Ascent of Chalk Pyramids on 2014-03-23

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Others in Party:Marshall Stewart
Date:Sunday, March 23, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Chalk Pyramids
    Elevation:2690 ft / 819 m

Ascent Trip Report

As far as I can determine, Chalk Pyramids, also known as Monument Rocks, contains the 10th highest named summit in Kansas, however, determining where the highest spot might be located is an impossible task. Chalk Pyramids are a series of many vertical-walled mini-mesas that rise from the Kansas prairie over 40 feet high with one dramatic arch suitable for a magazine cover photo. At first glance, climbing any of these formations appears impossible, but there is one spot located on the east side of one formation that can be climbed if you are comfortable with some serious exposure. This route will involve a lot of Class 3 work and one short section of Class 4 scrambling, where a mistake can have you dropping in a 30-40 foot fall. (On a cautionary note: The climb up is easier than the descent, so don't get yourself trapped!) The best view of the area is, of course, from the top of the Pyramids, but once there, you will not be able to determine if you are on the highest point in the area or not. There are many formations and all seem to be very close to the same elevation. This area deserves to be turned into a state or even national park, although my topo map indicated that the group of formations in the southern portion were within the boundary of "Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark." Perhaps future funding will eventually allow the development of an actual state or national park here someday and include the formations in the northern portion as well. My son, Marshall, and I climbed the 13 highest named summits in Kansas on this trip. We both ranked Chalk Pyramids as our favorite.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Exposed Scramble

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