Devils Tower Trip Report (#1640)
- Signed By: Dolly Dakota
- Date submitted: November 01, 2002
I like taking vacations that involve adventure, physical challenges and new experiences. Earlier this spring I was searching for ideas for my summer vacation when I came across the Devils Tower Lodge website. I read what I could then sent an email for more info. Frank sent me videos, literature, and answered questions but left me with more. After a few phone conversations and some emails I made my plans to climb the tower.
I have never climbed before, not even a climbing wall. Arriving at the Lodge on Sunday afternoon, Frank gave Jenean-another vacationer, and I time to choose our rooms, and then got us started on a climbing wall. It was very informative, and lots of fun. At dinner that night we got to meet the rest of the staff Jon and Jaap and Lorna. On Monday we went with Frank and Lorna to the tower for our play day. Safety is stressed over and over again. After lots of instruction and encouragement I made my first climb!!!!!!! We spent the afternoon climbing different cracks and learning more and more.
Tuesday..Summit day....Lorna and Frank got us out of the Lodge at 4:30 am with a great breakfast and sent us off with Jon and Jaap. Again safety was stressed over and over. I was on bilay with Jon. On my first pitch I got my foot stuck, really stuck. Another climber Nate came to my rescue. It isn't easy putting your shoe back on just hanging from a rope. We later laughed about it when I told everyone, Frank said if there isn't hold available, stick your foot in and turn and wedge it in. I did. At times the climb was difficult, I am short and couldn't always reach the holds like Jon did. At times it was frustrating and I got scared a couple of times too. Jon and Jaap were wonderful guides. Jon knew when to push, when to encourage, when to compliment, when to say nothing and when to just say "Let's Go Dolly!!" I reached the limit of my emotional and physical strength and still found that I had some more. Reaching the summit....WOW!!! While resting on a rock and reflecting on the climb, an eagle circled overhead. It was beautiful. The view was awesome. After rappaling down we returned to the lodge for hugs, congratulations and stories.
Frank, Lorna, Jon and Jaap made the experience fabulous. I had a large room all to myself, the meals was wonderful, it was like being a big family. I made some fabulous friends and have memories that will last a lifetime. Their knowledge and expertise at climbing made my new experience one I want to do again.
After sharing some stories with listeners, I work for Y 93 FM radio in Bismarck, ND, and with family, many people have asked for info on Devils Tower Lodge and I am happy to tell them they won't be disappointed.
I look forward to returning in the summer of 2003 with my brother Dave and niece Becca and climbing the tower again with Jon, Jaap, Frank and Lorna.
"Get high on crack....Devils Tower Style"