Black Hills Bouldering - South Dakota / by Tate Shepherd

Boulders in the mist...

This week I wrapped up work in South Dakota ending in Rapid City. I have been in the Midwest for a couple months now and have been really craving some mountain time. I was able to get out and away from work by checking out the Black Hills National forest, home of Mount Rushmore. The weather made it impossible to see much further then a couple hundred feet, so I was unable to catch a few of this National Monument, but I enjoyed myself all the same. In fact, the fog was kind of fun, and gave the area this eery fantasy feel as I tromped around the woods looking for boulders to climb.

Peering through the mist, looking for rocks and the such.

Peering through the mist, looking for rocks and the such.

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I did end up finding some rocks. They were a little wet, and the moisture made getting "sendy" difficult. But I really am happy with how the pictures came out. Taking selfies while climbing has become a difficult activity I enjoy. It is a little weird because it feels a little narcissistic doing it, I would much rather take pictures of other people. But when I am alone I want to get a picture of something more then just rocks and trees, having somebody climbing just looks so rad especially in these conditions, and sometimes I am the only person around.

Hanging out in the morning, drinking some Yerba Mate. It was pretty cold and sometimes it took a warm drink to get motivated to go out. Temperatures were mostly hovering around freezing (32F), and I was often getting dusted by snow.

Hanging out in the morning, drinking some Yerba Mate. It was pretty cold and sometimes it took a warm drink to get motivated to go out. Temperatures were mostly hovering around freezing (32F), and I was often getting dusted by snow.

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Climbing in the clouds. Although the rock was damp, the quality and quantity of climbing here really surprised me. I've heard only very little about the Black Hills, but what I saw this trip really inspired me to make a point of coming back. I was unable to catch a picture of it, but there was a moment when the sun poked out and I caught a glimpse of the wide expanse of granite spires poking out of the woods. There really seems to be a lot of good rock out here, and routes of a huge variety of climbing styles.

Some areas are peppered with obscure graffiti. Certain people might be turned off by this, but I thought it adds to the mystique of the place.

Some areas are peppered with obscure graffiti. Certain people might be turned off by this, but I thought it adds to the mystique of the place.

"be bold, but not bold , be ___king bold" -- rock quote