Daryl's Climbing Tips
Written by Daryl Stisser
July 9, 2018

Daryl Stisser, Sylvan Rocks Climbing School & Guide Service, has climbed the granite spires and conquered some of the toughest routes in the Black Hills.  Let Daryl take you on a rock climbing adventure-for all ages and all skill levels!

Daryl's Climbing Tips

1. When should I plan my climb?
Since rock climbing takes place outdoors, plan to get started in the morning for the most stable weather.  The mountain weather patterns of the area can lead to thunder shows in the afternoon.  Good weather can be experienced any month of the year, but summer and fall are the most dependable months.

2. What makes rock climbing in Custer different?
The granite spires of Custer State Park are very unique and beautiful.  The large granite spires were formed years ago as the hot magma cooled.  Rock climbing on these rock faces is unlike anywhere else Daryl has ever visited, and of course, the Black Hills topography allows for excellent views from the top.

3. What if I've never climbed before?  Should I be worried about my safety?
Rock climbing is an activity that everyone should experience for themselves at some point.  If you're a beginner, a guide can empower you to do things and take you places that you may not have imagined possible in a short period of time.  If you are an experienced climbed, there are guidebooks available for the area so that you can climb on your own, but hiring a climbing guide who can quickly take you to some of the best routes the area has to offer can make the most of your limited time.

4. Who can climb?
Whether you're 7 or 77, climbing has something for everyone.  Rock climbing is a great family activity or individual experience.  Either way, Custer State Park has climbing adventures for everyone to enjoy at their own level.

5. Where can I find the best routes?
Inner Course is a great route for novice climbers.  Located near Sylvan Lake, the climb is beautiful and presents a great view of other climbs in the area.  If you're a more experienced climber, check out the Cathedral Spires or West Buttress near Sylvan Lake.  Guidebooks with more information can be found at Granite Sport in Hill City.

6. What should I wear?
Custer's climbs include rocks that are sharper than some places.  For this reason, long pants with knees intact are encouraged along with a comfortable pair of walking shoes.  Sunscreen, sunglasses, water and snacks are also recommended.  And don't forget your camera!  Everyone needs at least one picture of themselves scaling a massive rock.

If you are here on vacation and want to experience your first technical rock climb or are looking to maximize your time on the rock instead of endlessly searching for routes, Sylvan Rocks Climbing Service will set you up with everything you need.  They have been guiding climbers around these parts since 1989. 
Sylvan Rocks Climbing School & Guide Service


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