pm PT
Nice pic of the Pickets, thanks Byran. It's a mystery to me. No reason for anyone to climb here, much better areas all along the left coast,in Colorado and desert southwest. Not to mention those uncivilized backwater rednecks can be kinda scary.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 2, 2014 - 07:29pm PT
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Sep 2, 2014 - 08:02pm PT
About halfway between Palmer Gulch and Horse Thief Lake on the south side there's a small meadow, the picnic tables and (stone built) bathrooms were in the back of the half moon shaped road off 244. If you have google earth you can still see the old road for the pinic area. From the picnic area just walk south up past the springs to the very east end of Elkhorn Rock, was a short walk to the frozen falls and up the center of the massive rock that is Elkhorn Springs. I never carried a camera but the wife has a few picks from the times I took her up there.

I'll have more time next month and will start posting some of the many pics she's taken.
Elkhorn, Remmington Wall, Remington Spire, the Window area, up Grizzly Creek and a number of limestone cliffs in some of the higher country.

mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 2, 2014 - 09:37pm PT
I know exactly where you are talking about now. I always thought it was an old foundation to a house or something. The falls is up the hill on the right. I did it with my son this year. The downfall getting to the falls is terrible.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 2, 2014 - 09:54pm PT
Found some pictures of Jack on the flow earlier this year.Here is a little ice outside of spearfish we play on.A shot from skiing Crow Peak in the AM of Bear Butte behind Spearfish. A mountain sacred to many tribes.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 3, 2014 - 08:50am PT
Sylvan LakeDalton Lake area limestone boulder.
this just in

climber
north fork
Sep 3, 2014 - 09:04am PT
Thanks for all the pics, I have always wanted to visit the area and not just for the climbing.

The picket fence looks like a Dr Seuss creation.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 3, 2014 - 08:47pm PT
A couple of shots from Sunshine Wall in Spearfish Canyon.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 3, 2014 - 09:18pm PT
Strawberry HillSpire 4 in the Cathedral SpiresEyetooth and Spire 5 massif from the top of Spire 4Spire 1,2, Khayyam, and RubaiyatBoxelder Forks
hogger

Trad climber
great plains
Sep 4, 2014 - 06:27am PT
Thanks for all the great pics Mike, looking forward to more. The last 15' of friction on Eyetooth are probably the craziest 15' of climbing I've ever done. Never seen that cantilevered block before, is that in the Canyon area somewhere?
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 4, 2014 - 08:19am PT
Estes Creek Bouldering by Nemo, SDSpearfish Canyon
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 4, 2014 - 11:34am PT
FA of a nice little roof crack on some Quartzite in the Nemo area several years back.Estes CreekOakaton, SD just outside of the Black HillsSandstone by Hulet, WYSkiing in the Bear Lodge just outside of Sundance, WY
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 4, 2014 - 07:18pm PT
Spearfish SpireCave in Elk CreekBike party on top of Crow PeakFall the Bear Lodge
this just in

climber
north fork
Sep 4, 2014 - 07:21pm PT
Great shots Mike!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 5, 2014 - 08:28am PT
Camping by boxelder creekBlack Elk WildernessThe tower
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 5, 2014 - 09:35pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 6, 2014 - 07:12am PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 7, 2014 - 05:33am PT
sunrise this morning at south seas
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 7, 2014 - 06:39am PT
Later this morning
franky

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Sep 7, 2014 - 09:50am PT


Random photos from the last few weeks at wind cave NP.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 7, 2014 - 09:53am PT
Keep the eye candy coming Mike!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 7, 2014 - 12:11pm PT
Modern Man behind Elkhorn Peak. A route started by Kevin Bein who got it to 3/4 height and finished by Eric Hansen in 2011. One of the last spires of difficulty summited. It goes at 5.12 on the right side of the formation.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 7, 2014 - 02:50pm PT
wrinkled rock the free climbers campground at Rushmore. Monster area.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Sep 7, 2014 - 04:02pm PT
Summits
Better weather than Tetons if storms were coming in.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Sep 7, 2014 - 05:04pm PT
I have been working on a story about my visits...
I am so stuck ...

I feel that to write about the magic properly I have to get back there
with my family to see it through the eyes of my kids and soak in the vibes.

.... just love the place, was 1st there in 81 just before Barb & Kevin arrived.
Some of the locals (got to spell the names right ...Mehue?) mistook Dana H. and I for the mighty pair and made off with our entire camp leaving a cryptic note. (a joke that made no sense to us)

It is hard to explain the feelings that we had, having driven so far and being fed up with gunks jokes like raiding our camp, sand bagging and the rest, all very much a part of coming up as better than just good climbers at the time, (include ultimate Cow pie lightning bolt pile of choss sandbag story)

We wanted to stretch our wings in our own right, without any shadows of greatness. That’s why we had hit the road to the backwaters not the limelights such as the valley or the Diamond. Dana was more than a bit pissed at the camp raid and it took him a bit to join in the fun. ... We were treated to wild game bbQ and the best locals tour of the magic kingdom ...

It needs a lot of inspired work. There is so much about every visit to tell. Much of it does not resonate with the current gym/number sprayers... the place is magic I tell you just magic. Equinox ! ! !
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
Sep 7, 2014 - 05:59pm PT
Speaking of magical, what in the name of physics is going on at the Cosmos Mystery Area?


And the summits. They're all unique.


(I would prefer the whole area to be wilderness, but it's not...)
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 7, 2014 - 06:00pm PT
guess it was a day of rainbows around here. This was couple minutes ago back in Spearfish after my daughter woke me up from my nap coming in yelling there was a double rainbow almost as excited as the guy on the viral video. One more from this morning without inhabited color.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 8, 2014 - 09:31am PT
Playground(I think)One Way Sunset DTBear Lodge AspensHeading home
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 8, 2014 - 08:57pm PT
Skiing Mt. Rooseveldt
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2014 - 07:59am PT
Swallow cliff cave has some nice ice bouldering on the inside.Crow Peak from a sub peak to the north.It is supposed to snow this week. Can't help but smile.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 9, 2014 - 04:49pm PT
First pitch of McCarthy West FaceMissouri ButtesWay Layed
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 10, 2014 - 08:43am PT
From around Spearfish.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 10, 2014 - 04:58pm PT
Climbing the Goldstone-Kamps on the west side of on the West Side of Spire 4 in the Cathedral SpiresTake a few big pieces for the second pitch.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 10, 2014 - 05:43pm PT
supposed to snow several inches tonight, but about a year ago on Oct. 4th we got the mother of all fall storms. We got 3+ feet in one day in spearfish and upwards of 5-6 feet in the upper hills. We ended up skiing rocky terrain after just one day of snow with no previous base. Trees took a major hit as they all still had their leaves on.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 11, 2014 - 08:37am PT
M-Hill
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 11, 2014 - 01:38pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 12, 2014 - 07:23am PT
Looks like there must have been upwards of about a foot of snow on Crow Peak today.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Sep 12, 2014 - 07:26am PT
Speaking of snow Mike, when is generally the end of the rock season at Devil's? Is it the same too for the Needles area?

Is early November too late?

Arne


mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 12, 2014 - 09:00am PT
Never too late at the Tower as long as the Sun is out as it is really in a desert environment so it is often quite warm on the south face if it is sunny any time of year. The needles, on the other hand tend to get too cold for me by the time the Temps don't get much higher than the mid 40's. Seems like you are often in the shade belaying and the Needles are a thousand to two thousand feet higer in elevation thatn the tower.

That being said the Black Hills are very inconsistant with when winter comes around permanently for the year. Some years it is very warm well into December with no snow and other years, like last year, we get huge storms that dump many feet of snow earlyn and it may stick around for the rest of the year which really cools thing down a lot.

Wyorock man and I are meeting up there tomorrow. Sounds like sixties and summy. Let me know if you want to meet up sometime. Check the weathere a few days to a week out, but fall is the best time to climb. Mike

Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 12, 2014 - 09:47am PT
Your reference to "the Tower" got me to thinking - it's kind of fat for a tower.

