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Routes in Spire Four

Great Northwest Dihedral, The T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Hang a Right at Fourth Avenue T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Kamps/Goldstone Route T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Little Lark Crack T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
South Tower Conn Route T,S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Spire Four T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
West Gruesome T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
improbability drive T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
two EX squared T,S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
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Type: Trad, Sport, 2 pitches
FA: Herb & Jan Conn
Page Views: 3,658 total · 21/month
Shared By: Eric Krantz on Jun 12, 2004
Admins: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Mike Madsen, Mark Rafferty

You & This Route

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Enter 3-4 gully, scramble up until you get to the last corridor on the right before the classic Spire 4 chimney. Scramble to end of corridor, u-turn, scramble up some more along the ledge. We set a belay here. Directly across the corridor you will see a piton where the climbing starts. Then up and left to a small ledge and back (right) into the crack. Follow crack (small gear), past an old 1/4" rusty, and a nice new black hanger to a large horn. We set a belay at the horn. From there it is a short climb to the top.

On Spire 4 side is a large horn with slings for rap. (Bring at least 12' or more of webbing if you want to leave some).


Small & medium cams, nuts. There are 1-2 old bolts to clip and 1 good new bolt.
Aaron Costello
Rapid City, SD
Aaron Costello   Rapid City, SD
Based on the old piton we found on the 4-5 gully side of the crack, I would guess the Conn's might have started here. I was a follower on this route, and to lead it would have taken a lot of balls. The leader said he wouldn't lead it again. We rapped off the E. Face of South Tower, using the one good bolt, and the spinney black one (after replacing the slings, leaving a biner and an aluminum rap ring). A two 60m rope rappel brought us to the ground between the route start and 'Take a Left.' If you weigh less than 150 lbs., rope stretch might not get you to the bottom so direct yourself right and set up another rappel at the ledge you see between the S. Tower and the shorter spire. A good linkup would be to rap off the north anchors, and climb the last pitch of spire 4. Ahh yeah. Aug 1, 2005
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
  5.7+ R
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
  5.7+ R
Hey Aaron! How's it going man? I was the leader Aaron is referring to, and yup, it was scary. Maybe I am just a wuss, since the Conn's did it 50 years before with tennies and a 50 foot rope.

Found out later by re-reading the Piana guide that after that big horn you sling in the middle of the second pitch, you should go left and there are supposedly 2 bolts to climb past. I didn't see them over there, and went right instead. It was perhaps 40 feet of unprotected crystal pinching on questionable rock to the anchors. Definitely R/X if you go that way. Good times. I will post a couple photos. Jun 15, 2007
Eric Krantz
Black Hills
Eric Krantz   Black Hills
I agree with Bunny's rating 5.9+. This is not the route for a 5.8 leader. My favorite route in the hills. Led 5.10 R last week but not ready to lead this one. Nov 10, 2009
Chris treggE
Madison, Beersconsin
  5.7+ R
Chris treggE   Madison, Beersconsin  
  5.7+ R
This climb was given 5.7 in the Piana guide! The rating is historic but perhaps sandbagged. Just imagine doing it with a 50 foot rope and tennis shoes in 1952! And then downclimbing for the descent! Wow.

We didn't do the original route that starts in the 3-4 gulley, but it sounds like starting in the 4-5 gulley like we did gets you an additional pretty long pitch of climbing, which is cool. You end up on a nice big ledge that is the "step across to the piton" referred to above. Nov 17, 2009
Poughkeepsie, NY
  5.7+ R
rgold   Poughkeepsie, NY
  5.7+ R
I did it several times starting in the early sixties. After the first time, all the others were in combination with the Conn route on the East Face of the East Gruesome; the two routes together make for a great link-up. 5.7 seemed to be an accurate grade at the time; I wonder if some holds have broken off or if folks are missing the line of least resistance. Jan 4, 2013

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