BETA PHOTO: Eyetooth from downhill in the Spire Four-Five gull...
Eyetooth is an unmistakable spire that looms at the top of the Spire Four-Five gully. The tip of the spire is curving and produces a massive overhang on the uphill side. The routes to the top are fairly bold, and should not be taken lightly. Bring gear for any route, although a few bolts are in place. Also, a two-rope rappel is recommended. A one-rope rappel may be possible, with the addition of a downclimb in a 4th class chimney.
Take trail #4 towards the Cathedral Spires. Take the climber's spur trail to the right before reaching the spires. Start counting major gullies. Pass the first 3 major gullies, and head up the 4th. This approach can be confusing. Tend leftwards, and identify the Spire Four-Five gully by being the most wide and open of any of them. If you have chosen correctly, Eyetooth will be very obvious sitting in the center of the gully. Do not attempt to find this from the uphill side because it cliffs out and you will not be able to reach the base of the routes.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Eyetooth:
Walk around the front of Eyetooth to enter the Chimney on the Southeast side (separating the main mass from the large outer "flake"). Climb easily up to the top of the chimney and belay on the South West Shoulder at the crack leading up and left.Follow the Obvious Crack up and left on to the South West side of the spire. There is a fixed pin in the crack up high if I remember correctly. Move up out of the crack and right onto the south face to clip a big new bolt (better than the scary old na...[more]Browse More Classics in SD
I believe the classic or original line follows an east facing chimney to a prominant horn (you can barely wrap your arms around it). From there, climb the crack to connect to the diagonal seams, which contain hidden pins. Classic Needle's traverse. Scramble to the top, with the final exam being a test on smearing skills. Great view of the final pitch of the east gruesome conn route.
This hunk of rock could become your ultimate road less traveled. It was birthed from the fiery depths, for the purpose of suppressing and even killing the inner sport climber that is keeping you from becoming the adventure climber that you desire to be. In the mind's eye, this spire brings forth images of evil, like the castle in the "Dark Tower", it looms like a symbolic nightmare, a defiant provocation for the gunslinger to unleash a new level of confidence and inner prowess upon. After a miserable hike, you will walk around the base of this hideous monstrosity, clutching your Poor person's Guide and thinking to yourself "Which crack you jackass? How about some freaking beta here?!" My partner and I started this journey too late in the day one fine summer, just like all those boobs in the movies, who decided to go kill Dracula, at his castle, just after happy hour. I can't tell you if we picked the right crack, but the pro was solid and the climbing was of the challenging pick your own adventure variety. On the second pitch, all I could hear was the tick tock of my tell tale heart as I watched my partner put in shaky pro along this beautiful, enticing flake that looked, and climbed like a backwards version of Gossamer. After slinging the top of the flake, the journey became a bit more mysterious, and heart-stopping, as my partner took a fifteen foot whipper while attempting the face moves, averting death and dismemberment by the toothy pits below by a questionably placed TCU. Then, with the dark skies flashing with lighting, and gloomy racing clouds racing over Custer, we repelled off, just before the malevolent darkness engulfed us, and we managed to liv to adventure another day. I highly recommend this climb for its mysterious and unstraightforward beauty. Go figure it out for yourself, we must all find our own way to the top and discover something about ourselves along the way.
"Do not attempt to find this from the uphill side because it cliffs out and you will not be able to reach the base of the routes."
You actually can reach this from the backside but it's a royal pain and requires some short climbing and/or belays. Not recommended for sure. Brent Larsen: fantastic and accurate depiction. We went up there in 2008 and were rebuffed after one pitch, and went back to finish the job in 2009. We were not disappointed. Adventure climbing at it's best.