Our Guides

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Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson

Jeff is the voice and face of the East River Branch of Sylvan Rocks. During the school year he molds the minds of Sioux Falls’ high school students, and in the summer he takes his skills outdoors teaching climbing to our guests at Palisades State Park.

In 2014, Jeff and Sam Smolnisky published Palisades State Park – A Climber’s Guide. That project gave Jeff a good excuse to do a lot of climbing and learn his way around some of the less popular Palisades crags.

During the off-season you will also find Jeff on the slopes as an active ski patroller at Great Bear Ski Valley in Sioux Falls.

Certifications

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
Outdoor Emergency Care
CPR / First Aid

5 stars

We chose to rock climb as a family of four last minute and we're so glad we did. It was one of the highlights of our South Dakota trip. Daryl found us a guide who was personable and patient. My 5 and 7 year old were able to climb 15 and 30 foot cliffs and my wife and I found the climbs exhilarating and fun. The price was reasonable and it fit well into a day trip to Custer State Park.

Google

5 stars

Great experience, the instruction felt personal, and time on the rocks was maximized. Shoutout to the incredible instructors, Shankar, Carissa and Taylor; they were relaxed, down to earth and cool. They were thorough with safety and technique, and I felt confident with the basic knowledge I left with.

Google

5 stars

Wife and I did a 6 hour with Brandon. We’d both climbed indoors a bunch, but we’d never done the real thing. We managed to hit 4 very different routes by Sylvan Lake. Brandon was knowledgeable, safe, and generally a great time. I loved every minute of it.

TripAdvisor

American Mountain Guides Association

The Highest Standards

Accredited by the American Mountain Guides Association

As the only AMGA Accredited Guide Service in the area, we are committed to a high standard of climbing professionalism. The AMGA is an internationally recognized association offering courses, exams and certifications designed to certify guides and instructors as well as accredit businesses.

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Our Friends

  • South Dakota Outdoor Shop
  • Black Hills Basecamp
  • Custer Chamber of Commerce
  • Granite Sports
  • Black Hills Climbers Coalition

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