Woman Arrested After Climbing Mount Rushmore With Bare Feet And No Rope

By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter

July 16, 2019

This June 1995 photo shows Mt. Rushmore,

A Nebraska woman managed to temporarily added her face to Mount Rushmore last week after she illegally scaled the national monument without her shoes or even using a rope.

Alexandria Incontro and her family were visiting the monument in South Dakota last Friday when she reportedly decided to try and scale up sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore, using a route between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson's faces. According to the Rapid City Journal, Incontro scrambled up the rock pile located at the base of the mountain before she ascended up the carved faces, which stand about 60 feet high.

A federal officer and park ranger were called out to try and persuade the Omaha woman to come down after multiple witnesses reported seeing her climb up the mountain at around 7 p.m. Friday night, a law enforcement report stated. The ranger reportedly told Incontro she needed to come down the mountain, to which she replied, "do you want me to come down fast or slow?"

Incontro managed to make it about 15 feet from the top of the granite structure, which stands at an elevation of 5,725 feet. According to the officer's report, he spoke with Incontro for several minutes until she agreed to come down off the monument. Once safely back on the ground, she was searched, cuffed and arrested. Incontro had suffered some minor cuts on her feet after climbing barefoot, but she denied any further medical attention and was taken to the Pennington County Jail.

Prosecutors initially charged Incontro with trespassing on property not open to the public, violating a closure of public user limit, and failure to obey a lawful order. However, those charges were dropped after she plead guilty on Monday to the crime of climbing Mount Rushmore at a federal court in Rapid City, South Dakota. Incontro was fined $1,000 as well as a $30 fee.

Several signs surround the massive granite structure warning visitors to stay away or attempt to climb the massive carving, which was completed in 1941. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was responsible for creating and overseeing the project with his son Lincoln, between 1927 and 1941. The four presidents shown on Mount Rushmore were chosen to represent various periods in United States' history, including its birth, growth, development, and preservation.

Mount Rushmore has been featured heavily in pop culture, including the climatic scene in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest and National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

Photo: Getty Images

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