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Spire Four

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Great Northwest Dihedral, The T 
Hang a Right at Fourth Avenue T 
improbability drive T 
Kamps/Goldstone Route T 
Little Lark Crack T 
South Tower Conn Route T,S 
Spire Four T 
two EX squared T,S 
West Gruesome T 

Spire Four Rock Climbing 

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Location: 43.84908, -103.53358 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 12,499
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Housiaux, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Jul 9, 2002
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Greetings from the Black Hills!


Spire Four is the highest summit in the Cathedral Spires, and probably the most popular formation in the group. The view is spectacular, the rock is fantastic, the route unique, and the climbing superb. If you climb only one of the Cathedral Spires, this is the one to do.

Getting There 

Hike the Cathedral Spires trail around to the backside of the spires. Hike up the Gully between Spires 3 and 4. A short stretch of 4th class or possibly low 5th class leads to a high saddle between the spires - rope up if you feel uncomfortable.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.0 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Spire Four

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Spire Four:
Spire Four   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 3 pitches, 210'   
The Great Northwest Dihedral   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 4 pitches, 280'   
West Gruesome   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 2 pitches   
South Tower Conn Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches   
Hang a Right at Fourth Avenue   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 220'   
two EX squared   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 360'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Spire Four

Featured Route For Spire Four
Rock Climbing Photo: The Great Northwest Dihedral

The Great Northwest Dihedral 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  South Dakota : Custer State Park : ... : Spire Four
This is a variation on the normal Spire 4 route. Instead of climbing up the back to the 3/4 gully, belay off the bolts for the approach pitch. Climb around the corner on the opposite side of the gully to a sloping ledge with an old piton in a crack. Set a belay and climb the dihedral to a chimney and under the broken spire. You can either set your own belay on gear or downclimb to the anchors above the wormhole. The last pitch is the same as the traditional route....[more]   Browse More Classics in South Dakota

Photos of Spire Four Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbers on Spire Four - taken from Spire Three.
Climbers on Spire Four - taken from Spire Three.
Rock Climbing Photo: Probably a common scene for non-locals.  Pulling o...
Probably a common scene for non-locals. Pulling o...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Wormhole
The Wormhole
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up the first pitch or the scramble, depend...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up the first pitch or the scramble, depend...
Rock Climbing Photo: Halfway out of the wormhole
Halfway out of the wormhole
Rock Climbing Photo: Spire 4 from top of East Gruesome. South Tower on ...
Spire 4 from top of East Gruesome. South Tower on ...
Rock Climbing Photo: From Spire 5. "Hang a Right" is on the l...
From Spire 5. "Hang a Right" is on the l...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down on unknown climbers finishing East Gr...
Looking down on unknown climbers finishing East Gr...

Comments on Spire Four Add Comment
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By Eric Krantz
From: Black Hills
Aug 31, 2004
Climbed the chimney system that contains Hang a Right at 4th Ave. I wasn't on the Hang a Right crack, I stayed in the back of the chimney, and crawled into the large flake on the left to set an anchor in the chockstones that have been slung sometime in the past. Went out the opposite side of the flake (away from Hang a Right, up the South Tower side) up a crack that petered out after maybe 40 feet. There was no protection past this. Climbed the big juggy face for maybe 40 feet before stepping back across to Spire 4. It was very loose in places (especially the 2nd pitch face). Beware the desk-sized wobbly stone halfway up the crack in the 2nd pitch. I have to admit I was lost. The climb was fun but the runout was loose, and I couldn't protect my 2nd after the crack ended (the 2nd pitch was a sideways horseshoe).
By Mike Kubes
From: Duluth MN
Jul 24, 2016
Super fun route! The guidebooks I have rate this route as 5.6+ and the other has it listed as 5.7. Nothing felt over 5.6 to me with the exception of the step-across, Maybe because it was super windy and I had tons of rope drag. The route is in the shade most of the day and a great area to climb on hot days. One 60m rope, nuts and cams 1-3 with a few runners would be plenty to get to the top. There are 3 bolted belay/rap stations on the route, all solid, with chains. The base of the route is marked by a big pine tree. I know, Big pine tree, sounds extremely vague but after the recent pine beetle kill and A LOT of chainsaw work by the feds, it will make sense.

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