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The Thunderhead
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G.A.S. S 
Gale Force S 
Golden Showers S 
In On The Killtaker S 
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Nimbostratus S 
Rainbows in the Dark S 
Reigning Pussies and Bitches S 
Ripsnorter S 
Smoke and Mirrors S 
Spring Showers Bring May Flowers S 
Squall, The S 
Stormchaser S 
Tempest, The S 
Virga S 
Zephyr II S 


YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Sport, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Joel McKillop
Season: All. am sun. pm shade.
Page Views: 280
Submitted By: BBQ on Dec 7, 2014

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (4)
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A route with a difficult beginning to big holds.

Stop slobbin' and start slabbin'! 

If you are looking for a 5.9 that borderlines 5.10 (and is almost as cool as Blue Sky's Dragonfly) then look no further. GET ON IT!

This route has a tricky crux right off the ground so be ready to get physched early. Slap your hand up to a bomber jug to clip the second bolt. From there expect about two more cruxes involving small holds and tricky technique.

The cruxes end on jugs and rests are plentiful. Surprisingly difficult at times without being too in your face or on your ass.

The final crux ends with a classic crimps to pocket grab sequence that could very well be one of the better challenges this level of Spearfish Canyon climbing has to offer.

Finish with lots of ledges to the top and expect to get a bit pumped and winded since this is a big ole' bugger with a whole lot of climbing to a great view of the canyon.


Park at Sunshine parking lot. Walk west towards Newcastle. Find the thin green home post signs 21468 and 21472 and head up the hill. Turn left when you see the impressive overhung routes of Thunderhead's main wall and hike west again until the trail becomes a skree field of blonde rock. Nimbostratus is up the hill a bit from the other four climbs you will see. Unmistakable black slab.


Bring a dozen draws. Open Anchors. Stick clipping the first bolt and highly recommended because of the exposure factor.

Photos of Nimbostratus Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Lots of fine five nine climbing.
Lots of fine five nine climbing.

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Feb 9, 2015

Brent Larsen's Six Thunders in a Day Project. Feb 8th 2015.

Nice weather made for the first day of attempting 5 consecutive climbs.

Nimbostratus = Sent first go
Smoke and Mirrors = Sent first go. Worked it to death previous day.
Reigning Pussies and Bitches = 2 hangs.
Katabatic Cataclysm = multiple falls and red pointed after a break.
Zephyr II = 1 hang.
Rip Snorter = not attempted.
Mar 8, 2015

Six Thunders In A Day Project:

A three week weather delay caused painfully horrible climbing that led to only 4 out of six climbs attempted and multiple falls and hangs. The following day I led the 11b right out of the gate and fell three times before taking it to the anchors. Sent on the second go. Took down Smoke and Mirrors on the first go and made it all the way to the last bolt on Zephry II before pumping out. Attempted Bitches just once and hung twice. Attempted Zephry II a second time and pumped out again at the last bolt. Didn't attempt Ripsnorter.
Mar 12, 2015

6 Thunders Update:

A nice evening session allowed me to figure out that Reigning Pussies and Bitches can be sent first go without a warm up. I decided to climb Zephyr next and sent it on the first go as well. Getting these two longer, pumpy routes out of the way first might make this "enchainment" project of mine totally possible as long as I can catch good rests and overcome the next two cruxes up the hill. Trying to string all 5 together this weekend.
Mar 14, 2015

Success! Red pointed all five of the most fabulous routes on the left hand side of The Thunderhead. I started with Bitches and relaxed and rested my way through every square feet of the difficult stuff. Pussies and Bitches went down first go as did Zephry II which went down without a fight after I figured how to rest before grabbing those small holds at the final crux. A bad foot placement caused me to take the ride on Smoke. After a long rest it went down second go. Cataclysm went into the shade with all its 11b glory and I messed up my footwork and bonked some beta and fell at the pea pod gastone crux. The second attempt ended in failure as well higher up on the crux. Third time proved to be a charm for the 11b and I finished the day off with the 9+ completely pumped out of my mind. I'll call this good enough for now and move onto some other killer canyon proj.

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