Fact About Harney Peak

Fact About Harney Peak

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Elevation : 7,242 feet (2,207 meters)

Prominence : 2,922 feet (8 91 meters)

Location : Black Hills, Pennington County, South Dakota.

Coordinates : 43.86611 deg N/103.5316 7 deg W

First Ascent : First ascending by Native Americans. First preserved ascending by Dr. Valentine McGillycudy on July 24, 1875.

Fast Facts :

Harney Peak, at 7,242 feet (2,207 meters), is the highest peak in South Dakota, the highest point in the Black Hills, the 15 th highest of the 50 nation high points, and the most important one top in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.

The highest point east of Harney Peak in the Northern Hemisphere is in the Pyrenees Mountain in France. Harney Peak has 2,922 feet (8 91 meters) of renown.

Harney Peak Surrounded By Parklands

Six national parkland Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Badlands National Park, Devil Tower National Monument, Jewel Cave National Monument, Wind Cave National Park and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site are in the vicinity of Harney Peak and the Black Hils. The Lakota Sioux and native Americans are represented by the Crazy Horse Memorial, a large statue of the conflict foreman Crazy Horse that is continuing to take shape on a granite buttress on the western side of the Black Hills. When it is finally finished it will be the world’s largest statue.

Named For General William s. Harney

Harney Peak was listed for General William S. Harney, a military officer who served in the U.S. Army from 1818 to 1863.

Harney fought pirates in the Caribbean, served in the Seminole and Black Hawk Wars, and commanded the 2nd Dragons in the Mexican American War in the late 1840 s. General Harney entered the history of the Black Hills in 1855 when he passed troops against the Sioux at the Battle of Ash Hollow, one of the first clashes of a 20 year conflict waged against the Grassland Indian.

After the battle, the Sioux nicknamed him “Woman Kiler” because women and children were killed. Its ironic that his name is now attached to one of the sacred elevations of the Sioux.

Sacred To Lakota Sioux

Harney Peak and the Black Hills are sacred elevations to the Lakota Sioux Indian. The wander is announced Paha Sapa in Lakota, which translates to “Black Hills”. The name refers to the pitch-black look of the wander when it’s ended from the surrounding prairie. From room, the Black Hills appear as a large circular night wander surrounded by chocolate brown plateaux. The Sioux call the mountain Hinhan Kaga Paha, which roughly alters as “sacred scary owl of the mountain”. Inyan Kara Mountain, on the countries of the western feature of the Black Hills in Wyoming, is another sacred ridge to the Lakota Sioux. Inyan Kara symbolizes” rock and roll gatherer” in Lakota. Bear Butte, a laccolith eight miles northeast of the Black Hills by Sturgis, is too sacred to Native Americans. Over 60 tribes come to the mountain to fast, pray, and reflect. They feel that the butte’s sacred nature is corrupted by surrounding development.

Black Elk’s Great Vision

The enormous Oglala Sioux shaman Black Elk had a “enormous see” on top of Harney Peak when he was nine years old.

He subsequently recalled with columnist John Neihardt, who wrote the book Black Elk Speaks. Black Elk told Neihardt of its own experience :  I was standing on the most important one ridge of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole band of “the worlds”. And while I stood there I pictured more than I can tell and I understood more than I pictured for I was recognizing in a sacred manner the chassis of all things in the intent, and the shape of all chassis as it is necessary to live their lives like one being.

First Recorded Ascent

Although many Native Americans, including Black Elk, clambered Harney Peak, its first preserved ascending was by Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy on July 24, 1875. McGillycuddy (1849-1939) was a surveyor with the Newton Jenney Party, which was looking for gold in the Black Hills, and later was an Army surgeon, who inclined Crazy Horse at his death.

He was later mayor of Rapid City and the first Surgeon General of South Dakota. After his death at age 90 in California, McGillycuddy’s ashes were interred atop his below Harney Peak. A plaque predicting “Valentine McGillycuddy, Wasitu Wacan” differentiates the discern. Wasitu Wacan symbolizes Holy White Man in Lakota.

Geology : Harney Peak Granite

Harney Peak, rising in the centree of the Black Hills, is composed of an ancient granite core that is over 1.8 billion years old. The granite was situated in the Harney Peak Granite Batholith, a huge mas of molten magma which gradually chilled and solidified beneath the earth’s crust. The fine grained igneous rock and roll is composed of many mineral, including feldspar, quartz, biotite, and muscovite. As the magma chilled, large crannies and ruptures appeared in the mass, which filled in with more magma, assembling large grained pegmatite dikes. These interferences are seen today as pink and white dikes in the granite skin deep. The condition of today’s Harney Peak began about 50 million years ago when erosive procedures began showing and sculpting the granite batholith, leaving hollows, sharp witted ridges, and lumped rock and roll patterns on the peak.

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