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Routes in Cliffs of Dune

Bene Gesserit S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Darth Cracker T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Seitch T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Thumper T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
GPS: 44.121, -103.427 Google Map · Climbing Map
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Shared By: Brad Boner on Mar 20, 2003
Admins: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Madsen, Mark Rafferty
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This is a relitively unvisited and undeveloped series of short routes on sandstone cliffs, about 8-10 miles out of Rapid City on Norris Peak Road. Only 2-3 of the routes are bolted, but there are 20+ sets of anchors along the top of the cliffs. Trad gear could be used on many routes, but might be unstable because most of the routes are not "clean" (i.e.: moss or loose rock). This area has a lot of potential, however, and offers a little of everything; cracks, faces, and even a cool roof to pull on.

Getting There

Drive west out of Rapid City on Nemo Road and turn left after a few miles on Norris Peak Road (the road connecting Nemo Road and Rimrock Highway). At exactly 1.1 miles you'll come to a stretch in the road, and you'll see a small/medium sized boulder on the left. Pull off here and park on the shoulder. From the boulder walk straight into the woods and up the hill until you come to one of many deer trails. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE use the deer trails to SWITCHBACK up the hill, rather than soldiering your way straight up. This will minimize erosion in the area. It only takes about 5 minutes to hike to the base of the cliffs. Once at the base, the best way to get on top is to turn left and after a short ways you'll see an easy 5.4 scramble to the top.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cliffs of Dune

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Darth Cracker
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Bene Gesserit
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Darth Cracker 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Seitch 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Bene Gesserit 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
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the five bolt route is called "Bene Gesserit." Mike Lilygren and myself bolted this line (on rappel) in the early nineties. I took Mike's word on the name. He claimed they were witches in the book "Dune." Fortunately, we have Wikipedia nowadays to confirm such things. oh yea it is on FS. walked the cliff band for a ways to the south and east and it appears that quite ways down it does become private. a person can look for the red posts/yellow signs. Jun 7, 2009
Paxton Alsgaard
Fairfax, VA
Paxton Alsgaard   Fairfax, VA
Is this area on BHNF land or private property? Nov 7, 2006
There's an excellent 5.10 out there next to a 5.9 crack and another 5.10, but I can't remember their names. You can only lead one of the 5.10s, if I remember correctly. They're on the northern side of the cliff band. God, that whole stretch of road towards Nemo is filled with this kind of rock. Beautiful! May 7, 2003
Every Route in this area has only one anchor, which I thought was sketchy. Bring a lot of webbing to tie around trees to use as backup anchors. The thought of climbing on one anchor in sandstone scares the sheeet out of me. Apr 28, 2003
Doom = Dune... my mistake... either the person who took me there had it wrong or I heard it wrong... probably the latter, as i'm hard of hearing anyways! sorry for the typ-o! -b Apr 9, 2003
Dune was written by Frank Herbert, not Kipling. Apr 9, 2003
This area was first climbed on by Vern Phinney and some of his mates who grew up in the area. Before they we're into climbing they would hike to the top and rap off! The area was named the Cliffs of Dune after the book/movie Dune by Kipling. Dune is quality sandstone with some established trad routes and a few bolted lines. We (Vern, Paul Duvall and I) put the top rope anchors in for the Paha Sapa Pumpfest in the 90's. Apr 6, 2003

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