Type: Trad, 120 ft
FA: Bob Kamps with Mark and Beverly Powell 1965
Page Views: 10,882 total · 54/month
Shared By: Andrew Gram on Jul 17, 2002
Admins: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Mike Madsen, Mark Rafferty

You & This Route

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This is the best pitch of climbing under 5.9 in the Outlets, and maybe the best single pitch period.

On the side of Inner Outlet opposite the lake, look for a beautiful prominent crack. Climb it. A fairly long sustained pitch of great climbing with bomber gear leads to the top of the formation. The climbing is stout for 5.7, but it is so well protected it is a much easier way to the top of the Inner Outlet than the Wiessner Chimney.

This is one of the top ten pitches in the Needles for sure. A double rope rap from the to lads to the ground.


Standard Rack. This is one of those magnificent climbs that sucks up almost any gear anywhere.
This route was first climbed August 5, 1965 by Bob Kamps with Mark and Beverly Powell. This is a great climb in the mornings of a really hot day since it will stay cool for sometime. This is also one of the few Needles routes that will form a line of climbers waiting to do it. Aug 15, 2002
I don___t doubt that for you seasoned trad climbers, this climb is like a walk in the park. However, I___m not and it was not. :-) However, there were no surprises on this route when scoping it out from the bottom. It looks to be a pretty serious climb and it is. It's on you for most of the climb with one good rest spot and a few other ok spots. You may be inclined to user your large cams on the bottom, but save them for the top half where the crack widens. There are bomber nut placements on the lower half.I had to kind of plan ahead at the top for using my one and only #4 Camalot, the last piece.Nice climb though, I___m glad I did it!


John Page's guide rates this climb as a 5.8, that seems to be a more accurate rating. Jun 16, 2003
Sorry about all the separate posts, but one more thought. When throwing your rope from the top, try to toss it to the west. If you don't, you'll end up with a jumbled mess on top of the huge block just to the east of the climb. On the advise of a local, when pulling the rope you should stand as far west and against Vertigo as you can get so you can clear the block. I didn't do the toss right, but the pull went just fine. Jun 16, 2003
Theo Barker
Formerly Loveland, CO
Theo Barker   Formerly Loveland, CO
We thought this was a classic crack! I ended up taking my #4 & #5 Camalots with me and placed them 3/4 of the way up. Weren't necessary, but I had them and they were quicker than placing something else there. Really appreciated the "Throw West young man" advice. We had to use two ropes to rap. We had two 60m ropes (10.5mm & 8.5mm). I'd say it's a classic solid 5.7 crack. Aug 28, 2003
Theo Barker
Formerly Loveland, CO
Theo Barker   Formerly Loveland, CO
Just a note about the picture showing Sylvan Lake and the front side of this rock. The route and rap anchors are actually on the other side of the rock that is pointed to in the photo. HTH. Aug 30, 2003
Eric Krantz
Black Hills
Eric Krantz   Black Hills
Great climb!! I used nuts, small and medium hexes and some tricams, which seemed to work well, though would've been nice to have some large cams. This one is fun, fun and just fun, with great belay stance at the top. May 9, 2004
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
A great line but for most people will probably feel more like 5.8 than 5.7. It is also long and fairly sustained. A true trad classic. Jul 4, 2007
I should read the description in the guide book before leaving the ground. Don't jam it the whoel way up unless you want to make it harder than necessary. MY SO lead it with ease, I seconded it with pain and grunting. When I got to the top he asked why all the grunting, I said I was havving some trouble jamming in the wider sections. He said, "Oh, you use the face for holds, not the crack." Oops, I'll know better next time. Jul 12, 2007
randy baum
Minneapolis, MN
randy baum   Minneapolis, MN
What's the name and grade of the bolted climb to the right of Classic Crack? The climb's about 7 bolts long with a gear placement or two up higher. I think the grade around 10a/b. Jul 15, 2008
Brian K
Rapid City, SD
Brian K   Rapid City, SD
I think it's called "Two Year Plan." My friend said it was 10d. Good route. Jul 16, 2008
Joe M
Beckley, wv
Joe M   Beckley, wv
Definitely my favorite route in the whole Needles area so far and probably in the top 3 for the entire Black Hills!!! This is a MUST do for anyone who like trad. You can pretty much sew it up the entire way and shouldnt need anything bigger than a #3 camalot. I used hand jams most of the way up and had no prblems with it. Cant wait to do it again! Sep 2, 2008
Lead this beauty on my first ever trip to the needles area one could only wish all trad was this good!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sep 1, 2010
Joel Leusink
Hull, IA
Joel Leusink   Hull, IA
Climbed this route twice now. great fun and a great route to practice your Trad leading skills. The second time I used one 70 meter rope and just barely made it to the ground. This saved me from having to haul a second rope up a one pitch climb. May 29, 2012
Wilson On The Drums
Woodbury, MN
Wilson On The Drums   Woodbury, MN
standard rack from small-ish .3/.4 up to 3, one set of nuts, and 8-10 draws is plenty. no need for anything bigger than a 4. bring a sling or 2, there's a couple bomber horns to sling up top. awesome, comfy belay ledge too. this route is so great! Sep 27, 2012
RustyLane   Minneapolis
Great climb, I first climbed to add to my list of classic climbs to guide back when I guided full time. I highly recommend, solid pro and solid placements all the way to the top, when it backs off climb like a classic Black Hills climb and run it out! Jun 23, 2014
Seth Hogan
Frisco, Co
Seth Hogan   Frisco, Co
Solid route, all 'round. Good gear, couple of spicy 5.8 moves and just stellar movement. Best pitch I've done in South Dakota, period. Jul 10, 2015
Ryan Emery
Black Hills, SD
Ryan Emery   Black Hills, SD
A very nice route! There are some nice jams! If you are feeling shaky on this I would recommend saving your wider gear for the top! Great view of Sylvan, carry your camera up with ya! Mar 16, 2016