Ascent of Black Elk Peak on 2016-06-27

Climber: Jason Vogler

Date:Monday, June 27, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Black Elk Peak
    Location:USA-South Dakota
    Elevation:7231 ft / 2204 m

Ascent Trip Report

We started out day in Pierre South Dakota. This was going to be a very busy day so we had gotten up early. We first stopped by and visited the South Dakota State Capitol Building. Lauren got her stamp and we were off to Mt. Rushmore. It took about 2 1/2 hours to get to Mt. Rushmore but the directions were clear as the signs were very clear. Mt Rushmore is directly off of Hwy 244.

We spent a few hours at mt. Rushmore and we got on the road a little later than I had hoped It was hot and sunny when we left Rushmore. We drove 244 west until we hit 385 which we took South. We immediately went east on hwy 87 which went up a windy road. You eventually get to the intersection for 87/89 and you want to stay east on 87 and you almost immediately hit the access gate to the park. You pay your fee and only a 1/2 mile is the parking lot near Sylvan Lake. You want to be on the east side of the lake where the trail begins. By the time we got to the lake we were getting hit with some downpours of rain. Small but very powerful cells were coming through the area. We had our rain gear and we made the choice to go for it.

The trail is well marked and maintained but in some places very strenuous. However it was the thunder and lighting that was worrying us. It appeared that the cell was traveling south of our position as it was sunny north of us. We were right on the edge and were getting a constant drizzle. At about the 1/2 way point we even had a little bit of hail come down. There were some pretty stunning rainbows and again we made the decision to press on as the sun came out as we began the final assault on Harney.

Highpoint #12
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