|Trail of Tears Wall
Paha Sapa aka "Chockstoned"
Chalkstoned... good route, really needs more traff...
Are you tired of getting sand-bagged? Does your climbing party have a beginner? Are you looking for the perfect 5.9 warm-up to start your day in the land of the five twelves? Look no further. Routes in the "Five Fun" or the "I suck and want to climb something that won't kill me" range are quite rare in Spearfish Canyon. That alone makes this route an absolute gem. Starts on pockets and makes its way up to a roof section that might make you think for a bit before you sail your way to the anchors. Paha Sapa is the perfect 5.9 in the stronghold of strong people climbs.
But wait! There's more! Those strong men and strong women, who actually believe in a warm-up burn before tearing into the harder routes, will benefit from climbing past the anchors of this climb and putting their rope through the next set of anchors to the right.
Voila! You now have a top-rope that falls directly over Peace Pipe. Have your belayer gently put you on the ground and start climbing again. Doing this will give you ANOTHER warm-up lap in the 5.10c range that will get your muscles and tendons where they need to be at before you take one of the many difficult climbs in the area.
On an interesting side note, Paha Sapa means "Black Hills" in Lakota. The original native people believed that the Paha Sapa were essentially the heart of everything in existance. Recently, satellites at the Eros Data Center, near Sioux Falls, South Dakota, photographed Paha Sapa from above. When the pictures were developed, scientists were shocked to learn that the Black Hills were the exact shape of the human heart. You could even see the chambers, veins, and arteries!
Walk underneath the chockstone and up the hill a bit. Belayers can park their butts on the top of the hill and climbers will start a bit lower on big, obvious pockets. This climb shares bolts with a super-fun hard climb which meanders to the left, so if you want to stay in five nine territory be sure to follow the bolt line to the right.
Take ten quickdraws. This route has open-shut anchors so top-ropers really should have the belayer's side of the rope clipped into a quickdraw which is clipped into the last bolt before the anchors.
Belayers should station themselves in the slopey, dirt hillside directly under the chockstone. Don't worry, its been tested and won't be falling down anytime soon. A nice place to get out of the rain on days when the weather isn't playing so nice.
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