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Rapid City rock climbing gym brushes off chalk with reopen

Black Hills Basecamp reopens to the public on weekends
Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 6:30 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A gym that opened its doors in February had to close weeks later because of the pandemic.

However, now this rock climbing gym in Rapid City is ready to brush off the chalk once again.

South Dakota may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about rock climbing, but few places have a variety of routes you can find in the Black Hills.

”A lot of people started exploring up the Spires around Custer and Rushmore, and so there’s beautiful granite there but one of the things I love about the Black Hills is we also have sandstone and limestone all here within 20 miles of each other,” said Andrew Bellisle, owner of Black Hills Basecamp.

Mount Rushmore is home to hundreds of protected sports routes, but when winter weather hits climbers need a place to train.

”Andrew and I just moved here two years ago and we spent one winter here and it was cold, and snowy and long and we wanted to make sure that there was a place that we could train,” said Laura Bellisle, owner of Black Hills Basecamp.

Brushing off the chalk, Black Hills Basecamp is now open to climbers after almost six months of being closed.

”We are limiting the number of spots so people can still keep their distance but we’re welcoming people back into space and it’s really exciting to see people back in here,” said Laura Bellisle.

With 24/7 access for members, Bellisle hopes Basecamp can be a hub for climbers of all ages, and abilities.

”Climbing is just such a great way to push yourself, physically, mentally, even spiritually, I think people have this connection with rock climbing that might not connect with other types of exercise,” said Andrew Bellisle.

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