The Needles of Rushmore

Nearly 30 years since the release of Paul Piana’s Touch the Sky, Rushmore Needles is a fully comprehensive update to the mystical treasure map of the granite in the Southern Black Hills (east of Harney Peak). The book includes over 900 detailed routes from Palmer Gulch to Remington Road, including the popular sport climbing area, Mt. Rushmore. Rushmore Needles transcends guidebooks with the creative work of coauthor, Andrew Burr (senior photographer of Climbing magazine). Combine the stunning Burr photography with the meticulously sculpted route descriptions and Rushmore Needles sets a new benchmark for rock climbing guidebooks.

Busse, Andrew & Burr, Andrew. The Needles of Rushmore. Boulder, CO: Fixed Pin Publishing, 2012. ISBN 978-0-9819016-4-0

Spearfish Canyon, The VC & other Black Hills Limestone

The Black Hills in Western South Dakota is one of North America’s premier limestone sport climbing areas. Well protected routes on bomber, blue & tan limestone makes for spectacular climbing. From the pocket paradise of Spearfish Canyon with routes on vertical to slightly overhanging rock, to The VC with its forearm-blasting, knee-bar-scumming steep headwalls, the diversity of the climbing here is smorgasbord of styles. This first edition describes over 700 climbs at Spearfish Canyon, The VC, Bethlehem, and Falling Rock.

Cronin, Mikel. Spearfish Canyon, The VC & other Black Hills Limestone. Boulder, CO: Sharp End Publishing, 2012. ISBN 978-1-892540-75-1

Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Handbook

Climbed by nearly 5,000 people a year, Devils Tower has an interesting history regarding recreation. This handbook provides basic background information concerning geology, Native Americans, climbing management, and great detail on over 200 climbing routes found here. Each route listing includes who completed the first ascent, how to approach the route, information about the various pitches, how to finish and return down the tower, and suggested equipment needed to complete the route.

Guilmette, Lindsay, Gardiner, Carrier. Devil’s Tower National Monument: Climbing Handbook. Devil’s Tower, WY: Devil’s Tower National History Assoc, 2004. ISBN 


The Needles – A Climbers Guide to the Black Hills Needles

The Needles are a fantastic wonderland of rocky granite spires tucked deep in the Black Hills. The climbing here is legendary; from the wild face climbs that lead to table top summits, to giant “chicken head” knobs which sometimes need to be slung for gear! The Needles of South Dakota are a must for anyone looking for adventure. Included in this full color guide are detailed descriptions, precise topos and even tear-out route cards for some of the longer routes—no more toting the book along on long climbs.

Orenczack, Zach & Lynn Rachael. The Needles – A Climber’s Guide to the Black Hills Needles. Laramie, WY: Extreme Angles, 2006. ISBN 978-0974653280


Devils Tower Climbing


Devils Tower, the ultimate crack climbing destination, has never seen a book like this. Comprehensive coverage of all its classic free climbs is accompanied by full-page photos and the wildest stories you can imagine. This full color book includes photos of the cliffs, in-depth topos and verbal descriptions of each route. Loads of old school photographs and tales of the legendary ascents and pranks that went on here fill out the book’s 220 pages. As an added bonus, four tear-out route cards are included so you can climb with all the information you need at a fraction of the weight. Gas up the car and grab a partner; it’s time to road trip to the Tower!

Orenczack, Zach & Lynn Rachael. Devils Tower Climbing. Laramie, WY: Extreme Angles, 2006. ISBN 978-0974653273


South Dakota Needles: The Adventure Climbs of Herb and Jan Conn

Long before camming devices, sticky rubber, or kernmantle ropes, a daring duo from the East Coast took to South Dakota’s Needles with an 80-foot rope, soft iron pitons, and tennis shoes. Herb and Jan Conn made their mark exploring and mapping the Needles, as well as ascending classic and sometimes outrageous lines to incredible places. This guide describes over 240 climbs and recounts the stories of this enigmatic Black Hills couple.  This book is based on the works of Bob Kamps, Herb Conn, and Paul Piana.  In keeping with tradition the maps and descriptions lack detail, requiring very refined investigative reasoning.  Another must in the Black Hills collection.

Stephens, Lindsay. South Dakota Needles, The Adventure Climbs of Herb and Jan Conn: Sharp End Publishing, 2008. ISBN 


Coming Soon

Touch the Sky: The Needles in the Black Hills of South Dakota

This is the ultimate standard for guidebooks in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Written by Paul Piana and based largely on the work of Herb Conn and Bob Kamps; it was fully comprehensive up to the published date of 1983. This book includes undetailed maps and route descriptions with a suprising degree of precision for locating the lost spires and inspiring your next adventure. This book requires a large amount of patience and high degree of investigative reasoning. It also includes a detailed narrative of climbing in the Black Hills. A must have for true Black Hills climbers/explorers. This a new copy with maps.

na Paul. Touch the Sky: The Needles in the Black Hills of South Dakota. NY: American Alpine Club, 1983. ISBN 978-0930410162