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Emergency Snow Route

5.10a, Sport, 65 ft (20 m),  Avg: 3.2 from 39 votes
FA: Equipped and first lead, Dave Rone. First onsight, Jim Slichter.
S Dakota > Needles Of Rush… > Mt Rushmore Nat… > Chopping Block > Pine Tree Rock
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The route is slightly overhanging for the first 35', so you might get a wee bit of a pump. But the holds through the schist are real positive! The crux is some steep reachy moves above the schist, moving into and up left out of a shallow pod about half-way. The route has lots of fun moves on great holds, with excellent pro. The original 5.9 rating may be a little soft. The name comes from a massive snow storm on 6/9/95 that delayed it's creation for a few days!


Emergency Snow Route is the on the SE corner of Pine Tree Rock. It is the rightmost of the three routes on the south side.


9 bolts to a double-bolt lowering/rap anchor.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Jim Slichter on the first onsight lead of Emergency Snow Route.
[Hide Photo] Jim Slichter on the first onsight lead of Emergency Snow Route.
Emergency Snow Route
[Hide Photo] Emergency Snow Route
Matt high up on Emergency Snow Route.  Awesome varied route.  The councilman up to his usual...
[Hide Photo] Matt high up on Emergency Snow Route. Awesome varied route. The councilman up to his usual...
Emergency Snow Route
[Hide Photo] Emergency Snow Route

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] My guess is that the average 5.9 sport climber will find the upper part of this route to be somewhat challenging/exciting. Jul 7, 2014
Tim Robinson
Custer, SD
[Hide Comment] Completely agree with above statement as I lead just past schist and had a mental breakdown. I then set up a toprope (may be a while before I am ready for the lead). Aug 11, 2014
Kathryn H
Pueblo, CO
[Hide Comment] This route is definitely a little sandbagged. Not a safe route if you expect to take a whip. Fell at the crux before a bolt and decked my knees right into the lower juggy section. Ouch for days. But a fun route if you're confident on 5.9s. Mar 22, 2016
Mike Gibson
Rapid City
[Hide Comment] According to the FA, this route has exfoliated a useful hold higher up in the pod that makes it a bit more awkward now, and I broke off a knob that helped with the left foot in the pod a couple years ago.

Edit (8-12-16): Another critical hold just broke off that was right below the pod making it even harder. Jun 23, 2016
Justin Compton
Erie, CO
[Hide Comment] I never did the climb before the hold in the pod broke, but it's diffidently harder than 5.9+ now. Sep 6, 2016
Mitch P
[Hide Comment] Just lead Emergency Snow Route on 10/9/16 compared to Evergreen just around the corner this is significantly harder, especially now that I know that there are a few holds missing near the crux. Be careful when finding the bolt (7th I believe) just after the crystals before the large horn, I missed that bolt and took a 20ft whipper because my feet were above it when I found it. Oct 11, 2016
[Hide Comment] Don't know what everybody talking about. Definitely only 5.9. Safe route with plenty of bolts Apr 21, 2020
Dillon Rose
Keystone South Dakota
[Hide Comment] First route I ever lead that stopped me in my tracks. But after coming back another day I was able to enjoy this super awesome line. The 9+ or 10a grade are both pretty much right on. 9+ consistent maybe a few 10a moves towards the top. Top 10 dag routes. Hidden hold on the right 15 feet from the chain will save you! Sep 17, 2020