The Black Hills, Part 1

Posted on 05. Jun, 2007 by in Black Hills

Last weekend we headed up to South Dakota with Ang. and Jason Pinto to find out what was up with The Black Hills. I had heard everything from “amazing” to “total chosspile”. Much of what was featured in the movie Black Hills Gold had left me unimpressed. I was very interested in seeing the old Gill problems, particularly The Thimble.

We left at noon on Sat. It was a 6 hour drive across the rolling plains of Wyoming. As we crossed into South Dakota, the land began to rise and the forest thickened.


We had a tour lined up from Brian Camp and we met up with him at Sylvan Lake, which is in Custer State Park. We met up in the parking lot and my hopes were high. Brian assured us the approach was short. We hiked for about 5 minutes along the flat shore a very nice lake.

Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park

My first goal was to see a problem put up by Chuck Fryberger called Homestar V11. After walking around the lake you pass through a narrow corridor of rock and move to the left. The streak walls soared around.


The boulder faced the trail. I was fairly impressed. I saw a very nice 45 degree wall with two independent and obvious problems on the face. Homestar is the right line and the left line a V12 called King of Town that was put up a few years ago by Matt Tschol. The rock on this boulder was good quality grippy granite. It is very interesting rock. There are occasional crystals, but these don’t seem to detract from the overall quality of the problems. With fading light, I decided to put my effort into Homestar. It is a two move V8 to a very hard jump out right. It wasn’t long before I was trying the jump on link.

Ready to pounce.


I couldn’t quite do the move, but it was so much fun trying! It is a blind throw around the top bulge of the boulder and I seemed to have accuracy issues. It was getting dark and Brian took us up the hill to a V10 called Mood Swings. It was very low, but it seemed like my style. I am always up for a good flash so I gave it a try. The headlamps were out and conditions were very good. I was psyched to try hard.

Mood Swings flash

It was a good way to end the evening and we drove into Hill City to get some food. After dinner we went up to Wrinkle Rock, where there is free camping about 2 miles from Mt. Rushmore. I slept very well.

3 Responses to “The Black Hills, Part 1”

  1. Ryan

    06. Jun, 2007

    South Dakota looks pretty cool. Nice flash of Mood Swings, I dig the campusing.

  2. Chuck

    06. Jun, 2007

    If you stick Homestar without the flying left hand leap you will have 3 years of bad luck and anonymous internet slander levied upon you as punishment. I heard the grass was turning green at Evans Jamie. Call me.

  3. chuffer

    07. Jun, 2007

    HOLD ON Camper!!!!

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