Ascent of Black Elk Peak on 2010-08-29

Climber: Eric Noel

Date:Sunday, August 29, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Black Elk Peak
    Location:USA-South Dakota
    Elevation:7231 ft / 2204 m

Ascent Trip Report

Pricey at too much for a car. Maybe $15?

After a rainy and lightning filled night camping I had dry and warm conditions on Harney. I took the upper less crowded TH for the Cathedral Spires. This goes up near those formations and then drops up and down for a bit before several other trail junctions and then hitting the main Harney trail. Then it was a zoo. Easy enough, you can figure it out. I was confused at the top. A class 5 pillar sure looked higher. It was lower than part of the lookout but that is artificial. And then I really had no idea what the highest natural rock was. So I scrambled all over this fun little summit looking for the highest rocks amongst all of the other tourists and highpointers who were happy to call it good without such anal considerations. They just went to the lookout and hung out. If only...

But I did get it in the end and I went back the same way. Pleasant rock formations really spice up what might otherwise be a drab hike. I examined the pillar and determined that it was not something I could do without a rope.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1551 ft / 472 m
    Elevation Loss:1551 ft / 472 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1301 ft / 396 m
    Extra Loss:350 ft / 106 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:Trail #4
    Trailhead:South Dakota 87  6280 ft / 1914 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:1201 ft / 366 m
    Extra Gain:250 ft / 76 m
    Distance:3.5 mi / 5.6 km
    Route:Trail #4
    Trailhead:South Dakota 87  6280 ft / 1914 m

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