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North Crack

5.7+, Trad, 250 ft (76 m), 3 pitches,  Avg: 3.4 from 27 votes
FA: Barry Corbet, Jake Breitenbach, Charles Plummer '56
S Dakota > Custer SP > Cathedral Spires > Balcony Point

Description

This is a great climb. Start by climbing the first 2 pitches of the east face route on Spire Two. Then, when at the saddle between Spire Two and Balcony Point, climb up to the obvious beautiful splitter crack that goes almost to the summit of Balcony Point. Climb this, the hardest move being pulling through a bulgy crack to the top of the pillar.

Protection

Standard Rack. The 3rd pitch is a perfect crack that eats up gear.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Summit 2
[Hide Photo] Summit 2
Confronting the steep bulge at the top of the crack.  I figured there would be a huge 'thank-god' hold right over the top to yard on, but I'm not telling--you'll have to go and find out for your self!
[Hide Photo] Confronting the steep bulge at the top of the crack. I figured there would be a huge 'thank-god' hold right over the top to yard on, but I'm not telling--you'll have to go and find out for your self!
Looking from Spire Three, the spire just left of center is Balcony Point. Spire Two is to right of center. Right and back from Spire Two is Spire One. Khayyam Spire is in the background. The crux from me on Balcony Point was pulling up the final crack to
[Hide Photo] Looking from Spire Three, the spire just left of center is Balcony Point. Spire Two is to right of center. Right and back from Spire Two is Spire One. Khayyam Spire is in the background. The crux f…
Summit 1
[Hide Photo] Summit 1
Jeff J. conquers the Balcony Point crux
[Hide Photo] Jeff J. conquers the Balcony Point crux
Jeff J. places gear in the crack before starting the crux of Balcony Point.  Photo taken from atop Spire 2.
[Hide Photo] Jeff J. places gear in the crack before starting the crux of Balcony Point. Photo taken from atop Spire 2.
Looking back to the cozy belay at the end of the pitch two, while Angela arp and Matt Misfeldt cheer me on.
[Hide Photo] Looking back to the cozy belay at the end of the pitch two, while Angela arp and Matt Misfeldt cheer me on.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Tyson Arp
Omaha, NE
  5.6
[Hide Comment] A very fun climb! Definitely as intimidating as it looks, but very well protected. Try not to add to the DNA collection as you jam the very sharp crack near the top!

Click here for more photos and a trip report. Sep 19, 2006
joelhagan Hagan
Rapid City, SD
  5.7
[Hide Comment] What a great finish after climbing Spire 2. This is definitely a repeater...next time I plan on getting over the bulge without using my knee..haha Jul 9, 2007
Brent Kertzman
Black Hills, SD
  5.8 PG13
[Hide Comment] Great route... Great position... Great Fun! If Classic Crack on Inner Outlet and the Doody Direct on the Gnomon are 5.8 then this route is 5.8. Beware of the awkward stance at the new anchors. Dec 18, 2008
Jeff J.
Sioux Falls, SD
[Hide Comment] I agree about the anchor comment. I decided to build a gear anchor back in the cracks of the summit and it worked very well. I think belaying off the chains might send the 2nd into a swing if they fall. Sep 6, 2011