Devils Tower

Devils Tower Trip Report (#1638)

Other than training on rock climbing walls in the gym, Devil's Tower the first rock climbing

experience for my son and I. We trained for a few months in the gym and were able to handle

pitches rated in the 5.8 - 5.9 range. We also did the Fun Day training offered by Frank Sanders

prior to climbing the Durrance route. Our party included a friend and 2 of Frank Sander's guides

- Jonathan and Yaap. Fun Day was a good confidence builder and very enjoyable. The Tower has

a unique and awesome beauty up close. I marveled at the huge columns that surrounded us. We

were well prepared for the summit climb except I really stuggled with the pitch called the Durrance

Crack. It is only rated 5.7 but required a climbing technique that was not in my reportoire. The

pitches require a good variety of climbing techniques.So each of the 6 pitches is a little different.

We did not do the leap of faith over to the The Meadows for the last pitch. And I'm glad we did not because our last pitch, which is more vertical, was my favorite. The climb was truly a great experience. I think you could add .5 to the difficulty of each pitch because the holds have been worn smooth by the heavy climbing traffic. My only criticism is that our party was a little slow and we spent most of the time waiting for our turn to climb the next pitch.I have also climbed Mt. Rainier but it was a very different experience. Mt. Rainier was more arduous and a big part of the payoff was the sense of accomplishment in getting up and down. Whereas the payoff for the Durrance route was the natural beauty and the journey itself - all the mini successes as you find that next hold. We can heartily recommend Frank Sanders as your guide service.

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