Type: Sport, 70 ft
FA: I belive Bob Kamps without the bolts
Page Views: 1,030 total · 8/month
Shared By: allen simons on Jul 5, 2008
Admins: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Mike Madsen, Mark Rafferty

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Start on the south east corner and work up just right of a left slanting seam/crack. clip first bolt and move up left ( 5.8). continue straight up wandering over multiple quartz knobs past 4 more bolts. run out 25 feet to the chains on easier slabby rock.


50 yards down hill from the needles parking lot. South face start on east corner.


5 draws, chains at top to rap south face.


Mike McNeil
Spearfish, South Dakota
Mike McNeil   Spearfish, South Dakota
Did Kamps come back and put the new bolts in his route? Jul 10, 2008
allen simons
allen simons  
I doubt it. I think what I read was the first ascent to the top of the spire was kamps and party, but probably by the route up the south center of the rock, 10-15 feet left of this route. I bought a needles climbing guide last month and it stated kamps as the fa but like i said, i think by the other route. Allen Jul 10, 2008
1Eric Rhicard
1Eric Rhicard   Tucson
I am looking at the original guide that was written by Kamps first edition 1971.

Drawing shows a south facing slab with with what might be the Bell Tower behind it. Route 1 is shown as climbing the left side of this slab then finishing on a pinnacle behind it which may or may not be the Bell Tower. Rte. 2 climbs the right side of the slab and joins Rte 1 at the top of the slab then finishes on the pinnacle. Have not been there in years so I am not sure what is what. I am guessing the routes end at the top of the Bell Ringer.

Rte. 1 5.9 is on the left side of the south facing slab. FA 1969 Kamps and Sal Raio "The left facing open book (crack) on the south face can be followed to the summit but not without considerable fuming and fussing."

Rte. 25.7 FA 1963 John Evans and Bob Kamps. "Begin to the right of the dihedral for route 1, working slightly up and right across the south face. Watch carefully for holes in which to place protection."

Hope this helps. Jul 10, 2008
allen simons
allen simons  
I checked Piana's guide which states ( non-verbadum) that the Kamps route takes a more central approach up the bell ringer. I belive I tr'd this line after climbing the bolted route. Piana also describes a route to the right of this that goes at 5.6 but mentions no protection. I belive this is the bolted route described in the newer needles guide, which rates it 5.8 with 7 bolts. I only found 5 bolts on my lead. Bell ringer is a single spire that does not intersect with any other rock so topping out and jumping on the next closest rock ( bell tower) is a 30 or 40 foot up hill leap. good luck with that. I read about the route in the new needles climbing guide that has good pic's and illustrations on selected climbs in the needles so I am sure I was on the right rock. I have to admit that the 70 foot tower with 5 bolts seemed way over bolted for a needles climb, ( under bolted for other areas of the world). I do not know who or when it was bolted. Perhaps Mr. Archibold or one of the local legands could shed some light. Jul 14, 2008
Brent Kertzman
Black Hills, SD
Brent Kertzman   Black Hills, SD
The route in question was in fact led numerous times prior to the bolts. The bolts were placed in the past five years. Clean gear placements were used in combo with runners on flakes and crystals to protect the route prior to the retro bolting.

Funny thing is this route is already in the "MP Database" as "Summer Lovin" erroneously listed on the Bell Tower. Much noise has been made about the retro bolting of this route. As Eric Rhicard stated this is Rte. # 2 in the old Kamps guidebook from 1971.

There is no way the modernized bolted version of this route is PG13 but more like a sport route despite the runout with many clean gear options. Jul 14, 2008
Mark Orsag
Omaha, NE
  5.8 PG13
Mark Orsag   Omaha, NE
  5.8 PG13
This is a safe lead. Big Pendulum potential for the 2nd on this -- that and not the bolting is the reason for the PG 13 rating I'm guessing. The way I analyzed it, a fall near the top while traversing left after cleaning the last bolt could possibly lead to a climber slamming wildly into the rock-- behind the formation. An attempt to lower from back there could well lead to a damaging reverse pendulum. It is a safe lead with some fun flowing climbing and a good route otherwise-- I both led and seconded it (and was way more scared as a second). Docked a star in my ratings for this situation. May 2, 2013
We just climbed this , and while I did not count bolts I can assure you it now
feels completely safe (locally) for both leader and second with a small runout
to the anchors. A nice warm-up if you just got out of the car, I hope "local
ethics" can tolerate the quality and diversity. Jul 10, 2016
Brandon Emery
South Dakota
Brandon Emery   South Dakota
Not sure why this route has a PG13 rating... it is extremely safe and well bolted. Aug 9, 2016