Wiki:
Tribes including the Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lakota, and Shoshone had cultural and geographical ties to the monolith before non-native Americans reached Wyoming. Their names for the monolith include: Aloft on a Rock (Kiowa), Bear's House (Cheyenne, Crow), Bear's Lair (Cheyenne, Crow), Daxpitcheeaasáao, "Home of bears" (Crow[6]), Bear's Lodge (Cheyenne, Lakota), Bear's Lodge Butte (Lakota), Bear's Tipi (Arapaho, Cheyenne), Tree Rock (Kiowa), and Grizzly Bear Lodge (Lakota).

Devils Tower, 1900
The name Devil's Tower originated in 1875 during an expedition led by Col. Richard Irving Dodge when his interpreter misinterpreted the name to mean Bad God's Tower, which then became Devil's Tower.[7] All information signs in that area use the name "Devils Tower", following a geographic naming standard whereby the apostrophe is eliminated.[8]

In 2005, a proposal to recognize several Native American ties through the additional designation of the monolith as Bear Lodge National Historic Landmark met with opposition from the United States Representative Barbara Cubin, arguing that a "name change will harm the tourist trade and bring economic hardship to area communities".[9]

Geez, re-naming Mt McKinley hasn't seemed to hurt visitation.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 12, 2014 - 11:04am PT
All the names were given to it by a person so I guess it is arbitrary and capricious. Regardless of what it is called it has some great climbs. I think the tower part comes from the fact that it's so formidable from all sides with at least 500 feet of climbing for the most part to summit.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 14, 2014 - 06:58am PT
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Sep 14, 2014 - 07:28am PT
Location- it's the first sniff of the west.
The climbing is very unique and I think it's a beautiful area.
The anti bolting ethic and the run out routes turned me off to it though. It was never worth the groundfall so I left the place to others. If the locals could shed the peacock feathers and have a discussion on how to protect the routes so that they were safer there would be more than the 8 locals and the two drive through cars that make up the climbing there on any Sunday. I know you'd have to bolt it- but it could be done so it's not conspicuous. And if you need the hard rep- just climb past them and not bother to clip.

And thanks for all the great pictures Mike--you keep this place afloat.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 14, 2014 - 12:03pm PT
The Iowa guys wishing they had started a little earlier, but showed some serious moxy by starting el mat at 6:45 and getting the first two pitches in.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 14, 2014 - 12:30pm PT
Dan there are a lot of well protected routes in the needles. I stay away from most of the horror shows, but do a lot of routes that can have pro that is quite a ways apart but really not hard or dangerous. Also lot of cracks that have good protection especially if you bring some wide gear.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 14, 2014 - 03:03pm PT
possible alien hunters at the tower.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Sep 14, 2014 - 05:04pm PT
well Mike if i get off my dead nordic butt, I'm looking you up for some routes in the needles
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Sep 14, 2014 - 06:54pm PT
Bite your tongue Hobo. Sorry but that's really the way I feel. Rather than ignoring the bolts and not clipping them, I'd rather those that want to make it "safe" just ignore the tower and pretend it's not there.

Have a good and safe day Sir.

Arne

Ps. Perhaps we'll meet up at the Birkie if I ever make it out.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 14, 2014 - 07:32pm PT
Arne I think he was talking about the needles, but it's not much different. There are hundreds of well protected sport combs at Rushmore. Prolly purt-n-er 1000 limestone bolted routes so plenty to do that isn't runout.
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Sep 15, 2014 - 08:50am PT
I'm chill. I'm sure the tower is well protected against bolting (pun intended)
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 15, 2014 - 01:03pm PT
Community Cave.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Sep 15, 2014 - 06:15pm PT
I am talking about the needles- obviously you can stitch the tower.
The Needles: I know it's all against the history of the area. I get all that. But the reason nobody stops to climb in the Needles is it's not worth the risk--maybe they knock down a route or two but then they never, ever come back- sort of happy that they got out of town with only a couple scraped knees and some gobed out hands.
I think somebody in the future is going to wake up one day and realize that all the anti-bolt guys are dead or gone. The coast is clear- And then they'll start to get it on and you'll actually have a climbing scene, and visitors, and new energy.
But whatever, I don't really have a dog in this fight- I'm just talking about what I've seen and why I think the Needles don't reach the cool potential they could have. I'm braced for the purists who are going to beat their breast and tell me to deal with it-and go somewhere else, that's all good, but they're still not going to have any visitors.
And maybe that's OK- there are a lot of places that don't have the ethic of the Needles. But there is a reason Rifle is popular- and it aint the location- it's that people want to go somewhere and have fun.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Sep 15, 2014 - 06:19pm PT
But the reason nobody stops to climb in the Needles is it's not worth the risk--

There is that. It can be a spooky place, even with all the climbs that are protectable. A gauntlet of nubbins - some none too trustworthy - intimidates.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Sep 15, 2014 - 06:35pm PT
A story related to me: Four guys are up on an easy route- about 5.6 standard run out fare- first three guys roll it, all of them stop to stand on this giant crystal 80 feet up, fourth man through, steps on the crystal and it snaps off clean- no warning. Good thing for the belay.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 16, 2014 - 09:30am PT
Dan I would have to disagree with you on a lot of what you said above. Starting with assuming everyone wants more people to be around here. There are a lot of ground up routes that are going up in traditional style. Most abovew my head, but I don't do many routes more than once and am still doing routes I have not done in the needles that are well protected. I am far from bold, but sometimes you have to get away and look around to find them. I even occasionally put up a new route. I most often climb with my 13 year old son and so much moderate good terain out there that many of the good crack routes see little traffic. Good splitter on the right.This one looks good and I am not sure its been done.Good gear on this one and 300ft long to one of the best summits.Many good cracks in this area. Many with bolted belays and everything.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Sep 16, 2014 - 04:34pm PT
A quote from the introduction to the Rifle guidebook:

Ah, but now I’m just repeating the same old myths and tropes of American climbing’s great enduring narrative, in which Rifle appears as the quintessential sport-climbing “scene” replete with choss, crowds, babies, beta, alpha dogs, submen, belay slaves, wobblers, tick marks, and more elitist wankers than you’d find at an Ayn Rand convention.

And, at times, it’s not an exaggeration to say that that scene still exists. Perhaps it always will.

And Hobo Dan thinks that importing this to the Needles, an area characterized by mystery, an area characterized by the Conn's elfish joy of discovery, would somehow be a good thing, an improvement, a result to be desired?

Robbins said that sport climbing is the child that want to eat its mother, and this is an example of that phenomenon. Folks from one discipline want to impose their values and perspectives on another genre, adapt it to to their personal definition of "fun," and, in the process destroy the opportunity for experiences that aren't part of their personal approach to climbing.

We are not speaking of developing new areas here, the issues there are different. We are speaking of retro-bolting a trad area with a nearly 80-year history so that it satisfies the needs of one particular type of climber, one who can, by they way, drive a few minutes to Rushmore and avail himself of 760 routes, mostly bolted sport climbs, on the same type of formations and the same rock. But no, even with a lifetime of bolted routes literally around the corner, somehow the presence of offensive trad routes, some but by nowhere near all of which are runout, is a festering sore that has to be lanced to service one particular definition of climbing and one particular concept of a "fun" climbing scene.

There's plenty of sport climbing in the Black Hills for those who want it, and there are plenty of adequately protected trad climbs in Custer State Park as well. If the region isn't more popular with climbers, it has nothing to do with the purportedly forbidding nature of a few climbs in Custer State Park. A far more plausible explanation is that location is out of the way and, for a host of geographic and economic reasons, doesn't support a big local climbing population.

