crow peak in spring
The Crow Peak flows come in on highyield years, lots of snow and runoff create several water ice runnels which cascade over the limestone bands on the northeast side of crow peak. When in the climbing ranges from wi3 to wi4 and feels more committing than the flows in spearfish canyon. Crow peak ice was in in 96 and 2001, it did not come in last year, this year is dry so far. The rock is poor, the poorest of poor. I have yet to see a rock band up there that is solid. A truely slaggy heaping pile of choss untouchable in the summer. Good cold weather and moisture turn this into a south dakota alpiney day trip. The best bet for pro is screws, if your off the ice some pins, blades and assorted trad aid gear may provide you with some security. There are 3 drainages on the east facing headwall, all have ice in them on a good year. There are smaller flows between these drainages that are usually thin and provide spicey climbing. There are no fixed anchors anywhere on the headwall, rappelling from trees is the best way down.
Crow peak is the prominent landmark west of Spearfish. To reach the ice climbs drive to the trailhead, walk through the gate to crow peak trail, follow the trail for a short distance approx, .2 miles. Leave the main trail on the right and walk west, you will gain some elevation but not much. The draws are choked with deadfall so avoid them. Your destination is the northeast headwall, it is chossy limestone. The approach takes about an hour with climbing pack, good luck. This is a fun area with a lot of climbing when in, check it out.
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BETA PHOTO: Gully leading up to the Main flow