Peak Climbed: "Cerberus" aka "Tricouni Nail"

Peak Height: ~6,500'

Route: Std Route

Difficulty: 5.8

Location: Custer State Park, South Dakota

Trailhead: SD-87 (0.2 mi W of Cathedral Spires TH)

Mileage & Gain: 0.1 mi & 100 ft RT

Date Climbed: May 25, 2018

Cerberus is one of the classic spire climbs in the Needles that everyone does. It's right next to the road in the Tenpins area and only a single pitch. There is no anchor at the top and while everyone talks up the simulrappel from the summit, it's totally unnecessary. We just rapped down one at a time, me first from our sling around the top, and Patrik second with me anchoring one side of the rope on the ground.

The spire, originally called Tricouni Nail, was renamed Cerberus by Royal Robbins on the first ascent. Cerberus is the gigantic, three-headed hound of Hades who guards the gates of the underworld to prevent the dead from escaping. Quite a fitting name for this triple-headed spire.

I must admit I was fairly disappointed with this one. The awkward face climbing isn't anything special, and while the route is well protected down low, the bolting higher up is pretty much just enough to keep you off the deck and the moves aren't that easy or secure. This minor summit didn't seem like anything to write home about.

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