Peaks Climbed: "Inner Outlet" & "Outer Outlet"

Peak Heights: 6,260' / 6,260'

Route: Kamps Crack / Conn Diagonal

Difficulty: 5.8- / 5.7

Location: Custer State Park, South Dakota

Trailhead: Sylvan Lake

Mileage & Gain: 1.5 mi & 300 ft RT

Date Climbed: May 30, 2018

Sylvan Lake is a beautiful, man-made lake that was formed upon the damning of Sunday Gulch in 1881. Today it is the centerpiece of Custer State Park, at least for the tourists interested in setting foot outside of their vehicles for more than just a quick snapshot. On warm summer days you will find people swimming and sunbathing on it's emerald green shores amongst the geese, and others paddling around on rented canoes and kayaks. At the far end lie a grouping of striking rock formations that are known as The Outlets because they're clustered around the outlet of the lake.

Two of the masses are significantly larger than the rest, the Inner Outlet and the Outler Outlet. The names aren't all that inspiring, but they both have some great climbing that leads to really cool summits with awesome views. I highly recommend them.

We climbed the Outer Outlet first via the Conn Diagonal, an old-school 5.7 route that is pretty wild and intimidating for the grade. It does an ascending traverse across the north face, utilizing a diagonaling crack/chimney/flake system. When the gash peters out, the route keeps traversing the now very steep and exposed face on huge, almost-too-good-to-be-believed jugs. After two traversing pitches, a final, easier but not-very-protectable chimney leads to the top.

After rapping back down the north side of the Outer Outlet with double ropes we hiked around to the north side of the Inner Outlet and climbed the long single pitch Kamps Crack. A cruxy start protected by small gear soon yields to a varying, generally well-protected crack. The view toward the lake from the top of the Inner Outlet is incredible. A single 70m rope will get you off this one.

Home | Peak List | Canyon List | Trip Reports | Colorado | Utah | Wyoming | Montana | Arizona | New York | South Dakota | International