That said, on the extremely slim chance that Hobo Dan might be right and all that is keeping the Needles from being a super-popular destination is a few bolts on a few climbs, I'd say fer god's sake leave things be. Not everyone loves climbing in an urban crowd scene. Some folks enjoy a little solitude, a bit of uncertainty, and a sense of making their own way. (That used to describe almost the entire climbing population, but no more.) Rather than try to make the Needles more like a whole batch of crowded venues, why wouldn't we actively try to keep it as it is, a bit out of the way, not for everyone, perhaps an acquired taste, unique in a climbing world becoming ever more homogeneous?
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Sep 16, 2014 - 05:15pm PT
^^^^

Thank you Richard.
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
Sep 16, 2014 - 06:18pm PT
A hearty round of applause for rgold's reply.


But the reason nobody stops to climb in the Needles is it's not worth the risk--maybe they knock down a route or two but then they never, ever come back-

Perhaps applicable to your experience, but wholly untrue for many. I (and many friends) make the trip at least a couple times a year to enjoy the mystique, the lack of crowds, and maybe just maybe push ourselves out of our comfort zones. A way to check our egos perhaps. I've been enthralled with the "ethic" ever since I belayed my partner on Hairy Pin and got a least a second hand appreciation of superior mental control and confidence. It is likely that I will never lead the route, I simply haven't earned the privilege and that is ok.

But there is a reason Rifle is popular- and it aint the location- it's that people want to go somewhere and have fun.

And the same can be said for Custer State Park, the climbing IS fun. Just like tastes in beverages vary, the thought of going to Rifle is unappealing to me on many levels, but I'm glad many enjoy it.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 16, 2014 - 06:34pm PT
The Last Laugh 10d Devils Tower.Current flag flying over Devils Tower Trading Post.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Sep 16, 2014 - 07:18pm PT
Rgold I thought that was a good response

I'll turn the volume down a little- not really interested in shouting. Needles as they are will lead to injuries and worse IMO. I can think of one broken back and one set of shattered ankles from people that I know. With that in mind I think it will stay a place that is not visited often other than by people who live near by.
I suspect that given a choice between the Black Hills and a place that is safer, more people will choose a safer alternative. But I've been nothing but wrong my entire life and i see no reason that that is going to change anytime soon.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Sep 16, 2014 - 07:41pm PT
Thanks Dan. You didn't have to say that, so it is appreciated. I'll try not to shout, but might not end up succeeding.

I suspect that given a choice between the Black Hills and a place that is safer, more people will choose a safer alternative.

You say "Black Hills" when you mean a subset of climbs in Custer State Park. And it would be more appropriate to say "better protected" rather than "safer." Gyms and sport-climbing areas have their own collection of broken backs, shattered ankles, and worse. The protection is presumably fine, but other aspects of that genre of climbing combine to make it "unsafe" often enough.

Moreover, your idea of "safety" is an idea external to the climber that is, of course, a feature of bolted climbs---someone else has engineered the route for the safety of the participants. In trad climbing, safety is not a feature engineered into the climb, it is something climbers bring in various degrees to the situation nature dictated, and so it is a feature of the climber, not the climb, and not the climbing area.

In any case, you may well be right, given what "more people" means in the context of modern climbing. The real question is, if you are right, is this a situation that needs to be "fixed?" And if a significant group of climbers, perhaps no longer the majority, but significant nonetheless, appreciates and strives for the challenges presented by trad climbing, which always (I'd say as a defining ingredient) involve risk, is it right and appropriate---given the vast array of sport climbing opportunities available world-wide---is it right and appropriate to kill off venues where this other genre flourishes?
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 16, 2014 - 08:32pm PT
Look on mountain project and you will see a lot of climbs are going in and if you are waiting for the old guard to die off you will be interested to know that most of the people putting up ground up routes are in the early 20 to mid thirties. Many are local and many are strong as hell. Also many have good gear and reasonable runouts.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 17, 2014 - 10:46am PT
Here is some quite overhanging bolted sport climbing from Spearfish Canyon that may be what you are looking for Dan. I think a lot of people feel the way you do, but once they get out and see that there is so much they can do if they just swallow their pride a little they can really see how much is available in the Needles to them. Hippie Hole
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Sep 17, 2014 - 11:56am PT
^^^^
Wow, Battle Creek Falls, haven't been there since the sixties.


Wanted to test one for size and such before I post up a bunch.

A little bit of ice is nice.




Bunch of Elk
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 17, 2014 - 02:29pm PT
Nice elk shot johnboy. A few shots from high in Spearfish on the Rim Rock Trails.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Sep 17, 2014 - 03:14pm PT
Believe it or not- I've never really been sport climbing. Wasn't really why I started climbing. Most of my climbs were crack climbs- I have climbed at the City of Rocks if that is a sport area and I liked the climbing there a lot!
Like so much talk, it really doesn't matter what is said, rather what is actually happening is what matters.
Sounds like the Needles are firing on all cylinders and the place is going gang busters. Good on that.
Can't argue with saving a few places to keep them special.
So for discussion sake: What happens if someone puts in a well protected and bolted route in the ten pins area? From the bottom up? On lead? Are they tarred and feathered? Is it welcomed? Is it chopped? Can you have a route like that in the Needles? Sort of like Trojan D but with more bolts? Or is the old ethic what controls the future creativity of climbers? Would this new route insult the Thimble? SuperPin? Herb and Jan?
Can you have a route that requires skill but does not have groundfall potential? Must it be run out?
I'll make a prediction- I think it would immediately become a popular route.
My question is can the area exist side by side with new and old routes? Or is it predetermined that only the Bold are allowed to put in the new?

johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Sep 17, 2014 - 04:18pm PT
Bear Butte behind Sturgis

These tracks weren't here 10 minutes before when we came through.

You never know what you'll see

Doesn't matter what day of the year, that water is ice cold.

My kind of day.

What's left of Flag Mt. lookout
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Sep 17, 2014 - 04:29pm PT
Can you have a route that requires skill but does not have groundfall potential? Must it be run out?

Yes you can have a route like that and not runout, without bolts. There are plenty of them that leave the level of protection to each passing party.

As to your other couple dozen questions, a long time back we made agreements to not bolt up the Sylvan/Needles/Cathedral Spires area. It's not legal or etched in stone and some bolts have been placed, some have been chopped too.

Do you respect the locals ethics or not?
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Sep 17, 2014 - 04:51pm PT
So for discussion sake: What happens if someone puts in a well protected and bolted route in the ten pins area? From the bottom up? On lead? Are they tarred and feathered? Is it welcomed? Is it chopped? Can you have a route like that in the Needles?

I can't tell you what the current "ethics" are. (I hate that term, there is nothing about bolting that is or is not ethical.) But BITD, if you started at the bottom and placed bolts from stances, then how many bolts would not have been an issue; there was no requirement (as you might find in, say Dresden) that there should only be a certain minimum amount of drilled protection on any single pitch. (That said, I think there were subjective limits---someone who placed a bolt every ten feet on a 5.0 slab would find them gone the next day.)

By the way, what constituted a stance turned out to be in some cases pretty surprising. I remember one route in which you most definitely could not let go with both hands, but there was a crystal large enough to hang on with one hand while holding the drill and hammering with the free hand. I think Dingus McGee might have been responsible for that amazing feat.

As routes got steeper and drilling from no-hands stances became impossible, it seemed to fit within the constrictions of the trad approach to drill from hooks. Once again, if you found enough hook placements to make for a well-protected route, then I don't think there would be any serious protests about the bolting.

The point is that nature determines not only the climbing moves but also the opportunities for protection. If nature dictates runouts, then it is up to the climber to decide whether or not they want that challenge. If nature allows for plentiful protection, then so be it and you have a well-protected route.

What I think was agreed-to in the Needles and elsewhere is that protection would not be placed on rappel, and the climb would not be aided in a conventional way in order to leave protection points behind. To some extent, the goal was to preserve as much as possible the uncertainty of a first ascent. All this is getting quainter and quainter nowadays when a truly hard route has to be rehearsed over and over before it can be redpointed, but that's how we used to do things.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 17, 2014 - 05:54pm PT
Ground up with no fixed gear would be Ed's best style, but I think most stuff now a days is exactly what rgold said is happening. Bolting with books when needed but trying to place more bolts than the old days as they want to see their routes be repeated. I know several 5.11 routes have been put up on the big side of Outer Outlet have been put in. I think they are PG, but not death routes.

