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Big Black Face

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Black Sheets of Rain S 
Candy Apple Gray S 
Cougar's Pupil S 
Cougar's Tail S 
Eye of the Tiger S 
Husker Don't S 
Land Speed Record S 
Lost Ninja S 
Pakistani Route S 
Sir Slabs A Lot S 
Under the Gun S 
Wiley Coyote S 

Big Black Face  


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Administrators: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Housiaux, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: John Gunnels on Apr 9, 2008
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Flower growing out of the Big Black Face.

Description 

This wall defines "Sunshine". There may be a foot of snow on the ground... but it's more than likely the wall will be quite nice. High concentration of 5.9 to 10d. Excellent for the hardman to warm up... and the novice to enjoy all day long.

Getting There 

Take the Sunshine approach trail. Turn left at the wall and walk about 3 or 4 minutes. Obvious "Big Black Face" with 13 or 14 bolted lines.

Climbing Season



Weather station 5.7 miles from here

12 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',1],['5.8',0],['5.9',2],['5.10',6],['5.11',2],['5.12',1],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Big Black Face:
Lost Ninja   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Pakistani Route   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 95'   
Black Sheets of Rain   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Land Speed Record   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Eye of the Tiger   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 60'   
Husker Don't   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 100'   
Candy Apple Gray   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Cougar's Pupil   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 50'   
Under the Gun   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Browse More Classics in Big Black Face

Featured Route For Big Black Face
A couple moves from the anchors

Pakistani Route 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a  SD : Spearfish Canyon : ... : Big Black Face
Step left off the initial block to make your first clip. Follow the stellar pockets to the fifth bolt where one steps left an follows the arete' to the anchors. Crux may be the first lieback... but pump factor increases the difficulty of the ending mantel....[more]   Browse More Classics in SD

Photos of Big Black Face Slideshow Add Photo
The Gunnels clan on "Pakistani Route" and "Lost Ninja"...
The Gunnels clan on "Pakistani Route" and "Lost Ni...
Can't remember which route, was a 5.10d.  April 23, 2004.
Can't remember which route, was a 5.10d. April 23...
The Big Black Face. The rope is hanging on Black Sheets of Rain, 5.10a <br /> <br />The Sunshine Wall, Spearfish Canyon. <br />South Dakota.
The Big Black Face. The rope is hanging on Black S...

Comments on Big Black Face Add Comment
Show which comments
By Christian B. Baird
Apr 9, 2008
Just about got taken out by rockfall from above the other day,
ohh like half a basketball hurdling at my face
be aware of melty conditions at this wall.
By Mikel Cronin
Sep 1, 2009
If you look at the guide book for Sunshine it shows Lost Ninja as the left most route on the Big Black Face. That is now wrong. The left most route on that wall is a new 5.9+/5.10- that was put up by John Walker a few years ago. The route you asked about is actually Lost Ninja. At one time there was a plaque at the base of the new route, you are not the first person to get mixed up. There should be a new guide book next year to stop the confusion.
Big Black Face from the steep wall to left now goes
Proj, Proj, 12a, 9+, 11c, 9+/10-, 9, 10a, 10d, 10b, 10d,
By Jon Marek
From: SLC
Apr 24, 2010
There are seven routes on the main Big Black Face. I believe only four are listed here. Anyone know the rest?
By R.Walters
Apr 24, 2010
Jon, see comment above.

Mike, I think there is one more route right of the long 10d Husker Don't. I'm not sure if you knew this already but you might want to check if you don't have it in your notes. I think it goes at mid ten.
By Mikel Cronin
Apr 24, 2010
Reggie
I will check that out. Thanks for the info.
Mike
By Mike McNeil
From: Spearfish, South Dakota
Jul 13, 2010
No route on this wall is pg-13 in my opinion. I also feel these are some of the best routes for the grade in the canyon. There is very little loose rock on the routes, they have fun and varied movement, the routes are as long as they get in the canyon, and they probably see as much traffic as any routes in the canyon. Unsure of why they were given such low star ratings in the guide. I might be biased though.
By Brent Larsen
From: Spearfish, SD
Nov 29, 2011
Seeking a winter climbing area with lots and lots of sunlight baking the rock to sending temperature perfection? This is the place! Nice mud free belays and black rock make this place like the beach. You can climb in a T-Shirt in January.

However, on a cautionary note on warms days when there is a lot of melting snow be careful for rockfall! Helmets are not a bad idea when climbing and belaying. Also on that note, on warm days that had a lot of snowfall proceeding them a few climbs, if not all the climbs may have water running down them. This doesn't happen a lot though, for the most part the Big Black Face is like Heaven. A great place to stay warm when climbing during cold months.

Sidenote: Cougar's Pupil, Eye of the Tiger and Cougar's Tail are described in the new guidebook as being members of what is now known as "The Cat Wall".