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Taylor Lais

Taylor Lais

Taylor loves hanging out on the rocks in high places. Originally from the Sioux Falls area, Taylor spent some time in his younger years climbing around the cliffs of Palisades State Park, but since then he has ventured out for extended stays at many of the great climbing venues of the west. He has worked for Sylvan Rocks since 2014, and has also spent time guiding in Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas as well as multiple seasons guiding in the Grand Tetons. In the winter, Taylor spends time skiing, ice climbing, and working around Bozeman, Montana.


AMGA Certified Rock Guide
AMGA Ice Instructor Course
Wilderness First Responder

5 stars

We had a great time climbing with Jeff at Sylvan Rocks Climbing School. The company is really well run and you can tell that they are fully invested in making sure you have a great time. The owners are guides themselves so they do everything they can to make sure you feel safe, challenged, and satisfied with your experience. We even went out during an unseasonably snowy day in September and had a blast. Highly recommended!


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.


5 stars

My son and I did an introductory climbing day a couple of years ago with Sylvan Rocks. That day made my son fall in love with climbing. Last week, we returned for a three-day climbing session, and it was even better than the first. Our guide Shankar gave us three amazing days that culminated in my son's ascent of Spires 2 and 3 of the Cathedral Spires in Custer State Park. He was patient, good-humored, and laser-focused on safety while dealing both with my beginner's mistakes, and with my son's need for technical training. While he pushed me to stretch my limits, there was never any point at which I felt it was inappropriate. And, we got to the top of the "Aquarium." On top of all that, Shankar's just a really cool guy. I feel that we got more than our money's worth out of this experience, and we will be back to climb again with Sylvan Rocks.


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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