Here is a link to a new route on Outer Outlet from MP. http://www.mountainproject.com/v/stainless-steel-shield-/108323886

I think there has been a push to pit routes up on the biggest most spectacular of faces not just on spires.


Dan I would love to show you around to some of the good cracks/we'll protected routes I know. Surprisingly some of the best cracks are around Rushmore. Also many of the rap bolted routes at Rushmore were retro bolted with many more bolts either with permission or by the first ascetic it's themselves.
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Sep 17, 2014 - 08:09pm PT
but there was a crystal large enough to hang on with one hand while holding the drill and hammering with the free hand

That sounds like a circus trick, Rich. How do you get started?
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Sep 17, 2014 - 09:05pm PT
Good question John. I don't know, I did the route after the bolt had already been placed. It must have been really hard getting it started, because it seemed to me you could only hold the drill with your thumb and forefinger while using the other three fingers on the hold. But maybe the leader was able to hold the drill sort of the way you hold a pool cue in the bridging hand, and so get a bit more support from at least the third finger.

The pinnacle was in one of the more remote areas. I can't remember who I went with, but I do remember thinking at the time I'd have trouble finding it again. Forty-five or more years later, there is no hope of that of course. My memory is of some 5.10 climbing, a bolt lower down at the start, and a runout at the top.
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Laramie
Sep 18, 2014 - 06:04am PT
Curious Trick Explained:

An instance of such a drilling feat is on the steep and mildly overhanging lower section of the route Jugs on Outer Outlet. The hold shape was a cylindrical projection out of the rock with a lip on the top side[mushroom] that provided enough space for my wrist to fit sideways[the thin way] between it and the main wall. This "wrist" hold left my left hand free at a manageable angle to hold the drill while my right arm/hand was free to hammer.

No trick Here, believe me the hanger and bolt are at about 1 o'clock from the center of the hold.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 18, 2014 - 09:32am PT
Nice story Dennis. Here is a spire I spied on Little Crow Peak above Spearfish Canyon.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 18, 2014 - 07:30pm PT
Boxelder ForksBailey Direct
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2014 - 07:58am PT
John GillNice roof crack above a one of John's arrows on Flying Butress.
hobo_dan

Social climber
Minnesota
Sep 19, 2014 - 02:42pm PT
It might happen Mike--I'm not really in the life anymore but I'm close to retirement and I do like the Harney Peak area. So who knows, maybe I'll show up on your doorstep one day with my old Mariachers. You lead and I'll buy the food and booze.
HD
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2014 - 10:07pm PT
sounds good Dan.
drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Sep 19, 2014 - 10:27pm PT
Killer shot Mike! ^^^^^^^
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2014 - 07:52am PT
Box Elder Forks
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Sep 20, 2014 - 09:58am PT
Old mine structures.

A little dugout in the higher hills.

It's safe to walk thru this tunnel.

This ones safe too.

I like skating frozen creeks.

There are 100's of places like this.

Caution, load limits.

A nice vista from the Bald Hills.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2014 - 10:04am PT
Now your getting in the spirit john boy. Here is a couple more from my ride above the cliffs in spearfish canyon by savoy last night. The colors are really starting to change.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2014 - 12:21pm PT
Me and my dad doing a little tailgating at local university homecoming
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Sep 20, 2014 - 12:57pm PT
Start with some flowers.

Different view of Harney.

There are a few of these throughout the hills.

Elk Creek running strong.

Trees changing.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 21, 2014 - 10:22am PT
On the way to Harney Peak
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2014 - 09:01am PT
A party topping out on Carol's Crack on the north west face of the tower. Probably not done often.Little Devils Tower.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2014 - 05:58pm PT
The Eyetooth
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2014 - 06:17pm PT
A little thin ice down hill from Spire 3.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 23, 2014 - 06:32am PT
Gotta get that crap off the front page.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 23, 2014 - 01:19pm PT
Posted this on the B/Y, but it has to go on here as well just because it is such a cool formation. I believe a new route was put up on it this year in fine style as well. Vertigo The Stake Ladder put up in the 1800's. had to be one of the hardest aid climbs in history at the time.Jack pretty psyched about following Walt Bailey and cleaning all of the gear at 12 years old.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 23, 2014 - 08:36pm PT
Blockhead in the Cathedral Spires.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Sep 24, 2014 - 03:41am PT
The photos are evocative, they catch the light in perfect contrast to the high plains light that has been the normal fair. Please keep them coming .
I was thrilled that summer ended with a chance to say VERTIGO any more pics ?

When the first snows fly there is an amazing shot that I would love to see not of Harney P. But taken looking across past Sylvan lake at the formation that you posted first in your pic of Vertigo the pic that is in my minds eye includes Amber rock ,changing colors Sylvan lake and whisps of snow!

I had hopes to have some thing to add. Do you have any fine shots of Mr toads wild ride? ,three fishes ? Is there a cave that has a summit register I remember it as a very small slot that you had to wriggle into and then once in didn't get much bigger is that cave in the Narrows somewhere in a Tolkien like narrow chasm walking down hill on the left it was very very very fun Dana Hauser's name would be left in that canister
I only have classic butt shots taken from the belayers perspective looking almost straight up at climbers from back in the day.(Hairy Pin?, Dana's Lead '78)(? )
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 24, 2014 - 08:12am PT
Gnome, nice shot of Nantucket Sleighride on Moby Dick.

First pitch of Carol's CrackTerror CracktylCrack of Earthly Delights in the dihedral on the left.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
Sep 24, 2014 - 01:43pm PT
hey there say, just a bump, to help our FIRST PAGE,

HOWEVER, awww, yes, i DO love the post that i am bumping, too...
you are of value, ...


just that i can't always visit everything and post...
but today, is REALLY NEEDED FOR HELP, TO US ALL...

WILL TRY to bump some more...
this 'message will repeat' for a bit, in the bumps...
:)

hope i am helping...
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 24, 2014 - 07:15pm PT
Sex Never did This to my HandsHoly lota blue camalots.

Whiterocks
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Sep 24, 2014 - 07:28pm PT

Keep it up Mike, I'll be posting up a bunch more next week, as time allows.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 25, 2014 - 08:53am PT
Estes Creet BoulderingRandom bouldering south of DeadwoodCommunity Cave
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2014 - 07:45am PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2014 - 10:28am PT
Family time at Estes Creek.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Sep 26, 2014 - 10:39am PT

Are you in my head? I was just going to ask to see some 'out with the kids' pics
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 26, 2014 - 08:03pm PT
Estes Creek11th Hour
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 27, 2014 - 08:49pm PT
Climbed Elkhorn to the summit and the views were great. So much rock out there.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 28, 2014 - 08:30am PT
Shots from the Top of Elkhorn.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 28, 2014 - 05:24pm PT
Spire 511th hour at night
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 29, 2014 - 07:08am PT
Spire 2Bartizan
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 29, 2014 - 11:24am PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 29, 2014 - 05:00pm PT
Tee the Ball in the Ten Pins. A really great well protected mixed 5.9
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Sep 30, 2014 - 05:53am PT
The hills are alive style bump!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 30, 2014 - 06:14am PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 30, 2014 - 08:00am PT
Third pitch of Tulgey
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 30, 2014 - 03:41pm PT
The long route on Tent Peg in the foreground and Tricouni Nail.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 1, 2014 - 02:10pm PT
Bouldering at the Maze by Nemo.Cool formation by Crow Peak
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2014 - 09:11am PT
Cragar

climber
MSLA - MT
Oct 2, 2014 - 09:23am PT
Yeah, good zone for sure. Thanks for the pics! The human history of the hills is fascinating ta'boot! I spent a week there riding the bike. The Dak50 got me there and before and after it, I wandered around. The rock is amazing. All of those spires got me paws sweating!! Black crystals and the medieval feel of the place is magical. I also like the approach drive across the Crow and the the Montana Serengeti!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2014 - 09:36am PT
Did you get to ride Crow Peak outside of Spearfish? One of my favorites.
Cragar

climber
MSLA - MT
Oct 2, 2014 - 10:03am PT
No, missed it! Thanks for the heads-up, by Crow, I meant the Res. A different place.. I'm planning on the Dak50 next year. I will bring the rock shoes and c-bag this time as well! BTW, do you know Perry??
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2014 - 10:07am PT
Yes
Cragar

climber
MSLA - MT
Oct 2, 2014 - 10:10am PT
Of course you do! Who doesn't? Is he donning a wig in that old Kona kit in the summit pic? He and his family are awesome.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 2, 2014 - 04:47pm PT
Nantucket Slieghride in the Ten Pins area.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2014 - 08:01am PT
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 3, 2014 - 02:43pm PT
Area around the window.











