First Ascents: Valentine McGillycuddy on Harney Peak

In nosing around the new book on life around Harney Peak we notice a photo of the tomb of Valentine McGillycuddy on Harney Peak (actually it’s just his ashes). In 1875 he was part of a team surveying the Dakotas. He ascended to the true top of Harney by climbing a downed tree. George Armstrong Custer was there in 1874 but wasn’t resourceful enough to finish the climb.

Here’s a wonderful video of the summit. It never focuses on the memorial but you see it at the beginning just as he begins to climb up the steps.

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