Our Guides

  • AMGA Certified Guides
  • All Gear Included
  • Adventure of a Lifetime

Chris Spellmeyer

Chris Spellmeyer | Senior Guide

Originally from Minnesota, Chris is Sylvan Rocks’ senior guide (despite the fact he seems to look younger and younger every year). 2021 will be Chris’ 21st season of guiding here in the Black Hills. His patience and enthusiasm for teaching new climbers is unmatched. Although he does not climb it as much as he used to, we are sure Chris has climbed the Durrance Route on Devils Tower more than any other Sylvan Rocks guide past, present or future.

In the winter you will find Chris managing the ski patrol team at Terry Peak. Off the rock, you might find Chris working on his hand-eye coordination with some late night gaming sessions, and in the summer he could be chasing little white balls around a golf course or wetting a fishing line at one of the local lakes.

Certifications

AMGA Tenured Rock Instructor
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
Emergency Medical Technician

5 stars

We had a great time climbing with Jeff at Sylvan Rocks Climbing School. The company is really well run and you can tell that they are fully invested in making sure you have a great time. The owners are guides themselves so they do everything they can to make sure you feel safe, challenged, and satisfied with your experience. We even went out during an unseasonably snowy day in September and had a blast. Highly recommended!

TripAdvisor

5 stars

My husband and I used Sylvan Rocks climbing school for a lesson at Palisades State Park. We had limited climbing experience, but our instructor, Jeff, did an amazing job. My husband and I had different comfort levels on the rocks, but Jeff was still able to keep us both engaged. He pushed our limits without making us feel uncomfortable. Jeff's passion for the sport is evident and only surpassed by his passion to teach it. You 'rock' Jeff 😁! I cannot recommend enough!

Google

5 stars

We loved our day with Sylvan Rocks! This is a must-do in the Black Hills! We had 2 adults and our 2 kids, age 7 & 8. We had all climbed at a couple indoor gyms before. That experience wasn't necessary but this was the perfect next step. Brandon was super patient and encouraging, and made us feel really safe. My husband and kids are athletic, but I am not and my son gets nervous trying new things. I couldn't believe the wall we climbed! In our 4 hours, we each tried several different climbs plus more for the kids, in a spectacularly beautiful setting. Long sleeves and durable pants recommended or you will get scraped up a bit. The awesome grippy shoes make you feel like spiderman! It was definitely a highlight of our trip and left us wanting to go again! (also felt safe with Covid concerns - staff wore masks when inside with us and the rest of the time we were in open air with plenty of space).

TripAdvisor

American Mountain Guides Association

The Highest Standards

Accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association

As the only AMGA Accredited Guide Service in the area, we are committed to a high standard of climbing professionalism. The AMGA is an internationally recognized association offering courses, exams and certifications designed to certify guides and instructors as well as accredit businesses.

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Our Friends

  • South Dakota Outdoor Shop
  • Black Hills Basecamp
  • Custer Chamber of Commerce
  • Granite Sports
  • Black Hills Climbers Coalition

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