Olton’s Shoulder

United States | The Black Hills of South Dakota | The Needles of Rushmore


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, a standard and acceptable approach to free climbing at the time.

  • < 5.9
  • 10a - 10d
  • 11a - 11d
  • 12a - 12d
  • 13a >
  • Table Tipped
    1 1 0 0 0
  • Liaison
    2 0 0 0 0
  • Olton’s Shoulder (O.S.)
    2 0 0 0 0

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