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Sultan's Tower 

YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c PG13

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 280'
Original:  YDS: 5.4 French: 4a Ewbanks: 12 UIAA: IV ZA: 10 British: VD 3c PG13 [details]
FA: Herb and Jan Conn 1956
Page Views: 721
Submitted By: Wilson On The Drums on Mar 17, 2014

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trail 2

Description 

The route starts on the W side of the formation. You'll have to chimney up a wide corridor for about 25 ft to find the start of the route (see "close up" pic). The first pitch consists of flaring cracks and ends in a large chimney. 60ft. The second pitch is maze-like. From the chimney, down climb a few feet and take a sharp turn right. Here you'll enter a giant hallway that you walk/scramble through for roughly 80ft. The finally pitch will now be to your right. It's a tight ramp that uses crack and chimney features to get you settled between the two summits. The summit on you're right is the false summit but it is worth checking out. You can either jump from the false summit to the true summit (if you're crazy) or, from the perch between the two summits, you can jam up a short crack and then make an awkward, backwards, stemming move to get you in place to mantle onto the true summit. This is the move and it's spicy when you think you'll have to reverse it to get down! Now enjoy the views fit for a King!

Location 

See the attached google map screen shots to help you find this gem. It's kind of a bushwhack and it took me two outings to find the proper route. Basically follow Horsethief Trail #14 until the intersection of Centennial Trail 89, stay right at this fork and continue on HL #14. You'll come to another intersection where a trail splits off to the right, stay left, on #14, and just keep going. Then use the climb Hopscotch as a landmark. It is a 60ft crack that splits a green face, it's on your left and is easy to spot. From here you'll go about another 50yds on trail #14. Then you'll head off into the woods on your right. You want to be on an old two track road, but it is not easy to tell if you're on it or not. There is an old box spring lying on a tree that will let you know if you're heading in the right direction. This is where the google map images will come in handy. You'll be gaining some elevation at this point; keep an eye out for Beeker and Jinni. These climbs have large boulders perched on there summits. Once you find the mass that is Sultan's Tower you'll hug the formation, heading up and going around it staying on the S, SW side. Look at the 3rd pic I posted. You'll come to a large corridor with a small grassy knoll and a dead tree stump. Here's where you can lay the packs down and get ready for a climb fit for a King.

Protection 

Standard rack of nuts and cams up to BD C4 #3. Lots of long slings to reduce rope drag. **There are no anchors or fixed gear, you must down climb the route to descend.**


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By Wilson On The Drums
From: Woodbury, MN
Mar 17, 2014

facebook.com/blackhillsrockcli...

great route with a similar feel to spire 4 in the cathedral spires
By Josh Gibbel
Aug 21, 2017

Is there anyone who can actually post a picture of the start of this route? We looked for it forever. We did get to the top but I'm not sure we took the intended route at all.
By Matt Grotenhuis
Aug 24, 2017

Found this route a couple weeks ago. It's an obscure start. The way I did it adds somewhat of an "approach pitch" before the first actual pitch. This includes the 20' tall wide chimney followed by about 80' of horizontal then descending class 3 or 4. The first pitch of wide, easy cracks suddenly appear on the right. 60' up these cracks I passed a huge slung boulder on my left that let me know I was probably on route.

Having been up there a couple times, the book route description and the mountain project description differ on the last pitch. We ascended the book way and descended the MP way, both are pretty easy class 5.

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