Went on an impromptu trip to the Black Hills last weekend, trying to get in one last hoorah before school starts (Monday). Definitely a fun time and unique experience with a couple of my best friends
Chris and I had ventured into the Black Hills the week before while chasing a storm, but we didn't get into the "big" hills near Custer State Park.
We drove out there this time with basically zero planning, woke up to a text from Chris saying he wanted to do something and a couple hours later, we were on the road.
Set up our tent in the twilight after a storm passed over and got up the next morning to do some hiking. Did some freehand climbing/scrambling around Sylvan Lake to start the day. The rocky outcrops we climbed up were actually a lot higher than we thought they were while climbing.
You just get carried away looking for the next secret route up that you forget you keep getting higher and higher. Didn't do anything too dangerous, of course (no epic hanging-from-a-cliff-by-one-hand moves), but one bad step and you'd be in for at least an uncomfortable rocky tumble.
Here's a shot of Tyler sitting on top of the second "peak" we climbed that day, looking over the valley that we had walked across.
Next up, we hiked the 1.5 mile trail up Little Devil's Tower. CRAZY view from there, as well as some sketchy death cliffs.
Here's a screen grab from a video I took while sitting as close to the edge as I was willing to get lol.
After hiking back down, we went back to our campsite to grab a quick nap before hiking Harney Peak (3.5 miles) that evening. Only ended up getting maybe 30 minutes of sleep.
Still managed to make it up the 3.5-mile trail that evening with a couple short water breaks. First half of the night was spent waiting for clouds to clear since we were IN the clouds at 7200 feet. Once they finally did clear, it got cold fast.
The relentless 40mph+ wind all night didn't help either. Probably had some gusts above 60mph. Still managed to stay out long enough to take a short star trail around the tower we were huddling in for warmth (should have brought a bigger coat, gloves, etc). If you look closely, you can see a Perseid meteor between the tower and the tree
That's it for now! Lots of images to edit from that trip. School starting up in a couple days too, but hopefully the first week won't involve too much work. You never know though. It may be December before I finally get a full account for this done
Until then, you can follow me over at my website FramedByNature.NET
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