South Dakota Climbing Beta

Just wanted to save some notes for climbing in the Spearfish/VC area

TL;DR Don’t come during Sturgis

The VC:
Camping – You can camp on NFS150 (the road that approaches the crag). Not a ton of shady options. I made it out in the WRX, but higher clearance would have been nice. 2WD vehicles would probably be fine on the road though.
Water – Apparenty Rapid City’s most closely guarded resource. I found two options, both at gas stations. The Corner Pantry on Highway 16/Mt. Rushmore road has a spigot on the east (opposite from the main road) side. There’s also one at the gas station at Fairmont and Cambell, but it is out front and a little more conspicuous.
Coffee Shops – Rumours or Alternative Fuel are both good
Restaurants – Independent Ale House has a great tap list and flat bread pizza. The Everest Cafe’s lunch buffet comes recommended via a friend.
Library – The City Library has decent internet and some quiet places for working. They seem to be phone call friendly as long as you aren’t disturbing other patrons
Routes – The Duck wall has some good warmups. I don’t know if there was a lot of rain recently, but for whatever reason there wasn’t much chalk on the routes I got on. Onsighting was hard. Mogo Chaji and Love You Long Time are tittes. Bring a kneepad for the latter.

Spearfish:
Camping – City Park seems like a good option, but it was totally smashed due to Sturgis. The best places to camp during Sturgis seem to be anywhere with a dirt road. We stayed at the Rod and Gun campground (near Savoy), but it is super expensive ($16 a night). Seems poachable if you’re willing to pack up everyday.
Water – City Park. There was also a spigot at the Rod and Gun campground.
Coffee Shops – Blackbird Espresso or Common Grounds are both good
Restaurants – Bay Leaf Cafe is the shit! Give them your money!
Library – The City Library is nice with fast internet. I did have an odd experience where a gay rights website was blocked due to being an “advocacy group”… plannedparenthood.com opened just fine though. Study rooms are available, although they are cramped with two people.
Routes – The grades seem a bit stiffer vs. Ten Sleep. The Tempest is awesome and definitely worth getting on if you’re at the grade.

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