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You can see the tip of Gnomon from the West side Needles parking area if you walk a bit West. You'll say to your partner "That can't be it. It's skinny and overhanging." From the East side parking area which is a few hundred yards east of the tunnel, it's very obvious and not so scary looking. From the East viewpoint, the belay chains can be seen glinting in the sun. (You'd think the person installing them would have painted them. Ugly, Ugly!)
From the West side Needles Eye parking area, continue East through the tunnel. Park immediately after the tunnel on your left at a small pullout next to a rock. Follow an eroded trail uphill. You'll see the spire straight ahead (about 150 ft. from the road) although it's hard to make it out due to the trees. John Page's green book "Recommended Climbs ..." gives a good description of approach also.
3 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in Gnomon
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Gnomon:
Doody Direct 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c Trad, 1 pitch, 70'
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a Trad, 1 pitch, 40'
Featured Route For Gnomon
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a SD : Custer State Park : ... : Gnomon
Get there: From Sylvan, got through the tunnel and park immediately on the left. Walk uphill (on the path) for maybe 200 feet until you come to a large right-facing dihedral with 2 huge ferny cracks in the inside corner (one on each side of the dihedral). Horseshoes and Hand Grenades is the finger crack 5 feet to the left of the corner.Climb it: Rack up some small cams and nuts and climb to the bolted anchors & chains which you'll find on the ledge above the crack. This climb is consistent ...[more] Browse More Classics in SD