Two views from the window.




johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 3, 2014 - 02:50pm PT
You looking at me?


Checking out my rear big boy?


This poor little guy didn't make it through last Octobers blizzard.

But this guy thinks he's going to chase doe this year.

Kids will play.





johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 3, 2014 - 02:56pm PT
Elk creek and Little Elk Creek areas.











johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 3, 2014 - 03:00pm PT
Harney area.







You can quit looking for the lost cabin, it's right here.



Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Oct 3, 2014 - 03:01pm PT

My 1st visit was whirlwind blast that was more about the Tower in 6/'79
Then in the early summer of '81 I was back with Kevin & Barb who introduced me around to so many people. Dennis H, the Lewis Bothers, Big Paul.....
The light blue-covered sixty PG guide was then being passed around locales only hand drawn lines and words of wisdom.
The memory of the specifics, whose place and where was it that we stayed? What did we climb? 7 or 8 of, The Ten Pins, Queen Pin, The joker, Super Pin, Hairy Pin? The Needles eye? EDIT.... why do I. remember a meat fest BBQ? the night before the march to the farthest off spires; Pickett Fence,ect.
There were other climbs that were just things that had been waiting and
I was psyched to sit on the tops with KB & BD.
I went back 3yrs in a row '84,'85,'86 for three week, stays.
Then in '91'93 & 95, again around three weeks in the Hills
Added up, maybe 90 days of climbing around the Black Hills.




An old Question I have from back then is: has any one ever heard of a chossy block in a cow pasture that has a very distinctive Lightning Bolt crack that seams out ten feet from the mungy top??Sand Blaster.? .11R/x.

johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 3, 2014 - 03:08pm PT

Iron Creek /Iron Mt. area.




mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2014 - 03:34pm PT
That baby deer shot is awesome. Was it alive?

I think I have done a few of those ice pillars in Elk Creek by Knifeblade Rock. We did a short pillar to a slab to ablsolute choss one time and it had an old sling on it. Did you do any of those routes? I have also done at least three ice routes in Little Elk Creek. One that does not form very often that goes 100ft through the sandstone band on the west side of the canyon. Looks like we both like to explore some of the out of the way places in the hills.

A friend of mine said he did a 30ft pillar in Stagebarn Canyon if I remember right, but I have not seen it.

Gnome, it sounds like you have been in the hills a bit. Did I see that you know Dennis H. on another thead?
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 3, 2014 - 04:05pm PT
The deer had been dead for awhile.
I,ve only done one of the icecicles in Elk Creek, the other times I did't have my gear, it's a bit of a hike up creek.
Yes, that one up Little Elk Creek gets nice and fat some years, did it in 98? (was that the cold one?). There is another that gets real long, starts at the small spring {some years} and follows the slide area all the way down.
Ever done the tall rock pinnicle down stream fron the ice on the bend?


I'm still looking for my Remington wall pics.
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Oct 3, 2014 - 05:01pm PT
Aw Dern! mikem you just had to go ahead and post pix of the Sleighride dincha! I don't have any 'cause I've yet to have the nerve to get on it.

Got any of Three Rings...??
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2014 - 05:19pm PT
Done it but not sure I have pics of that one. Nantucket isn't that bad specially compared to vertigo which I thought you said you had done. I will look for three rings may have some on film.
Evel

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Oct 3, 2014 - 05:24pm PT
Quo Nantucket isn't that bad specially compared to vertigo which I thought you said you had done.te Here

It's a mental thing for me. Some days I can't even do stuff like the Pinpoint, other days are better. NS has always been such an amazing looking line to me. Guess I'm just waiting for the right vibe.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2014 - 07:06pm PT
One of the harder problems at Estes Creek
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 3, 2014 - 07:52pm PT
some of the pics I have from the Camp Remington area.



Freshly sluffed off.

The only way up this canyon from here.










johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 3, 2014 - 07:58pm PT
Some from around the Rushmore area.








johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 3, 2014 - 08:12pm PT
Random places.


Ferns from Bearlodge.

My brothers final resting spot in the forefront.

Rapid Creek by Canyon City.


Ice on the spillway at Center Lake.

Smoke on the water, warm water and cold air.

I've climbed all over these rocks from these next three pics.
South of Black Fox.


I'm standing on that piece of choss just left of center.


We got snowed on heavily yesterday coming out of the top of Higgens gultch.



Old flume up Victoria Creek.


There's a little creek coming down both sides of the central ridge.
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 3, 2014 - 08:19pm PT

Just a few from the Spires area.




mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 3, 2014 - 08:24pm PT
Looked at some of that stuff by black fox but never got too close. If you ever want to check out some of the limestone by Cheyenne Crossing let me know. That camp Remington area seems so cool I have only been there a couple of times but it looks great with a lot of potential with few routes.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 4, 2014 - 09:49am PT
Totem Pole
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 5, 2014 - 01:16pm PT
[photoid=380922]I believe this is called ragged top. A volcanic looking plug above spearfish canyon.it was my first time seeing it up close, it is totale choss.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 5, 2014 - 02:13pm PT
anyone seen a puffball like this? It had a starfish like flower under it that had thick rubbery peddles.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 5, 2014 - 03:55pm PT
Swimming hole in spearfish
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 5, 2014 - 07:23pm PT
Tricouni and Tent Peg.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 6, 2014 - 07:54am PT
The Big Horn Mountains at Sunset from the Bear Lodge Mountains in the western Black Hills which are over 120 miles away.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 7, 2014 - 03:24pm PT
Few tower shots
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Oct 7, 2014 - 05:53pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 8, 2014 - 10:59am PT
Conn Traverse on Outer Outlet.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 9, 2014 - 10:16am PT
A rarely climbed formation. Crusher may have been one of the first 20 to sign the summit register.A most important part of the Black Hills.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 10, 2014 - 12:58pm PT
Balcony Point
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
Oct 10, 2014 - 01:18pm PT
That was one stiff "5.6" pitch!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 11, 2014 - 05:28pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 12, 2014 - 10:19pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 13, 2014 - 10:14pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2014 - 08:56am PT
The western shoulder of Harney Peak.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 14, 2014 - 10:18am PT
pano of large cave with sick overhanging hand crack going through it on the southwest flanks of Harney Peak.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 15, 2014 - 10:42am PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 16, 2014 - 10:42am PT
Pockets in LimestoneUnsure of the name of the formation being climbed, but I believe yellow Devil is just in front of it.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 16, 2014 - 09:28pm PT
Jack getting a late spring lead on Kansas.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2014 - 10:20am PT
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 17, 2014 - 01:17pm PT







johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 17, 2014 - 01:20pm PT






johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 17, 2014 - 01:23pm PT
From a private zoo near Spearfish.



mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2014 - 01:29pm PT
That last couple of photos always make me wonder what will happen when a tree falls over and breaks down their chain link cages? The tiger cages are right next to the most popular biking trail around. I would imagine they will run down the trail and eat the first biker that comes by. I see they still have those huge Ligers up there. They are something like 600lbs and much bigger than a tiger.

