the Summer of EC – Part 1: SD, MN & Lander

Early in May, I received an unexpected, indefinite break from work so I thought I’d better take advantage and go on a road trip.  I was going “home” to South Dakota anyway for a quick weekend trip.  That weekend trip morphed into a 4 week (mostly) sport climbing extravaganza.

While I was in Sioux Falls, I managed to get out to one of the two climbing areas near town, Blue Mounds State Park, which is about 45 minutes east of SF in Minnesota.  Yes, there is some climbing near Sioux Falls!  While Blue Mounds is quite a destination area, I would highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in eastern SoDak or western Minnesota.  The climbing is on super slick quartz – zero friction!  There was one boulder there that I’ve wanted to climb on for at least a few years, ever since I first saw photos of it on the ol’ interweb – the Quarry Boulder.  This giant boulder sits in the middle of an old quarry that provided much of the material for local building about a century ago.  It’s easily one of the more aesthetic boulders I’ve seen, especially in the midwest!

the Quarry Boulder - Blue Mounds State Park, MN

the Quarry Boulder – Blue Mounds State Park, MN

the Quarry - Blue Mounds State Park, MN

the Quarry – Blue Mounds State Park, MN

From there I went to Lander, WY for some good old fashioned sport climbing.  But, I couldn’t leave SD without showing Sequoia the greatest tourist trap in the universe – Wall Drug.  She was impressed.

Wall Drug!

Wall Drug!

Onward to Lander…  Inge and Leslie were kind enough to let me slum it up with them for a couple weeks in Wyoming.  I’ve never climbed around Lander and as I was expecting it was a blast.  Tons of amazing climbs of all styles.  We mostly climbed at Sinks Canyon, but were able to sneak in a couple days at the Wild Iris before leaving.  Some of my favorites of the trip:  Second Hand Nova 5.11a, Face Dancer 5.11b, Put Down Your Ducky 5.8, Weasels Ripped My Flesh 5.12b, and Zorro 5.11d.    Photos:

Inge - Animal Sounds 5.12b

Inge – Animal Sounds 5.12b

Inge - Dogs of War 5.13b

Inge – Dogs of War 5.13b

EC - Full Irations 5.12a (photo by Inge)

EC – Full Irations 5.12a (photo by Inge)

Leslie - Corner Drug 5.11a

Leslie – Corner Drug 5.11a

Leslie - Blue Moon 5.12a

Leslie – Blue Moon 5.12a

EC - Spook Eyes 5.12b (photo by Leslie)

EC – Spook Eyes 5.12b (photo by Leslie)

Next up Cobble-ville, UT…

-EC

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One response to “the Summer of EC – Part 1: SD, MN & Lander

  1. Like the post and all the climbing, dislike the unexpected work thing. Looking forward to Part II and some more updates from you :)

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