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Devils Tower Climber's Log

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TongieRoute Climbed: Soler and many others. Date Climbed: Aug. 30 - Sept. 3, 2004  Sucess!

Tongie

What an amazing place.....nothing but quality climbing and great atmosphere. Met Frank Sanders (bigwally) and had a great time hangin with him and all his guests. The trip was made so much easier with his help on route locations, must-do routes, and other general info (not to mention his hospitality). We will be making many more trips to this incredible place.



Thanks again Frank!! We'll be in touch.



Clint.



Posted Sep 14, 2004 1:55 pm

AndinistalocoRoute Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: 1997  Sucess!

Andinistaloco

Yikes. Spent about SIX HOURS on this route, and about 4 1/2 of that was waiting for the folks in front of us. If you're going to do this route be there EARLY! Otherwise I'd recommend one of the others....



Still a great climb!

Posted Sep 9, 2004 4:59 am

Derek FranzenRoute Climbed: Durrance Route Date Climbed: August 9 1981  Sucess!

Derek Franzen

With E Sandbo, M Woodmansee & L Rassmussen. After a 23 hour drive from home leaving after work on Friday arrived at Devils Tower Saturday evening in time for a walk around the peak. Good nights sleep and up early in morning to walk up to route. Scrambled up start of route and visited with Ohio Mountaineers who were belaying approach. Climbed up first pitch a little intimidated by steepness of route also rock grain was coarse but slick. Second pitch climbed up to crux and while jamming hand into crack pigeon flew out of crack at face level, nearly soiled partners on top of column below. Rest of climb uneventful but fun.
Posted Aug 18, 2004 12:43 am

rpcRoute Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: August 6, 2004  Sucess!

rpc

After getting hosed (every day like clockwork) in the Cirque of Towers, decided to cut our stay there short (5 instead of 8 days) and head for the greener pastures of eastern Wyoming. Climbed Durrance route with Shirley and we wished we had more time there to try a couple more routes...unfortunately had to drive back to SLC for a flight home. It was a pleasure to run into and chat with Frank (bigwally)! We owe him thanks for his invitation to camp out at his Devils Tower Lodge!!
Posted Aug 9, 2004 1:06 pm

jwclimbsRoute Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: May 31, 2004  Sucess!

jwclimbs

What a spectacular formation! This route is a must-do for anyone visiting the tower who appreciates the classic's. A very special thanks to Frank, Kate and Yaap (sp?) for their warm friendship, gracious hospitality, and wonderful food at the lodge
Posted Jun 3, 2004 11:06 pm

DrifterRoute Climbed: Durrance Route with direct finish Date Climbed: April 16th, 2004  Sucess!

Drifter

Awesome climb and awesome weather made this a great trip. The climb was a little more challenging then the ratings seemed to indicate, but it was still a relatively easy climb.
Posted Apr 29, 2004 10:11 pm

linnybelleRoute Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: 2/15/04  Sucess!
Just another amazing day at the Tower...Frank & I topped out via Durrance again. The snow inside the wider cracks and the ice water trickling into my armpit made it especially fun today. My first summit in 2004. RIP Jackie D. Your shoes are waiting at the visitor's center if you come back this way.



Frank was very hungry after hauling the pig. He made a flying tackle, nabbed one of the summit deer and carved off some lovely steaks. God bless Wyoming and keep it wild.
Posted Feb 15, 2004 8:32 pm

Tony ErnstRoute Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: October 1998  Sucess!
Got off to a late start due to rain and had to descend in the dark
Posted Jan 18, 2004 9:44 pm

ITRADRoute Climbed: Durance Date Climbed: September 02 2002  Sucess!

ITRAD

I've been to the summit multiple times. It's gets better each time I go there. I would like to extend many thanks to Mr. Frank Sanders & the staff at Devil's Tower Lodge for the hospitality, the pancakes & the beta.
Posted Nov 27, 2003 7:06 pm

Zeus StickyRoute Climbed: north and west faces, southwest shoulder Date Climbed: October 16-19, 2003

Zeus Sticky

many thanks to the great beyond for gifts like the tower!!



also, appreciation to frank and the devil's tower lodge family for their splendid hospitality and company.



oh such a beautiful place.....

and some stellar climbing.



-dave
Posted Oct 23, 2003 4:41 pm

b.Route Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: September 4, 1999  Sucess!

b.

