September 20, 2011

Hormone of Darkness and Limestone Gripping - Spearfish Canyon, SD

N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine (Melatonin): levels of the hormone melatonin vary in a daily cycle, thereby allowing the entrainment of the circadian rhythms of several biological functions.


  • Hows it work: melatonin is secreted into the blood by the pineal gland in the brain. Known as the "hormone of darkness" it is secreted in darkness in both day-active (diurnal) and night-active (nocturnal) animals.
    • May explain why one of my night techs is a quiet/sleepy dude.  He tends to work in the IV room in the dark.....hmmm

  • Recommended Uses per Chuck and Kristin:  For you night shifters out there, this stuff rocks.  Useful for flip overs, wicked vivid dreams and discovered on this trip to Spearfish: aides in some of the best tent sleep I have ever had:)
Granted we had the whole campground to ourselves:)

Also aiding in tent sleep, Crow Peak IPA: The local brewery in Spearfish. Likely the only microbrew in SD.  We had to resort to the can since the brewery was in the process of filtering the new batch of IPA.

  • Melatonin & Dreaming: Some supplemental melatonin users report an increase in vivid dreaming. Extremely high doses of melatonin (50 mg) dramatically increased REM sleep time and dream activity in both people with and without narcolepsy. Many psychoactive drugs, such as cannabis and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), increase melatonin synthesis.....Know any sleepy pot heads?
    • *Note*  50mg doses started above are extremely high doses utilized in a clinical trial assessing dream activity associated with extremely high doses.  The recommended doses are much lower.  We suggest starting with 3mg doses with the potential to increase to 6mg.  We cannot suggest doses above this as we have no experience with doses greater then 6mg.

Spearfish Limestone:



  • The Guidebook Spearfish Canyon, The VC, and other Black Hills Limestone Guidebook, by Mike Croni. Buy here













The climbing was absolutely RAD! Prior to this trip I was in love with Ten Sleep Canyon Limestone, now I'm pretty sure I'm cheating on Ten Sleep with Spearfish:)  We climbed 4 days and mountain biked 1 day.  During the 4 days of climbing it wasn't until the last route of the trip that we saw someone, a couple that came down from Canada.  We also took in some live music in Deadwood, SD during a rest day.  



Roughlock Falls, Spearfish Canyon

Dances with Wolves Film Site, Spearfish Canyon




Black Hills Mtn Biking - right from the back door of our tent

The Prow - Sunshine Wall Crag



Astro Pop - The Firsts- Sunshine Wall Crag

The approach to The Dark Side Crag

Rapping after a route above an old mine shaft




Rest Day in Deadwood, SD



Deadwood music festival, the cheapseats (free)


Cant wait to return to the SF


Noteworthy Sends:


Merchants of Death 5.11a
  • OS
Courtesy Drip 5.11a
  • OS
Astro Pop 5.11b
  • OS