Type: Trad, 250 ft, 3 pitches
FA: Herb and Jan Conn
Page Views: 5,293 total · 27/month
Shared By: Peter Gram on Sep 8, 2002
Admins: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Mike Madsen, Mark Rafferty

You & This Route

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This route mostly follows the original Conn route done in 1949. Only the 3rd pitch splits off of the first ascent line. The climb is all 5.3 or under except one 5.6 move at the beginning of the 3rd pitch. Look for a heavily trampled area in the grass on the east side of the spire.

Pitch 1: Climb up the water drainage through sometimes very large crystals. One of the coolest parts of this climb is a near vertical section in a large quartz band. The pitch ends at an obvious set of fixed anchors.

Pitch 2: Finish climbing to the top of the water drainage. The last move is the hardest, and requires a belly flop for some on to a huge belay ledge with fixed anchors.

Pitch 3: This variation is probably the standard now. Climb up the face above, using 1 bolt to get off a ledge on to the face. Make a few moves to fixed anchors at the top.The highest point is a "jump" away. If you want, carefully head over to the true summit.

To descend, rap the route. Make sure to bring 2 ropes.


Standard Rack. Protection is sparse in places, but definitely adequate.
You can rap the route with just one 165ft (50m) rope easily.you'll do it in three rappels. A 55m or 185 is rope left over. Sep 8, 2002
Tyson Arp  
Pitches 1 and 2 can be combined into one 185 foot pitch. For fun, instead of clipping the bolt on pitch 3 and climbing up the face, move right from the top of the pillar and make a very exposed step down and right to a gully that leads to the top. It may be only 5.3 but it is very exciting--one of those instant exposure kind of moves. For the descent, three short raps seem to make more sense to avoid getting a rope stuck on retrieval.

For a few more photos and info visit my website. Jul 8, 2003
Peter Gram
Portland, OR
Peter Gram   Portland, OR  
I climbed this route again about a month ago. My memory must have been shady, only one rope is necessary. Even though pitches one and two can be combined, there is a very nice belay stance at the top of pitch one. Jul 9, 2003
The route starts at the very easy looking drainage with the obvious trampled dirt patch. It is NOT the water worn streak with large crystals a few hundred feet North near the high point of the saddle between Spire 2 and Spire 3 (although this climb is an ADVENTURE in itself!)East Face route is an asthetic climb w/good pro.It CAN be rapped from the top with TWO one rope 60m rappels, if you go down East from the ledge at the top of Pitch Two (viewed by going East through the short "tunnel" created by the leaning rock). This will just lead you to a rap station slung around a horn. A one rope 60m rappel gets you to the ground. This rap route undoubtably presents a greater risk of your rope getting stuck, but it's reasonable if you take care in pulling your rope. We had no issues. Jul 24, 2005
John Gunnels
Gillette, WY
John Gunnels   Gillette, WY
Beautiful summit... I think I could see my house back in Gillette... Sep 5, 2007
Aaron Costello
Rapid City, SD
Aaron Costello   Rapid City, SD
Nice new anchors on top. Fantastic route. Jul 1, 2008
chris tregge
chris tregge   Beersconsin  
Hey Aaron, send me your pics and/or post em up yourself! Great climbing with you again. Superb route, my favorite spire so far. First 2 pitches easily done as one (60M rope), although it's runout to the anchors at the top of the second pitch. I guess either way it would be, but it's easy climbing anyway. Jul 8, 2008
Hartford, SD
TREEfool   Hartford, SD
We did not want to risk getting a knot stuck in the gully so we did three rappels to the base on a 60m rope. Bring webbing for the lowest set of bolts as they do not have any chains on them. Aug 25, 2012
Hartford, SD
TREEfool   Hartford, SD
This route is known as Spire 2 by the locals. Quick, easy, and great views. Jul 10, 2013
I did this route today and the 2nd belay station had some pretty legit webbing and rappel rings on it. Other than that the anchors were in pretty usable shape.

Sweet route. Jul 21, 2013
Madison, WIsconsin
Gokul   Madison, WIsconsin  
I found the pitch 3 description somewhat misleading. Here's how I'd describe it:

Pitch 3: From the bolted anchors go up the chimney via the wide crack to a large chockstone above. The face above this is protected by a bolt - climb up past the bolt to the anchors at the top of the lower summit. There's an easy walk-across to the true summit, with better views of spires 3 and 4. There are also rap anchors here for a double-rope rap. To rap the route with a single rope, step back down to the lower summit and use the chains there. Jul 8, 2014
Kyle Robson
Oakland, CA
Kyle Robson   Oakland, CA
Pitch 3: if you have two 60m ropes, go straight to the true summit clipping a bolt on the false summit. Belay your partner up from the bolts on the true summit. Rap from the chains on the true summit. Two 60m ropes get you to another rap station that's on a ledge straight down. A second rap will bring you to the ground near where you started. Sep 4, 2014