Black Hills

Black Hills

Posted on 27. Sep, 2009 by in Black Hills

This weekend we made a quick trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota with Rylan Marshall and Brian Capps. The weather was a bit warm, but we had a good time nonetheless. The Black Hills provide a nice contrast with the scene in Colorado. We spent most of our time at Sylvan Lake.
IMG_9311Sylvan Lake
The approaches there are short (5 min. or less) and nearly flat. The landings are generally flat. It is a relaxing and beautiful place to spend a day. We were mostly interested in two problems on one boulder, Homestar V11 and King of Town B3.

IMG_9353King of Town on the left, Homestar on the right.

Homestar was featured in Friction Addiction, where first ascentionist Chuck Fryberger jokes that they had bushwhacked for hours to find the problem. In reality it is a five minute flat walk from a parking lot and a camp store that sells ice cream, candy and soda.
We arrived late Thursday night and were psyched to give it some goes. I nearly sent it with a big jump move, swinging out slowly, but unable to control the swing and came away empty handed.
IMG_9367Rylan working Homestar V11
We debated the efficiency of climbing straight out of the car after a nearly 6 hour drive. The session finished around 12:15am.
I think the conclusion was that we had never climbed anything hard, no matter how psyched, right out of the car and that in the future we should probably turn in early and get a good nights rest. We camped for free near Mt. Rushmore
and there were perhaps two other cars in the parking lot. I slept outside underneath the looming dark trees and millions of perfect white stars.
In the morning I felt more sore than I would have liked. We made our way to Mt. Baldy. Brian put his excellent technical skills to work and climbed The Prow V10, a classic problem. Rylan and I had some good burns, but neither managed a send.
We rested for a bit, checked out some problems and made our way back to Sylvan Lake for another night session on Homestar. This time I discovered a key piece of beta, and desperately clung on for the send. Rylan and Brian threw themselves at it for a long time to no avail. It was well past dark, again, when we hiked out to the car.
Sat. we went back to Sylvan Lake, where Brian climbed several Gill problems that are, while not amazing, certainly worth doing.
IMG_9306Gill Arrow
IMG_9325Brian on the Yellow Wall V4, a John Gill FA

After repeating Homestar for the video, I got psyched to put some effort into Matt Tschol’s line King of Town. I was really psyched when I figured out the supposed crux move, a long reach off of a committing heel toe cam. Here are some pictures.
IMG_9382King of Town Rylan Marshall photo
IMG_9384King of Town Ryan Marshall photo
I look forward to coming back to try and climb this great problem when the weather cools off.
The Black Hills are not the next great thing, just another small and quiet area with quality problems, great scenery and a relaxing environment. A perfect place to get out of town for the weekend and enjoy the company of friends. Click here to read about a previous trip to South Dakota.

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4 Responses to “Black Hills”

  1. Matt Tschohl

    24. Oct, 2009

    Yo, it is Tschohl… and maybe change the rating… at least till somebody else sends and gives it the DG. (I do realize I already gave it the DG, but my original rating was based off Sap at V9…)

  2. B3

    26. Oct, 2009

    What did you grade King of Town? I have heard anything from V11-V14?

  3. Matt Tschohl

    29. Oct, 2009

    I have King of Town on my 8a card as V14… I originally gave it V11, but I think V14 is more accurate. King of Town fits my climbing style perfectly! If the FA was done in CO I think it would have been given V14. I don’t actually know how hard it is, but I’m sure it is an extremely difficult problem.

  4. Trim

    14. Jan, 2015

    So funny to see the toolbag JE get handed his ass. Fuck B3

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