Devils Tower

Devils Tower Trip Report (#1597)

On April 12 me and Stan have arrived at the Tower for a third time. Previously we were learning an Aid climbing. This time we were going to start education in the trad and crack climbing. Our teacher was no one else but Frank Sanders himself.

"Durrance" was our first route. It was no big challenge except the second pitch. We had never climb off-width before, with Frank's techinc we made it without any falls or siting on the rope.

Next day we started with "Walt Bailey" (5.9). Frank led it with superb style and we followed. It was beautiful and long finger-hand crack. On our own we would never even try to climb such route, but with Frank what seemed impassible become possible. Before day was over we followed Frank on "Soler" (5.9-) and "El Cracko Diablo" (5.8).

Following day Mr.Sanders "warm us up" on "Hollywood and Vain" (5.10c) and off we went to leadin. Stan led both pitches of "Soler" and a second of "El Crakco". I did my first "major" leading on the "El Cracko". We both were very excited over our achievements but Frank knew we are away from our limits.

On our third day we polished our leading skills on first pitches on "New Wave" and "Broken Tree" and followed Frank on upper parts of the routes. Watching him leading flawlessly those 5.10's was just something else. As desert for us, he set up a top rope on incredible face climb - "Everlasting" (5.11b). And again what seemed unclimbable at first, with Frank's help and after stepping on one of the bolts (both of us) and weighting the rope (me), was climbed.

We learned a lot with Frank. We know how to climb a cracks, I started leading and Stan got much better with it. But we are the most happy of beening pushed beyond, what we thought, were our physical and mental limits. Great thanks to Frank for it.

On the last day we tested ourselves. I have led all the pitches on the "Durrance" and Stan led "New Wave". We were going home with more than we expected. And all this in barley 5 days.

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