Johnboy you should post those on the coolest cat thread.
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 17, 2014 - 01:35pm PT
Probably just a matter of time.

Don't know about the ligers, this was 2 years ago.

I took the one of the mountain lion, then my wife asked why I didn't take a pic of the cat at my feet there. I hadn't even seen it as I walked up to the fence. Kinda spooky it was so close.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2014 - 02:01pm PT
Gonna try to put up a new route on the south face of the west side of Harney tomorrow. If you are around you should come up.
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 17, 2014 - 04:12pm PT
Thanks, but I'm out till they get a handle on this lung infection.
It's pretty rare and they've got me on four different antibiotics at over 700 a month and they want me on it for four more months yet.
Ouch
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 17, 2014 - 05:42pm PT
Heal up soon.
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Oct 17, 2014 - 06:20pm PT
Keep postin'... love that area and we want to move there so badly!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 19, 2014 - 07:46pm PT
wilbeer

Mountain climber
Terence Wilson greeneck alleghenys,ny,
Oct 20, 2014 - 06:29am PT
Great looking stuff up there!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 20, 2014 - 08:26pm PT
We called the new route Spicy Thai Tuna.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 21, 2014 - 01:30pm PT
jgill

Boulder climber
Colorado
Oct 21, 2014 - 04:09pm PT
I expect to see Judy Garland skipping through those leaves!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 21, 2014 - 04:26pm PT
John, it was actually to be a full suspension 29er soon.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 22, 2014 - 01:55pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 23, 2014 - 10:45am PT
Top of the 3rd pitch of Tulgey Wood
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 25, 2014 - 06:25am PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 26, 2014 - 01:54pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 27, 2014 - 04:29pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 27, 2014 - 07:39pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 28, 2014 - 06:53am PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 28, 2014 - 04:25pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 29, 2014 - 01:39pm PT
McCarthy West Face Free Variation 10b
WyoRockMan

climber
Flank of the Big Horns
Oct 29, 2014 - 03:20pm PT
Mike, Knock it off with all this climbing content!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 30, 2014 - 10:33am PT
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Oct 30, 2014 - 12:28pm PT
Is that your son on top of the tower signing in?
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 30, 2014 - 03:17pm PT
Yeah that is Jack last year I think. We did Patent Pending to Assembly Line back to Patent Pending to the top on Friday for his most sustained trip to the summit with my brother and a friend of his.we then rapped the west face which was pretty exciting for him.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 31, 2014 - 09:45am PT
Reggie into the wide on the last pitch of McCarthy West Face.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 1, 2014 - 09:04pm PT
Some friends on Dead Point on the west face of Devils Tower in some great evening light. It was close to 70 when we left at 5:30.
NA_Kid

Big Wall climber
The Bear State
Nov 2, 2014 - 06:36am PT

How has this picture not been posted in this thread yet! Classic simul-rapelling! Went here for the first time last week, it was cold as balls but we enjoyed every minute of it.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2014 - 07:47am PT
Rangers are people too.
Chazbro

Social climber
Gillette, Wyoming
Nov 2, 2014 - 08:44am PT
I love the picture of Rangers! Did you take that yesterday? Some of my friends from the Razor City climbed it and the first pitch of Tulgey Wood, yesterday. Very windy up E in the Bearlodge during the day yesterday.

Good discussion of climbing history as it relates to the Black Hills. From the Tower on the west side to Spearfish Canyon, Rushmore and the Needles, one can experience the whole range of rock climbing and if one is interested, get a great lesson in climbing history.

Jaybro and I were in Veedauwoo when we met Kevin B and Barbara D and watched Barbara blast the Giil boulder under Walts Wall. Kevin told us about TRing what became the 11b on McCarthy West! Amazing thing to me in 1979. Wonderful afternoons on the Campground boulder and that time Rich and Bragg wondered up, Dingus was there I think, Arch, Jaybro, etc. , looking up super pin and thinking of Pete Cleveland. He was the first climber I ever saw do a one arm pull-up, on a rain gutter on a outhouse down by the shore at Devils lake, in maybe 1965.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 2, 2014 - 10:27am PT
Yeah we saw your friends on rangers while Jack did his first lead of the first pitch of el mat. saw frank and will b too. Beautiful day over there. Should have gone back today but going biking in sturgis with the family instead. currently at the park with ruby.
Chazbro

Social climber
Gillette, Wyoming
Nov 2, 2014 - 11:19am PT
Nice day today! I finished some trim work but climbing today would be great!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 3, 2014 - 01:47pm PT
SolerPratt's Crack on Photographer's Peak
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 3, 2014 - 06:09pm PT
Next year, the Needles!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 4, 2014 - 09:19am PT
Estes Creek
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 5, 2014 - 06:00pm PT
Celebrating a bro.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 5, 2014 - 06:13pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 5, 2014 - 07:08pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 5, 2014 - 07:27pm PT
10a at Boxelder Forks
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 6, 2014 - 06:42am PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 8, 2014 - 07:38pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 9, 2014 - 06:55pm PT
Steep unclimbed terrain 2 miles from Spearfish.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 12, 2014 - 01:25pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 13, 2014 - 10:06am PT
getting closer
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Nov 13, 2014 - 11:26am PT
Thank you thank you
I hope if I will get back to the Magic that you show. I hope my kids will be towing me around... ......
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Nov 13, 2014 - 11:52am PT
Upside down to show the comment about some route Pot smoker's route ?? I can not make it out (......?)
Throughout the book are cryptic scribbles like this about the 'Orc cave'
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 13, 2014 - 01:28pm PT
To the Orc Cave
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Nov 13, 2014 - 02:30pm PT
Ahh sublime,
I called my kids in to see it...
They look to be the same ages...
On the 29th is his 11th birth day...
He asked can we go there...
He has no voice at all... Laryngitis ( had to spell check that one fo' sure)
thank you again!!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2014 - 08:29am PT
roadkillphil

Trad climber
Colorado
Nov 14, 2014 - 09:22am PT
Did any of that snow fall down south? Thinking Harney ice. Great thread. I was told once that the Paha Sapa and Mt. Kailas in Tibet are antipodean, which turns out is not true, but seems like it maybe ought to be.

mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 14, 2014 - 09:33am PT
Was thinking about heading down there this weekend as it has to be froze. Wanting to catch it in fat condition, but it rarely happens. Usually huge dinner plates the whole way.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 15, 2014 - 06:26pm PT
The ice is coming around.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 15, 2014 - 06:53pm PT
No ice this, far south...

Thankfully.

Chasbro photos from today in the bear lodges, look pretty snowy and cold!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 15, 2014 - 06:57pm PT
It got up to 9
ß Î Ø T Ç H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
Nov 15, 2014 - 11:38pm PT
Pretty good example of mixed climbing setting right there.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 16, 2014 - 03:45pm PT
got a lap on the pillar and the flow just left of it
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Nov 16, 2014 - 03:52pm PT
Nice!
roadkillphil

Trad climber
Colorado
Nov 18, 2014 - 12:22pm PT
If you haven't seen it, go to Vimeo and search for Josh Balt's "Up Not Down." A winner of the Black Hills Film Fest a couple years ago. Very good. I would do a link but am not that smart.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 19, 2014 - 07:31pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2014 - 05:59pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2014 - 09:24pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 20, 2014 - 09:43pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 23, 2014 - 02:13pm PT
roadkillphil

Trad climber
Colorado
Nov 24, 2014 - 07:31am PT
Looking good..is that a recent photo? Here is an older one...
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 25, 2014 - 09:18am PT
Offwidth ice anyone?
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 27, 2014 - 07:52pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 29, 2014 - 05:28pm PT
The Sore Thumb.
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Nov 29, 2014 - 06:02pm PT
Nice.... I hate CT more and more... Keep the pics coming..
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2014 - 01:20pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 1, 2014 - 07:23pm PT
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Dec 3, 2014 - 03:16pm PT
To go where no man has, at least for a while.







50 miles east of the black Hills.

