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Photographers' Peak Area

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Photographers' Peak Area Rock Climbing 

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Location: 43.8427, -103.5582 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Housiaux, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Peter Gram on Jul 9, 2002
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This area holds a high concentration of fine routes. The four main formations found here are Photographer's Peak, Aquarium Rock, Icehouse Rock, and the Great Wall. The first three are immediately next to the parking area, and the Great Wall is a short distance away.

Be ready for both bolted routes and trad routes, as there are classic lines for either liking here. Some of the best routes here are the Conn route on Aquarium (5.3), Four Little Fishies (5.9), Beyond the Door (5.10-), and Under Exposure (5.7). Each route has a fixed rappel, often requiring double ropes.

Getting There 

Drive to Sylvan Lake and pay the entrance fee. These rocks are the prominent formations east of the lake and also the closest rock to the Sylvan Lake store. Drive past the main parking lot, then continue straight at the junction which drives around Sylvan Lake's east side. Park a short distance past this junction at a small pulloff on the left side of the road at the base of the rocks.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.4 miles from here

22 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Photographers' Peak Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Photographers' Peak Area:
Conn Route   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Trad, 2 pitches, 150'   Aquarium Rock
Over Exposure   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Photographer's Peak
Just Another Pretty Face   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 60'   Photographer's Peak
Cowboy Jazz   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Photographer's Peak
Four Little Fishies   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 130'   Aquarium Rock
Sea Monkeys   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 130'   Aquarium Rock
Modeling in the Nude   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Photographer's Peak
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Photographers' Peak Area

Featured Route For Photographers' Peak Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Pete de Lannoy on Walking the Plankton (5.12+), Cu...

Walking the Plankton 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b  South Dakota : Custer State Park : ... : Aquarium Rock
Once the hardest climb in the Black Hills, and given the methods used to establish, somewhat controversial for the time. Originally top-roped by Eric Doub, then first freed on TR by Kevin Bein, June 17th, 1987. Some bolts were placed by Greg Child and later finished by Rusty Lewis and Pete DeLannoy. This line is a dedication to Kevin Bein (died summer of '88). Follows a steepening black streak with short hard crux near the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in South Dakota

Photos of Photographers' Peak Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Finger Peak.
Finger Peak.
Rock Climbing Photo: An old smooch shot of J-Sexy and I early on in our...
An old smooch shot of J-Sexy and I early on in our...
Rock Climbing Photo:

Comments on Photographers' Peak Area Add Comment
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By Anonymous Coward
Dec 9, 2002
The Conn route on Aquariun Rock is a fun easy starter. This gives beginners a good place to start placing pro and leading an easy route. It can be done in two pitches, but three is also done just to get practice in in building anchors. Once the top is reached, enjoy the good view of Sylvan Lake, then a small 7-10 foot down climb is required to get to the rappel bolts. It is a one rope rappel off the back side of Aquarium Rock. Happy Climbing!!
By Ryan Emery
From: Black Hills, SD
Apr 26, 2016
Does anyone know of a route being bolted on the rap of Walkie Uppie (spelling may be incorrect) did it one day and noticed some bolts while rapping.

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