Monday, September 14, 2009

Report From The Black Hills

I know how it is when you hear about someone going on a trip you’d like to do. You say to yourself, “I kinda hope they have bad weather. If they’re going on a vacation and I’m not, I sorta hope they don’t have a great time.” Am I right?

C’mon, way down deep it’s a thought you’ve had. At least once, right? (No? OK so you’re way more virtuous than I am and that’s never even entered your mind. But it’s been in my mean little mind.)

Well, if any of you had the fleeting wish that we would have bad weather on our trip to the Black Hills, your wish came true. We basically spent two days driving, one day climbing and one day waiting for the rain to stop.

It was a trip of discovery for us. We discovered a whole new area of climbs we’d never seen before. We found a bunch of routes for the next time we visit. We discovered how early the library in Hill City opens on a Saturday (9) and when it closes (2.) We

discovered that the library has lots of computers you can use for free. And the staff is very friendly. And you can take off your shoes to let them dry and nobody says anything. We discovered they would not let us hang the tent up to dry and they did not like it when I washed my socks in the middle of the reference section. (Ahhh, poor me.) But I do recommend the soap they have in the bathrooms for sock washing.

I am not going to tell those of you who were hoping we’d have bad weather about this new climbing area. So this information is only for the rest of you.

On Saturday, after the library closed, we hiked into the Picket Fence area. And after wandering around a bit, we found the start of the climbs we were looking for – Wicked Picket and The Sickle.  The sun came out so we got our gear out of the bags and it started raining again. (Since the library was closed, we had to dry our shoes in a restaurant this time. Interestingly enough, they didn’t mind that I washed my socks in the middle of the dining room. It wasn’t a fancy restaurant.)

On Sunday morning, instead of climbing in the rain, we hiked in the rain. We found a lot of bolted sport climbs of all abilities at the Breezy Point trailhead area. (There are only a few listed in that link to MountainProject, but we saw dozens.)

BTW, we left Rushmore area at 9AM (MN time), stopped in Rapid City for a sit-down breakfast and got home at 6PM. And never exceeded the speed limit (by much), officer.

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