Dang near out my front door.








mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 3, 2014 - 03:42pm PT
roadkillphil

Trad climber
Colorado
Dec 4, 2014 - 07:35am PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 6, 2014 - 09:48pm PT
Climbed up the north side of Harney left of the Harney Flow.
LongAgo

Trad climber
Dec 7, 2014 - 09:03pm PT
I'm with Richard as to what drew me there:

"Then there are the climbs themselves. Real summits are, nowadays, a novelty for rock-climbing. And a number of climbs have "horizontal" as well as vertical exposure. The pinnacle is slender enough to curve away from you on both sides, leaving you feeling perched in midair, a sensation that isn't as intense on buttresses and walls. "

Well, that and my lifelong climbing partner Kamps and all the other wonderful spirits congregating there, and the dog races too ... what am I saying.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 7, 2014 - 09:44pm PT
Tom, that you and so many great climbers would make the pilgrimage way out here in the middle of nowhere has always made a huge impression on me to keep looking around.Spent yesterday stumbling around on the north side of Harney and saw Hundreds of possible routes mostly never done.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 13, 2014 - 06:18am PT
Its 12/13/14 soon to be 10:11 and it was 63 degrees before the sun came up in sd. Hope to be on the tower by 10:11 12/13/14.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 13, 2014 - 08:20pm PT
Had a great day on the tower. Beautiful weather for mid December.
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
Dec 13, 2014 - 09:30pm PT
You were real close to the lost cabin where you took the pic looking back down at the line of fins going into Nelson creek.

All your pics from that day are real nice, not many people make it up and over Harney that way.

Im still looking for some more pics I've got. Going through all the SD cards as we find them.

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Dec 14, 2014 - 12:17am PT
Nice towers, as usual, Mike.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 16, 2014 - 03:33pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 17, 2014 - 12:33pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 18, 2014 - 09:47am PT
These three photos were sent to me by Fan. the last one is a more recent one of Sore Thumb which is one of the most imposing looking spires around. It looks like a light bulb from certain angles and is overhanging all the way around. They are of the first free ascent of Sore Thumb. It had been climbed by a party from Casper College using aid. They hauled a concrete filled barrel with a cross to the top. It bothered Herb Conn but he and Jan did not think a free ascent within their ability so they enlisted Rearick and Kamps to do it.I have not done this one yet but it is definitely on my short list. Amazing what these guys did on what are very wide cracks in the 60's.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 18, 2014 - 01:47pm PT
Another one from Fan. 1965 First ascent of the Phallus in generally the Ten Pins area. Dave Rearick, Don Lauria, Mark Powell and Bob were the party. Another more current view of Phallus.Phallus is the yellow tower to the right of the climbers who are on Sandberg Peak.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 18, 2014 - 02:27pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 19, 2014 - 08:47am PT
More shots from Fan. Bob Kamps somewhere in the 1990's on what looks to be Trojan D and extremely scary 5.8 on the Needles Highway. It climbs much more like 5.10 and was protected by a piton and a bolt or two in about a half pitch.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Dec 19, 2014 - 08:55am PT
I think the Sore Thumb is one of the best climbs in the Needles. It is essentially a crack climb and so is well-protected from bottom to top. The grade is a reasonable 5.9 (not sandbagged).

Trojan D. is another matter. I remember being terrified getting to the first bolt. I think I missed the best line and ended up somewhat to the right, very insecure, with a ground fall waiting to punish any mistakes. After the bolt I don't remember any real difficulty, but that may be because I was so relieved. Here's a shot from that day that gives a sense of how far you have to go before that first bolt.

Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 19, 2014 - 09:09am PT
I onsight soloed the sore thumb, and down climbed it. As I climbed up I figured I would bail if it got too crazy or I felt I was going to get into something I couldn't reverse. It went fine and there was only one semisketchy down climb move.

I was glad for the accurate rating..

mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 19, 2014 - 11:21am PT
Rich, I don't think there is a good line to get the first bowl on Trojan D I've seen several hard climbers back off or almost back on that route seemed very scary and in this picture Bob is doing it and what must be 70s
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 19, 2014 - 01:00pm PT
Here is a few more from Fan who is Bob Kamp's widow Bonnie. This is John Gill and Bob bouldering in 1964.Harvey T. Carter on Bloody Spire in 1961Bob and a young Paul Piana.Also Bonnie did not think the photo in the last post with Bob in it was of Trojan D but of something in middle earth.

Thanks Bonnie for sending those photos it really made my week.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 7, 2015 - 03:01pm PT
community cave is coming back in nicely
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 9, 2015 - 11:21am PT
Spires on Centi Ridge
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 17, 2015 - 06:56pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 20, 2015 - 06:34pm PT
Community Cave is coming in nicely. It was nice to climb steep ice in warm temps over the weekend.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 22, 2015 - 06:56pm PT
tonight after work. It was 55 in town today. May see some Devils Tower in my future.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 24, 2015 - 01:04pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2015 - 08:07pm PT
It was a good day.
LongAgo

Trad climber
Jan 27, 2015 - 10:03pm PT
mike m:

Thanks so much for the pics and memories. Pics of Bob very much get me, my life long climbing partner and friend. Well, we of course still see Bonnie and toast to the man.

Thanks again.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jan 27, 2015 - 11:43pm PT
Yes, the Kamps/Gill photo is classic and really brings back memories.

Bob had a truly unique style: look at the full ballet-dancer turnout of his right foot, and the way it is edging, not on the big toe but back behind the big toe---I never saw anyone else edge like that. (Tried it of course, but couldn't make it work...) It may be part of the secret of Bob's ability to climb so hard in shoes (Pivetta Cortinas) we'd now call approach shoes.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 29, 2015 - 02:19pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 29, 2015 - 02:33pm PT
TBT
Eric Klose

Trad climber
Minneatpolis, MN
Jan 30, 2015 - 07:37pm PT
I just saw a few pages on Mountain project for a few ice climbs at Sylvan Lake and then read about some sort of alpine/ice climb that may exist on the backside of Harney's peak. I see you have a few pictures here of ice climbs, are these located in South Dakota? I am planning a trip out spearfish and really enjoy SD climbing. This is the first time I've heard of ice climb in the Needles and any information would be greatly appreciated!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 18, 2015 - 02:37pm PT
Bear Lodge
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 7, 2015 - 09:40pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 21, 2015 - 09:40pm PT
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Mar 22, 2015 - 07:43am PT
So many great moments the baddest bestus pictures
If you have not gone to South Dakota
Why not. go! go and stay till the sun rolls low again the adventure that unrolls from there is a great trip! Take pics and post up too!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 27, 2015 - 11:19am PT
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Mar 27, 2015 - 12:42pm PT
just as pretty a face as are the shots. . . thnx
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 28, 2015 - 06:45pm PT
A couple photos from Callie Terveen from a route her husband and Tony have been working on over the winter in community cave a couple of minutes outside of town. Don't usually lift photos but I thought these were really great and this place means a lot to me. Thanks Cali.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Mar 28, 2015 - 07:14pm PT
that looks pretty rad!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 4, 2015 - 05:16pm PT
A good example of the new stuff that's going up in Ed Hartouni's and the Needles best style. http://www.mountainproject.com/v/fool-of-a-took/107899687
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 12, 2015 - 03:35pm PT
Did some hiking in the Canyon close to Spearfish and found some neglected cliffs.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - May 7, 2015 - 09:50pm PT
Crags below spearfish peak
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2015 - 08:22pm PT
[Click to View YouTube Video] possible tornado just north of spearfish
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 19, 2015 - 08:39am PT
Heading back for Labor Day. Not sure I'll get to climb. But it will be fun.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 22, 2015 - 10:24am PT
BHB
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Jan 20, 2016 - 10:30am PT
BHBMBB

Black Hills Big Mike Birthday bump
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 6, 2016 - 07:29pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 1, 2016 - 10:26am PT
Heading back this weekend and hoping to put a new route up here.
O.D.

