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)
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.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Olton's Shoulder Area: