Devils Tower Trip Report (#1633)
- Signed By: David M. Smith
- Date submitted: November 01, 2002
Wes and I had been planning on climbing at Devils Tower for about 3 months, we had just
completed the last event in a bouldering series and figured Casper to DT would be less
of a drive than Pinedale to DT.........So at about 8:30PM on a windy, rainy Saturday night we left
the awards ceremony (emptyhanded......) and took off for our next climb.
We arrived at the tower at about 12 or so, it was deserted, park closed and obviously not much
going on, hmmmmmm. We tried to find a place to camp and ended up at the KOA, it was very
much and quite obviously closed but we found a place and crashed out on the ground. Rain came
at about 4:30AM=)
We got up got in the car and went to Sundance for breakfast........No love, no resturaunts open,
luckily the gas station had coffee and junk food.
So we head back to the monument, look around and figure out where to sign in at. At this point
We're on weather hold due to rain, a park ranger comes by and decides to check up on us. He
turned out to be a climbing ranger and a damn nice guy, he was the first of
several very outgoing and warm locals that we would have the priviledge of meeting and then
fourtunately being on the rock with.
We told him our story and the difficulty of finding a close camping area, he said that there was
a guy who had a place around the corner and sometimes lets climbers such as ourselves stay
Frank Sanders has a guide service there as well his home. I can't say enough about him and the
folks he has that guide his clients. If you climb on DT and have any luck, read
about him in the summit register......nuff said.
The weather was poor Sunday but on Monday Wes and I went for our first forray onto Devils Tower.
The Durrance Route, it was supposed to be easy=)
Wes and I both joked about off width climbing kicking our asses. Now Wes climbs pretty well, I on
other hand usually get by but it's not pretty. It took us about 6 hours and we both agreed that
neither of us had ever been beaten up that bad by such a "low rated" climb. It was the first time on
the Tower for both of us and the first summit trip as well. Wes let me get on top first, he led
everything and I thought that this was a very cool thing to do=) He was right behind me and the
view was truly amazing, not to mention it was about sunset. So we did our buisiness and rapped
down. We were both really excited and decided to go to town for dinner and a motel.
The next day we were going to try a climb that a local Pinedale climber highly reccomended.
It's a 5.9 and I was amazed at how much better both Wes and I did on that climb, I'm no expert
but I do think that DT is a really good place to work on cracks and off width stuff. It was really
helping Wes and I.
2nd day and 2nd summit, NICE!!!!!!!!!!! Soler was fun, plain and simple. (Oh yeah, I pealed=)
The third day (Wednesday 4-10) we did one pitch on a climb just East of Soler and for the life
of me I can't remember the name but it was good=)
We went down, signed out, and drove to The Devils Tower Lodge to say goodbye to our new
found friends. Frank, John and several others made our short trip really really nice. There were
good descriptions of the climbs and lots of insight about the routes made readily available to us
by all of the local residents.
Devils Tower was one of the very best climbing trips I have had the
pleasure of being on, as far as I can tell this is for two main reasons:
The local climbers and park staff there are top notch.
Devils Tower is one damn fine piece of rock!!!!!!!!!!!!
GO CLIMB ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
David M. Smith