Devils Tower

Devils Tower Trip Report (#1543)

  • Signed By: John Gunnels
  • Date submitted: November 02, 2002
  • Date(s) climbed: 06/22/86 first summit hundreds of times since

Cliche, but true: LIFE IS A CIRCLE

My experiences pale in comparison to Tower legends like Dingus McGee... Todd Skinner... Mateo Pee Pee... Frank Sanders... Carl Coy...

But over the years I've had the pleasure of sharing a rope with many of my "heroes", and it's been my observation that there seems to be one common thread amongst these hardmen: THE POWER OF THE TOWER BECKONS YOU BACK...

Rehabilitation from shoulder surgery has made crack climbing difficult and quite painful for me. This past summer I spent most of my time attempting to improve HORENDOUS face climbing skills at Sylvan Lake and Rushmore. And although ALL climbing frees your spirit, the Tower is adamantly calling.

Case in point: Spent one beautiful September afternoon on the Southwest shoulder, and had the fortune to watch a "new" hardman lead the second pitch of El Mat... one of my personal "old guy" goals. The unique thing about this particular ascent: about 1/4 of the pitch he did in a full body stem. OH... to be filled with the strength of youth. Right then... something "clicked". This incredible NEED to sink fingers into Walt Bailey... feel the "wave" of Belle Fourche... pull the roof on McCarthy West...

The shoulder is FINALLY feeling strong... the mind is at peace... the passion has returned...

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