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Chopping Block

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Chopping Block Rock Climbing 

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Location: 43.8856, -103.4696 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 33,735
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Housiaux, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Jun 24, 2002


79° | 59°

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83° | 59°

82° | 60°

82° | 60°
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Carly is enjoying the start of this great climb!

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Chopping Block doesn't have as many cool spires as South Seas or the Middle Marker area, but makes up for it with a good concentration of difficult routes and some good moderates on the long one pitch blocks. Like most places in the Needles, topropes are hard to come by, but nearly all the routes are good safe bolted routes so have at it.

Must do classics include Valdez Overhang, Baba Cool, Wisconsin Beef, Meat is Murder, Wrinkle in Time

Getting There 

Chopping Block is directly across the road from South Seas. Wrinkled Rock is the big hulking formation on the right and holds Rushmore's hardest, a 13d/14a. Most other formations are accessed by hanging a left after reaching the top of the hill, but some obscure routes are on the right.

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.1 miles from here

93 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',13],['3 Stars',37],['2 Stars',28],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Chopping Block

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Chopping Block:
Ugly Duckling   V3 6A     Boulder, 15'   Ugly Duckling Boulder
BB (Buddha Boys)   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   North Park : Unknown Area 2
Fintastic   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   North Park : Unknown Area 1
Buddha Boys   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 60'   Veiny
Just Jugs   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   North Park : Unknown Area 1
Attractive Nuisance    5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Razorback
Evergreen   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   Pine Tree Rock
Valdez Overhang   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 40'   Chopping Block
Baba Cool   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Chopping Block
Emergency Snow Route   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 65'   Pine Tree Rock
Charlotte's Web    5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 45'   Stinger
Tenuous   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Veiny
Regional Dialect   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   The Shrub
Meat is Murder   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Chopping Block
A Wrinkle In Time   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Sport, 120'   Wrinked Rock
Twelve White Sticks   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 90'   Chopping Block
Slang   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Shrub
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Chopping Block

Featured Route For Chopping Block
Rock Climbing Photo: The councilman on Evergreen.  June 2013

Evergreen 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  South Dakota : The Needles Of Rushmore : ... : Pine Tree Rock
This route you can either start by pulling the roof of traverse in from the left and climb the left bolted line. Great holds all the why up....[more]   Browse More Classics in South Dakota

Comments on Chopping Block Add Comment
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By Bob Archbold
Aug 19, 2002
As of 8/19/02 the Rushmore area has been getting smoke from the Battle Creek Fire. It all depends on which direction the wind wants to blow on your particular day. I spent the night on the southern flank working the line it wasn't to bad, but the northern division were getting worked hard with a lot of active burning.

Highway 16 out of Rapid City is CLOSED at Catron Blvd. Basically at the Rapid City City limits. The fire had jumped the highway at the Keystone Wye, or intersection. Large areas of evacuation are in effect. So if you are coming in from the East you are not getting there for a few more days. The situation here is not good due to the fire. For the time being it is best if you don't come to Rushmore until this is all over. Since Keystone was almost evacuated the other day but since the wind changed it was spared.

The fire started with a wind from the north, then it shifted to the west now its out of the south and tommorrow they are predicting it to come out of the southeast.

So I would recommend for several reason not to come. It may get smokey,And we don't need anymore peole in the hills for the time being that we may have to get to evacuate or get in our way of firefighting efforts. We already have an asshole of a state govenor getting in the way, but he again is a know all and an expert of everything in the world. After the fire come on and have fun.
By Chad Berger
Mar 19, 2003
I wasn't sure where to put this message, so here goes.

Free Camping???

I know there used to be a free camping area by just down the road from South Seas but it apears that its no longer there. Is there any other free camping areas in the area, close to the climbing, or any "Climber" Campgrounds? Sometimes its hard to be a poor climbing bum.
By Brian Gulbransen
Dec 19, 2005
Can anyone give me information on the boulder problems on the boulder directly below Blue Mascara and the boulders on the flat behind the chopping block? I have climbed a bunch of problems there and was just wondering if anyone else had come up with some really good ones too. If you don't want to post the beta here send me an email @ Thanks!
By Andy Busse
From: Rapid City, SD
Jan 6, 2006
Mexican Correspondent,CL, give me a call in AL at the same number as before. I am looking for some gear you rescued for the sisters. Hope all is well....
By Cameron Luth
Mar 26, 2007
Does anyone know how hard Atomic Slap is? I've been wanting to climb it because it looks sweet, but i don't know how hard it is. If anyone knows please let me know, it would be greatly appreciated.

And is Pop You Up really a 12. I have climbed other 12's at rushmore and it wasnt as hard as that one. Maybe im just missing something on the route. If anyone knows something about it, that would be awesome too.
By Greg Parker
From: Cardiff, CA
Mar 27, 2007
Pop You Up is 12b, by my account and many others. It is not 12+ nor any harder. What other 12's are you comparing it to? Are they 12a??
Atomic Slap has not been redpointed, and it is hard. Todd Skinner and Paul Piana could not do it. Dave Asscherick and I tried it one day and couldn't do the crux. I would say that it is at least 13d. Great looking line though.
By Cameron Luth
Mar 28, 2007
Thanks guys I really appreciate it. And to Greg, I was comparing Pop You Up to Lady's in Love (which by the way is one of the best 12s i have ever done in the area) and beetlejuice. Maybe I'm just missing how to do the bearhug part, I'll try to catch someone on it and see how they do it.

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