West World is a small box canyon on the east side of the ridge of spires a short distance west of Breezy Point Picnic Area and just north of Hwy. 244. The rock is finer grained granite (easy on fried fingertips). The pitches tend to be 80' to 100' in length. The climbing tends to be more physical fitness oriented than the average Rushmore climb of the same grade offering some very sustained climbing. All of the routes are mainly sport oriented with some climbs necessiting solid gear placements that you don't want to pass up. A variety of techniques will be experienced on the routes of West World. The aspect the routes are on faces east. In the heat of summer climbing is wonderful after 3:00PM as the routes will be totally shaded from the sun. On cooler days the morning sun is welcome. The grotto nature of this mini box canyon provides for sheltered climbing on windy days. If the area has a downfall it would have to be the road noise from Hwy. 244 which is about 5 minutes away. Don't let this detour you. If you are looking for something entirely different than the standard Rushmore suite then check out West World. The names of the routes at West World tend to relect the sign of the times when the first ascents were made. Truly a place not to be missed by any hard person. Good endurance training climbs for the 5.11 climber.
Drive west on Hwy 244 from Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. There are three signed turnouts on the the north side (right) of Hwy. 244 within a short distance as the highway trends back west from the boundary of Mt. Rushmore N.M. (Wrinkled Rock, Borglam Memorial and Breezy Point). Breezy Point is of particular interest as the road for this area loops back west and reconnects with Hwy. 244. Look for a gated road on the north side of Hwy. 244 about one tenth of a mile west of Breezy Point. Park at the gate in a considerate manner (please don't park parallel to highway so others can park here). Hike north on gated gravel road until you are opposite the highpoint of the ridge of spires to the west. Locate and follow a short steep trail descending westward from the old road towards the crags. West World is in a box canyon up and slightly to the left as you view the formation. Contour around slope to south until it is possible to make an oblique right turn into the West World canyon. Climb up into this canyon. The trail will be faint. There is one very distinct feature at West World to orient yourself to. The feature is reminiscent of a Devils Tower box dihedral with a double crack system that forms the route "Stems From Controversy". The entire approach is less than five minutes.
This route follows the bolted sharp arete just right of "Don't Shoot, I'm Only The Belayer". It is difficult to avoid stemming to the formation on the right at the top. Let your conscience be your guide on when to step out right. Clipping the last bolt and the anchors will prove more challenging without stemming across to the formation on the right. The intent of the first ascentionist's is to stay on the left side of the arete on this route. The earlier you stem right the easier the route will ...[more]Browse More Classics in SD