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Beta for Blackhills, South Dakota
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By Dallas R
From Traveling the USA
Aug 11, 2014
Dallas R
We are headed for Custer, SD for a week. Can anyone suggest a good Rock Climbing Route Guide for that area?

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By Brent Larsen
From Spearfish, SD
Aug 11, 2014
EBM, 5.11a Sunshine Wall, Spearfish Canyon. South ...
This is the only name you need to know. They sell the best guidebook. They made it themselves. Just be sure to be at sylvan lake store at about 8 am. They start guiding at about 9 and are back sometime between noon and two pm. The sylvan lake store might have the guidebook and it might also be available at Granite Sports in Hill City.

sylvanrocks.com/

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By Brent Larsen
From Spearfish, SD
Aug 11, 2014
EBM, 5.11a Sunshine Wall, Spearfish Canyon. South ...
This will help too.

fixedpin.com/products/the-need...

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By Brent Larsen
From Spearfish, SD
Aug 11, 2014
EBM, 5.11a Sunshine Wall, Spearfish Canyon. South ...
As well this...
amazon.com/Dakotas-Spearfish-C...

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By Brent Larsen
From Spearfish, SD
Aug 11, 2014
EBM, 5.11a Sunshine Wall, Spearfish Canyon. South ...
This one is sort of awful. But it works if you are not here for much more than a week.
rei.com/product/762336/the-nee...

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By Brent Larsen
From Spearfish, SD
Aug 11, 2014
EBM, 5.11a Sunshine Wall, Spearfish Canyon. South ...
And if you really want the beta...this is our bible...our dead sea scrolls so to speak.

amazon.com/Touch-Sky-Needles-A...

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By Wilson On The Drums
From Woodbury, MN
Aug 11, 2014
best in the hills
nice posting Brent, Dallas just get ahold of him, he knows his stuff haha. I'd second the Sylvan Rocks guide book and they should have it at Granite Sports, although it's not very comprehensive it does cover a lot of classics. Wouldn't hurt to download the mountainproject app either.

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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Aug 12, 2014
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
You might be able to get the Piana guide used in good condition for $175. New for maybe twice as much or more.

Also worth mentioning:

South Dakota Needles:  The adventure climbs of Herb and Jan Conn
by Lindsay Stephens. stores.sharpendbooks.com/south...

Black Hills Needles - Selected Free Climbs by Dingus McGee and the Last Pioneer Woman. This is out of print. However, "Dingus McGee" posts periodically on SuperTopo and I imagine if anyone knows where to find a copy, he might.

Here's a link to an image of the Cathedral Spires Map: supertopo.com/photos/11/73/238.... You have to click the image once to get the larger size. The map was originally drawn by Herb Conn from surveys he did. This version was produced from the original Conn map, which was mimeographed, by using a pantograph tracing linkage. I started the project for Bob Kamps' guidebook but turned it over to Kay Arnot as she had real drafting experience. Kamps turned over all his materials to Paul and so the map was included with Touch the Sky.

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By Dallas R
From Traveling the USA
Aug 12, 2014
Dallas R
Thanks for the info, looks like the Fixedpin Needles of Rushmore will be best for us. I would love to the Piana book but it's a little pricey for the short amount of time we will have there, ditto climbing guides. I love going with guides, but rarely can afford them.

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By mike gibson
From Rapid City, SD
Aug 12, 2014
Just a little clarification that might help out:

The Needles of Rushmore by Andrew Busse & Andrew Burr covers the Rushmore area and some other dispersed areas north of Custer State Park. It does not cover Custer State Park including Sylvan Lake, the Needles Highway (ten pins, switchbacks, etc) or Cathedral Spires.

Regarding areas close to Custer:

The best available guide book for the Needles Highway and Cathedral Spires is:
The Needles
By Zach Orenczak and Rachael Lynn
$35
extremeanglespublishing.com/in...

The newer version of the Orenczak guide book has a crude coverage of Sylvan Lake - the older version doesnt cover Sylvan Lake.

For the Sylvan Lake Area which is where you will most likely want to climb, there just isnt a guide book of any great quality. The Sylvan Rocks guide book or the Orenczak guide book are about equal in coverage of Sylvan Lake.

Although I'm partial to the other guide books, what would really serve you best is the newer version Orenczak guide book.

On the other hand, the Busse guide is of exceptional quality, and the Rushmore area is much easier to access and figure out where the routes are, although the drive is slighty longer by maybe 20 minutes.

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By Wilson On The Drums
From Woodbury, MN
Aug 14, 2014
best in the hills
Keep in mind what kind of routes you want to climb too, Rushmore is mainly single pitch "sport" and the good routes start at the 5.7 and up range, with exceptions like Second Hand Rose and the Slant Crack Variation to Garfield Goes to Washington. Custer State Park has a higher concentration of easier climbs, Sylvan Lake has multiple single pitch routes under 5.7 (inner course is a great intro to the area) and the Cathedral Spires have some great 2-4 pitch routes with 5th class scrambling up to 5.6.

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