Devils Tower

Devils Tower Trip Report (#1496)

  • Signed By: Bryant McDonnell
  • Date submitted: October 24, 2004
  • Number of People Encountered:

Beep Beep Beep...... 4:45am I awoke to an annoying alarm from a short night of sleep with dreams of Devils Tower. Sigh.... Opening the door of my tent I saw the top of the tower and smiled, knowing that today i would reach the summit. 5:00am Raisin Bran was the filler of the stomach that morning. Entering into the beautiful vantage point breakfast area shortly after us was Frank Sanders. The breakfast area in Franks Bed and Breakfast has the view of all views. Everyone that enters suggests he cut out the wall and put in a picture frame. The sights are splendid. 5:15am Devils Tower Lodge gets put in our dust from the gravel drive way as we head out toward the tower. Brad and I had been climbing around the base of the tower for a few days in hope to prep for the summit. 5:25am being 18 years old without sleep is not easy but you have gotta do what you gotta do - sign our lives away to the tower. 6:15am we have reached the point that it is too dangerous to hike un-roped. Courageous Frank roped Brad and me in and belayed us up several pitches of class four hiking. The belaying was setup most of the time were I was the second person to follow and my job was to pull wall anchors before I came to the next station were i would join Frank and Brad. Frank knew we were tired so he decided to tease us a little bit, asking me in a serious manner, "so those pieces came out alright," and I said "yup," and then Frank said with all seriousness ", They came out with a slight downward pull?," and without paying attention sure enough I said,"yup". He sure got me there. It only took me till about central Minnesota on the drive home to realize that he pulled a fast one on me. 7:30am I am climbing the first of two pitches on El Cracko Diablo. I love this. This is climbing. All this exposure is Sweet!!!! 7:50am Here I am starting the second pitch and this purple plastic happy monkey that I hung from my chalk bag decided to commit suicide. We meet eyes for one split second and he told me "Good Luck" and that was that last time I ever saw him. I thought my climbing ability would end forever as I saw him falling to his death; but he is watching over me from plastic monkey heaven. He always reminds me to check my knot because he didn't before we climbed on his final day. After that I moved on and kept climbing this route with amazing hand jams. 8:15am I just pulled through the crux with a little bit of a sweat but very happy about it. At the end of this pitch we were in the meadows and meet Frank and Brad. Brad was drinking out of his urine colored Nalgene bottle and Frank was video taping the sites and us the heroes. Frank once again lead up a long scramble belayed us to him and once more to the top of Devils Tower. We got the tour of the top and hung our feet off the side. Wow my heart was pounding with amazement. I looked over toward the Devils Tower Lodge and smiled when I imagined myself looking up and the tower from my tent window in the morning. 10:30am we began our decent from the top with many repels. I loved it there. All the way down was gorgeous. Life is good. A Good friend once said to me, "Blessed are those who live out their dreams." I am Blessed. Hope to see you again soon tower, as well as my new friend Frank and the Devils Tower Lodge.

-Bryant

P.S. If you find my Monkey Please give him the proper burial ceremony. Or just give him to Frank

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