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Heading to Needles/Rushmore SD for a week - recommendations?
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Site Landlord
Jul 2, 2013
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
Hi,

My wife and I are heading to the Needles/Rushmore SD for a week of climbing - woot!

First time there for us....

We have the beautiful new Rushmore guide. Is there any guide for Custer State Park (the "Needles"?)

And any must do recommendations? No scare fests - it'll be our first time there. Anything from 5.7 to 10+ sport or trad is good.

Cheers
Andy
Andy Laakmann
From Bend, OR
Joined Jan 1, 2001
2,412 points
Jul 2, 2013
Heavy Weather
mountainproject.com/v/cerberus...

must do!
Justin Compton
From Lafayette, CO
Joined Jul 30, 2009
766 points
Jul 2, 2013
At the BRC
I like the Sylvan Lake Campground if you can find a spot. Walking distance to climbing.

Haven't seen the new guides. The old skinny guide by ?John Page? (can't remember the name exactly) had a good selection of reasonably protected Needles moderates.

The Black Hills Playhouse is a nice diversion one night.
blackhillsplayhouse.weebly.com...
Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
200 points
Administrator
Jul 2, 2013
This problem haunted my dreams for 6 years after f...
I am not a local but been going annually since 2004. If I had just a few days this is what I'd do as a newcomer.

In the cathedral spires, do spire 2 - 5.6 and spire 4 - 5.4. If you have time, eyetooth (amazing summit) - 5.8. On the way there or back you can do Cerberus - 5.8. God's own drunk - 5.8 is also in the spires and is very cool with a cool summit. Spire 1 - 5.7? has an awesome summit as well.

At Rushmore, baba cool 5.9+ is an amazing intro to crystal climbing. Stardancer 5.8, weird water 5.7, and pointy little devil 5.8 are all really close together. Gossamer 5.7 is very cool and close as well. Weird water has amazing exposure. All these should be considered mandatory classics. All are single pitch bolted climbs.

Also at Rushmore, Garfield goes to Washington (3 pitches @ 5.8) was really enjoyable with awesome views from the top.

I wanted to link to each climb but my computer is fried and iPad sucks for this type of thing.

If you can find a copy, the old paul piana guide, "touch the sky", is great for the needles. The other 2 mentioned above are pretty good. I really like the Conn "adventure climbs" guide.

You should also consider going to spearfish canyon for a day or two. Get the Cronin guide to black hills limestone.
Chris treggE
From Madison, WI
Joined May 25, 2007
9,229 points
Jul 2, 2013
Four little fishies on aquarium rock and Three Rings for the Elven Kings in middle earth are my picks for the best 5.9s in the needles. BrianKostelnik57
Joined May 30, 2012
1 points
Jul 2, 2013
I'll put in additional votes for Four Little Fishes, Star Dancer and Tricouni Nail (Cerberus).

Curt
Curt Shannon
Joined Jun 3, 2006
13 points
Jul 2, 2013
VC!! Jimmy Burckhard
From Fort Collins, CO
Joined Sep 9, 2009
34 points
Jul 3, 2013
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogsti...
Some recommendations for the Custer State Park (no scarefests, as requested). In the maps, I've tried to have the label arrows point to the approximate start of the route (for those routes I specifically recommended). If you enlarge the maps you'll get excellent detail.

Sylvan Lake:
Aquarium Rock, from Aquarium-Icehouse notch, 5.3, mountainproject.com/v/conn-rou...,
Southeast corner, Four Little Fishies, 5.9, mountainproject.com/v/four-lit....

Outlets:
Outer Outlet, Conn Route Northwest Face, 5.6, a classic, mountainproject.com/v/conn-dia....
Nick of Time, 5.10-, mountainproject.com/v/nick-of-....

Rob Knob's Spire, Kamps Route, 5.8, John Bragg leading


Needles Outlets map.
Needles Outlets map.


Needle's Eye:
Sore Thumb, 5.9, one of the best at this grade in the park. Upper part shown below. The obvious crack below the climbers is reached via a layback flake to the left.


Bell Tower, Kamps Crack, 5.10, mountainproject.com/v/kamps-cr....

Needle's Eye map detail.
Needle's Eye map detail.



Switchbacks:
Phallus, 5.8, mountainproject.com/v/phallus/....
Moby Dick, Nantucket Sleighride, 5.10, mountainproject.com/v/moby-dic.... Piana says, "This may be the best climb of its grade in the Needles." Labeled "NSL" on the map.

Ten Pins:
Tent Peg, 5.7, mountainproject.com/v/tent-peg...,
Cerberus (Tricouni Nail), 5.8, mountainproject.com/v/cerberus..., view from Queenpin:

End Pin, 5.10+, mountainproject.com/v/end-pin/...

Needles Switchbacks & Tenpins map.
Needles Switchbacks & Tenpins map.


Cathedral Spires:
Spire One, Conn Route, 5.5, mountainproject.com/v/spire-on...,
South Tower of Spire 4, 5.7, mountainproject.com/v/south-to...,
East Gruesome, 5.8+, (Combining the East Gruesome with the South Tower of Spire 4 is one of the best outings in the Cathedral Spires),
Freak's Fright South Ridge, 5.10, mountainproject.com/v/freaks-f...,
Freak's Foot, 5.8,
Eyetooth, 5.8, mountainproject.com/v/eyetooth...,
Empire State Building, Wavy Crack, 5.9.

Picket Fence:
Wicked Picket, SW Ridge/W Face, 5.7, mountainproject.com/v/wicked-p....

Needles Cathedral Spires & Picket Fence.
Needles Cathedral Spires & Picket Fence.
rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Joined Feb 15, 2008
308 points
Jul 3, 2013
Daryl Stisser & Cheryl Mayer (Sylvan Lake Climbing School & Guide Service) just printed a guide book, Needles, A Mini Guide to Custer State Park - Black Hills. Available at Granite Rock in Hill City or from the van at Sylvan Lake. Roger Sweeney
Joined Jun 30, 2013
0 points
Site Landlord
Jul 3, 2013
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
Great stuff everyone, thanks! Andy Laakmann
From Bend, OR
Joined Jan 1, 2001
2,412 points
Administrator
Jul 3, 2013
This problem haunted my dreams for 6 years after f...
Needles book

Limestone sport guide

Conn adventure climbs book

Granite Sports where they have the new Needles Miniguide -- just call them and they will mail you one.

Rushmore which it sounds like you already have.
Chris treggE
From Madison, WI
Joined May 25, 2007
9,229 points


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