Our Guides

  • AMGA Certified Guides
  • All Gear Included
  • Adventure of a Lifetime

Shankar Zamora-Vandyke

Shankar Zamora-Vandyke

Shankar is from the front range of Colorado, but we don’t hold that against him and are glad he has decided to spend his summers in the Black Hills. Shankar has been guiding with Sylvan Rocks since 2015 and is excited to share this climbers’ playground with our guests.

Shankar holds an Associates Degree from Colorado Mountain College. He is a no nonsense fellow with a quick smile.

Drums, fly fishing, ice climbing, blasting clay pigeons and living the good life take up his hours when not out on the rocks.


AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide
AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide
Wilderness First Responder

5 stars

Our first "outdoor" climbing adventure - Custer State Park in the Black Hills. Brandon matched us to routes that were challenging but not so difficult we couldn't finish. His knowledge of the sport and the area are second to none. We summited 4 routes - and I was even able to "try" a 5th route graded at 5.11 a/b that was awesome. We are planning on returning next summer - hopefully with a few friends from our indoor gym. Haven and I recommend Sylvan Rocks without question!


5 stars

We booked a 6 hour lesson with Brandon and Chris in early September, 2020. We are a family of 5 with kids age 11, 9 and 6. This was our first outdoor rock climbing experience and it was amazing! We thought we would be getting to scale some large boulders outside. In the end, three of us climbed to the top of Rhinoceros Rock, a mountain in Custer State Park that is 130 feet high! Brandon and Chris were great guides and teachers. They worked extremely well with the kids, including helping my 6 year old not be afraid of heights and feel safe. They were very thorough, safe and fun. I highly recommend using Sylvan Rocks Climbing School if you are anywhere close to the area. It was the highlight of our trip to the Black Hills.


5 stars

We've been climbing with Sylvan Rocks for years and each time it is a highlight of our trip to SD. Our guide over the years has been Chris, who is always friendly and attentive to your safety and skill level. We strongly recommended Sylvan Rocks for an adventure of a lifetime!


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.

Visit AMGA

Our Friends

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

We Love Answering Questions

Thank you for your question / comment!

Book Now Call Now