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BETA PHOTO: The start of the Dark Tower route.
Scramble up to the northwest edge of the formation to get to the start of the route. Climb up and right on large holds to the first bolt. From here, traverse right and up past two more bolts to gain the flake. The moves past the third bolt to the flake are a little thin.
Climb the flake until you reach a stance on the right hand side of the blade, where you can clip the next bolt. Climbing past this, and the next bolt are the crux of the climb. It's think it's the hardest 5.8 I've done! Both Black Hills Jim and I think it's closer to 5.10.
After the crux, clip a third bolt and continue to the summit. A single 60m rope will easily get you down to an easy scrable back to your stuff.
All in all a pretty cool route! Bolts were put in on lead so it has a little different flavor than the typical Rushmore sport route.
Dark Tower is directly across the draw from Teachers Pet, and right of Crystal Ship. It's an obvious blade of rock. Cock Rock is directly behind it.
Protection is bolts and small to medium cams. Be sure to use some long slings in order to help reduce rope drag. There is a two-bolt anchor on top.
By L. Hamilton
Aug 26, 2013
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Excellent pitch, more complicated and a bigger lead effort than Pointy Little Devil next door. The long traverse makes it challenging for your second as well.
From: Rapid City, SD
Aug 30, 2013
A very fine route with a heady second part after the flake. I would bring some webbing to replace the anchor slings if I remember right.
By Harrison Teuber
From: Black Hills, SD
May 4, 2014
There are new bolts and a new anchor(2b/chains) on this route. 3 traversing into the flake and 2 on your way to the chains after the flake. Really fun route w/ cool exposure.