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Routes in Spire five

Beethoven's Fifth T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Blame It On the Boogie T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Corner to the Sky T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Drinking Women, Chasing Whiskey T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c R
Goin' back to Indiana T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Kampsite T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Splinter direct T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Unkown Shaffer Route T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Type: Trad, 170 ft
FA: Bob Archbold and Vern Phinney on Oct. 7, 1982
Page Views: 84 total, 1/month
Shared By: AhK on May 9, 2011
Admins: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Madsen, Mark Rafferty

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Follow the flared, right leaning groove using side pulls and finger locks on the left and good crimps and crystals on the right. The route protects fairly well but requires faith in tiny gear and sometimes creative placements. 140 feet of sustained face climbing brings you to some easier wide cracks that continue for 30 feet to the anchors. There are no really good rests and although no real crux was apparent, almost every move felt like 5.9. You may want to extend your placements to avoid rope drag.


This crack is visible on the right side of Spire 5 from the Cathedral Spires parking lot. Once you locate this crack, walk to the 5/6 gulley, scramble up some easy water chutes to gain the base of the crack. The approach gets a bit steeper once you are maybe 80 feet below the start of the route. It may be wise to rope up for an approach pitch when you feel it necessary.

Rappels are easily found; look for webbing around horns. You can do two single rope raps or one double rope to reach the start of the route. From here, some easy gullies will get you down. If you follow the largest gullies, you will find a set of anchors with webbing that can be used to rappel the last 100 feet, but be mindful of the ends of your rope.


Lots of small stuff: micro cams, TCUs, nuts, RPs
A few medium cams
Hand and fist size cams for anchor on top
Extendable draws and shoulder slings

Anchors are located on top, but they are old button heads. I recommend saving a few hand size pieces or larger to build an anchor in a sheltered alcove just past the button head anchors. Depending on your path of descent, you may need to replace some rappel webbing.


Chris Hirsch
Rapid City, SD
Chris Hirsch   Rapid City, SD
No, Andy, I would not call the rock quality "great". Not sure this was worth the approach, but it is an aesthetically pleasing line. Gear and climbing was weird. Used lots of small/medium nuts. No need for the bolt or the anchors, but I did clip the pin. Jul 5, 2013
To my knowledge, Beethoven's Fifth has only been published in one old guide book and does not see much traffic. Judging by the webbing at the top (5/8/11), I'd guess it hasn't seen an attempt for some years.

The route protects pretty well with small gear, and falls would be clean. Even though this route probably hasn't seen many attempts, the rock quality is great! May 11, 2011