Trad climber
LA LA Land
Jul 1, 2016 - 11:40am PT
Heading back this weekend and hoping to put a new route up here.

Best wishes, looking forward to the after-photos!

This is one of my favourite threads on ST, as it consistently delivers solid climbing content. Thanks for keeping the thread alive.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 1, 2016 - 11:58am PT
OD no problem loved letting people know what I saw, but it looks like someone else needs to pick up said torch as I only visit every once in a while now. Living Louisville and working in Boulder puts me right in the middle of front range climbing and I have gotten out enough to know what is out there in the last year and I don't think a lot of people would believe that there is as much or more access to great climbing to be had in this area as in the Boulder area. Of course there is no alpine or very big walls but if you like to climb a lot and want to get out there might not be a lot of better places for Trad, Sport, Crack, Bouldering, and even some ice climbing concentrated in one relatively small area. Slap a pitch or two below and on top of this wall and you would really have something.

One sad note is that Crow Peak above Spearfish is currently on fire. Needed to burn but still sad to see.This was in slightly cooler times but ...
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 1, 2016 - 12:27pm PT
Fritz Weissner predicted the Needles would become one of the the premier climbing areas in the U.S.

Apparently not (and hurray for that), but there is a hell of a lot to do in the region.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 1, 2016 - 10:17pm PT
Yeah rich probably only 4000 or 5000 routes who knows. Still got sways to go.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 2, 2016 - 06:37am PT
Hey Mike, Steve Wunsch and I put up an FA in the Needles in the early/mid 70's on a formation I think called Barbizan (sp?). I remember a crack thru a roof...know anyhing about it?
We did Hairy Pin the same day....pretty exciting.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 2, 2016 - 08:12am PT
Bartizan is the formation. Don't have my guide with me but that is a really nice piece of rock.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 2, 2016 - 08:17am PT
Jim, it's Bartizan, and I suspect you wuz robbed! I think the route you did is called Kevizan (5.10+) and follows the obvious crack system up to and over the roof in the photo (from MP) below


The robbery part is that the route is credited to Wunsch and Bragg (1977) in both the Piana guide and (naturally) the MP entry for Kevizan.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 2, 2016 - 08:22am PT
I have friends that feel that is the best crack in the needles. I think it has a 10+ hand crack roof finish that you can see pretty well in Rich's photo.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Jul 2, 2016 - 08:23am PT
rgold,

Jul 1, 2016 - 12:27pm PT
Fritz Weissner predicted the Needles would become one of the the premier climbing areas in the U.S.

Apparently not (and hurray for that), but there is a hell of a lot to do in the region.


Shhss, don't tell anyone that,

the secret might get out!





It was always a July hit for me, thnx for posting happy 2 before 4 of 7 @016!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 2, 2016 - 08:28am PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 2, 2016 - 08:32am PT
Let the secret out there ain't no people around here.
rgold

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 2, 2016 - 12:08pm PT
I have friends that feel that is the best crack in the needles. I think it has a 10+ hand crack roof finish that you can see pretty well in Rich's photo.

The Nick of Time on the Outer Outlet is pretty good at 5.10a.


The Kamps Crack on the Bell Tower at 5.10 also comes to mind.


(Both pictures from MP)



Capt.

climber
some eastside hovel
Jul 2, 2016 - 12:25pm PT
The Needles kick so much ass. When my job in Bozeman (Dana Design) petered out I was pretty tempted to move there. Bishop had a better job offer. After seeing all these pics it always makes me wonder if I made the right choice.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 2, 2016 - 01:17pm PT
Rich, I remember it was a great climb. John wasn't with us on that trip.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 3, 2016 - 07:22pm PT
. Climbed a new route on the biggest wall on Harney peak today with an old friend. He did a great job on the first pitch which went at easy 5.11 or very hard 10+. Needles 5.11 steep hand crack wth two roofs was a little tough for me but I followed after a couple of falls. I then got the long squeeze chimney that goes at 8+ or 9. The hike was absolutely insanely hard because of the unbelievable amount of nettle kill and the corresponding downfall. There are new trails that go to this part of the mountain and we had to go up and over three or four different families that were all covered in downfall. We did see a really sweet crack in the formation I hadn't been to before I'm sure is also undone. That is the last picture. I had done the top third before on another route that comes into it towards the top but the bottom two thirds had not been done. We also had to take in a ton of gear because there's both assisting finger and hand cracked and sustained amount of really Wide crack so we had Doubles to a six and several triples.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Jul 4, 2016 - 04:44am PT
Soon!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 30, 2017 - 03:51pm PT
Wanted to share a photo from a friend of mine Paul Meier, but it is a great shot and says a lot about the climbing in the area. This route was put up not that long ago on vertigo which was the last major formation in the regularly climbed areas to be summited for obvious reasons. The original route goes up the middle of the face and is super runout at 11+. this routes is supposedly adequately protected with discontinuous cracks. I am not sure if it has bolts but was done ground up a 11a. I believe it climbs on both formations until you stem over to vertigo for the summit. I believe it was the second route to summit. Anyway it is a great shot and a stunning formation.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Oct 21, 2017 - 06:17pm PT
Needles bump...
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - May 17, 2018 - 12:34pm PT
Getting to be that season.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 17, 2018 - 03:35pm PT
Nice mike. We should be there about june 14th?? ish???
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - May 29, 2018 - 06:48pm PT
jack says hi from the hills.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 1, 2018 - 07:46pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 2, 2018 - 10:42pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 3, 2018 - 05:24pm PT
F10

Trad climber
Bishop
Jun 3, 2018 - 08:32pm PT
Amazing place, hope to get back there soon
Had a great time doing some classic routes.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 4, 2018 - 03:27pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 4, 2018 - 09:17pm PT
Late Starter

Social climber
NA
Jun 5, 2018 - 05:01am PT
I recognized Eyetooth and the start of Garfield Goes to Washington!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 5, 2018 - 05:43am PT
flatlandermcjack

Trad climber
Colorado
Jun 6, 2018 - 07:42pm PT
some photos taken from the top of the east summit of inner outlet
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 8, 2018 - 06:10pm PT
Below the yellow wall on Kayyam
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 9, 2018 - 04:56pm PT
Cool waterfalls upstream of the inlet to Horsetheif Lake
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jun 9, 2018 - 05:16pm PT
Awsome!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 10, 2018 - 01:24pm PT
Khayyam's impressive western wall with many very hard cracks plus an all-time favorite in Gods Own Drunk in the dihedral behind the tree.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 13, 2018 - 01:27pm PT
Gossimer
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 14, 2018 - 09:09am PT
Waves
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 15, 2018 - 11:01am PT
On top of Baldy
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 15, 2018 - 02:56pm PT
climbers all over South Tower which is right next to Spire 4, but just a little bit shorter than the highest of the cathedral spires. I believe the lower spire with climbers on it is called West Gruesome.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jun 15, 2018 - 03:43pm PT
Man, I have never been there but am stoked to go!
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 18, 2018 - 01:50pm PT
eeyonkee you would love it and tear it up. I know you said you are not a 5.11 climber anymore but you scamperedright up outer space the other night. Your offwidth and Eldo skills would do you well there. It would be a great place for sushi fest or a st get together.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 20, 2018 - 03:44pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 25, 2018 - 10:30pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 26, 2018 - 08:56am PT
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jun 26, 2018 - 11:04am PT
Gonna be out there any time soon, Mike?
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 27, 2018 - 02:53pm PT
Probably heading to the big horns at the end of july which are a couple of hours west in Wyoming. If we have time after trying our objective we may head that way, but I would be way interested in trying to set up a fall trip. You should send me your number and lets talk sometime about trying to get over there. Sent you a PM not sure if that works on here anymore.
flatlandermcjack

Trad climber
Colorado
Jun 28, 2018 - 06:27pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 1, 2019 - 06:41pm PT
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Topic Author's Reply - May 30, 2019 - 07:46pm PT
Goodbye bump
Messages 1 - 357 of total 357 in this topic
Return to Forum List
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta