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Olton's Shoulder Area

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Olton's Shoulder Area Rock Climbing 

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Location: 43.8822, -103.467 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,732
Administrators: Andrew Gram, Peter Gram, Greg Parker, Andy Busse, Mike Madsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Andy Busse on Oct 26, 2010
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Silhouette of Olton's Shoulder

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This is the highest formation visible on the left hand side of the road (west) as you pass by the profile view of Washington. This formation is part of the origination of climbing in the Black Hills dating back to 1936 according to Appalachian Mountain Club printings.
“Twin towers northwest of Mt. Rushmore” – “similar to, but higher and more difficult than the Cathedral Spires.” This was a general description written by Lawrence G. Coveney in Appalachia, volume XXL, Dec.1936, pgs. 269 -271. Given the name because, on the first ascent, Fritz Wiessner stood on Percy Olton’s shoulder to climb the route.
(From Rushmore Needles: Busse Burr 2012)

Getting There 

Directions: From the entrance of Mt Rushmore National Park, continue NW on SD HWY 244 for 1.2 miles to the parking pullout on the SW side of the highway. It is abeam the large towering walls of the fittingly named formation (Monster) in the area called Magna Carta. Olton's Shoulder resides on the SW side of the highway but is not visible from the parking lot.

Parking: Park at the pullouts (GPS N 43.882069° W -103.463369°); this area shares parking with the Magna Carta area.

Approach: From the pullout, head SW on a faint single track trail contouring up and around to the N for approx 280’ total to gain the old roadbed. Make sure to go up the drainage before the rock ridgeline. Follow the old roadbed for 180’ until it makes a sharp curve back to the right (NE). At the curve and the end of the cut-bank, head due west contouring around to the south to several large boulders. From the boulders approaches vary; see route descriptions for the remainder of the approach.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.9 miles from here

5 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Olton's Shoulder Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Hope this helps 1 of 3

Olton’s Shoulder 1936 Original Route 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c  South Dakota : The Needles Of Rushmore : ... : Olton's Shoulder Area
(East Facing) Take the vertical crack, follow the weakness up and left ascending the easiest line to the summit. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in South Dakota

Photos of Olton's Shoulder Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Flamingo Drinker goes up right side arête.
Flamingo Drinker goes up right side arête.
Rock Climbing Photo: Olton's Shoulder and Liaison
Olton's Shoulder and Liaison

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