Devils Tower

Devils Tower Trip Report (#1645)

On Friday May 24th we arrived at the Tower making our first steps to Franks house, but he was already climbing, so we decided to do the same. South face of the Tower was crowded so we headed on a north side. It was Ivo's first time at the Tower so I had pleasure of leading "New wave" (5.10a) which we've done with Frank two months ago. For Ivo it was a good warm up. Right after rappel it was his time for leading. Route of choice was "Everlasting"(5.10c). Sport routes are his favorites so he leaded with no problems. I was inspired and challenged by his climbing. "Broken tree" (5.10b) was next. It was a cool route which I was leading for a first time. There was a lot of a loose rock, but plenty of good pro. Passing the tiny finger crack at the end of a route was a crux for me. At night we had a chance to talk to Frank and brag about our achievements. Frank encouraged me to go ahead and lead "Walt Bailey" (5.9) which I so fearfully climbed as a second on our previous trip. The route is one of the true classic crack climbs at the Tower. I was afraid of lack of any rest spots on it, but while climbing it I found enough places to rest and place the pro. Ivo climbed on sight "Solar eclipse" (5.11b), I followed it, but that sport route was really hard for me. I felt pretty tired but Ivo was ready for more, so he leaded on sight "Rocksuckers" (5.11c). He climbed most of a route on a right side corner and at the crux 3/4 of the way he moved to the left side finishing again on a right side. There was only one true rest on a whole pitch, and only friction for footholds.

On our last day I wanted to push myself beyond my leading limits on "Hollywood and Vine". On December 31st I aid up this route with Martin, In March we followed Frank on it, and now I was going to lead it. I can barley recall how I climb it. I was so focused on moves and it felt like there was nothing all around me. I never felt like this before. Even do I sit on a rope twice, I'm still extremely happy to bring myself to climb this route. As a last route Ivo climbed bolted route right next to the "Wiessner". It was my fourth time at the Tower in the last 5 months. Thanks to the Tower and of course our mentor Frank Sanders in those 5 months I have made the biggest progress in my 2 years of climbing.

Stan

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