The rain kept us at bay for three days. After a two month climbing trip in the Wind River Range, we were content to wait. When it cleared up, Labor Day weekend had rolled around and we were surrounded. Our tent was hard to make out in the sea of RV's (road virus?) in the campground. We got in line at the base of the Durrance, struck up conversation with the other 20 or so folks waiting, then continued that conversation at every belay ledge to the top! A climbing club from Nebraska, roped into 4 teams of 4 each made the climbing leisurely. The guy behind us lead every pitch, and only used a set of hexes and a set of nuts (to go along with the tremendous pair he showed that day)! The climbing club offered to let us rap on their lines first, but we felt guilty leaving them since it was 20 minutes til dark, and they only had two headlamps in the entire group. We stuck around to help them get everyone down, then walked back to the campground for Filet Mignon and grilled corn on the cob.
Posted Sep 3, 2003 1:31 pm

philwortmannRoute Climbed: Durrance Route Date Climbed: May 03  Sucess!
Hardest 5.7 ever!
Posted Aug 30, 2003 3:17 pm

marygilbertRoute Climbed: Durrance, El Cracko, Soler, Assembly Line,other short ones Date Climbed: August,2003  Sucess!

marygilbert

What an Amazing place. After driving across the "billiards table" that is South Dakota, and a few miles of eastern Wyoming, no one could logically expect to find such a tall and massive piece of rock, like Devils Tower. It was also Amazing because of the long and continuous nature of the cracks. I thought that I knew how to crack climb, before I got then !!! However, once ON the Tower I discovered that though the rock initially shows you that your crack technique is faulty, it also immediately begins to teach you how it is done the right way !!!! I learned sooo much in 4 days !!! Even though the temperature was hot we were able to stay in the shade for all of our climbing, by either starting very early or, following the shade as it moved around the Tower. With one notable exception, everyone that we met was very friendly and helpful, and also energized and touched by the "Power of the Tower"... It was in the midst of all these Positive Vibrations and Learning Experiences that a very dark creature emerged. A fellow, leading two others, met up with us on a belay ledge and quickly introduced himself as a guide and a very rude indiviual. He clipped over our anchor bolts and moved our gear aside without asking us. He then proceded to tell us that we were NOT good enough to be climbing on the (his?) Tower. That we had too much gear. That we were NOT even good enough to get in one of his classes and that we might consider going home. He struck me as a bit deranged and way negatively intense. He really "blew our buzz", and while we recovered from the afront, we SURELY did NOT need that attempted infusion from the Dark Side. That day when we signed back in with the Park Service, we asked who he was and found his name to be Andy Petefish. An internet "search engine" search led us to this site www.towerguides.org which really explained alot. If you are going to the Tower avoid this man and check out that website !!!!! Otherwise I think that Devils Tower could very quickly become my most favorite climbing spot yet. Yes, the cracks seemed hard to start with but, they got easier and very much fun as I simply allowed the Tower stone to teach me how to jam. If you are thinking about going to the Tower...DO IT!! If you haven't considered a trip there....start thinking about it!!!! I will be back !!!!!
Posted Aug 28, 2003 1:57 pm

cruzitRoute Climbed: Durrance w/Bailey Direct Finish Date Climbed: July 18, 2003  Sucess!

cruzit

What a great climb. Did the first pitch in our headlamps to beat the heat. Frank...aka Big Wally...made the off width look like child's play. He spent a lot of time laughing at our "face climbing" antics. Did the whole thing in 3 pitches. I loved it. I'm looking forward to going back and climbing some of the other classic routes...Soler perhaps???? Thanks to Frank and Lorna for their gracious hospitality.
Posted Jul 23, 2003 7:00 am

Alan EllisRoute Climbed: Durrance with Bailey Direct Finish Date Climbed: July 18, 2003  Sucess!

Alan Ellis

This capped two days of climbing with the Tower meister himself, Frank Sanders (aka bigwally). What an incredible experience meeting and climbing with this gentleman. Funny, yet serious, and always the safest, Frank Sanders is the stone master of the Devil's Tower. One moment he is leading a 150 foot 10a and putting in ONLY 3 PIECES, the next moment he's taking a picture for a tourist. I can only say that you are missing something in life if you don't go to Devil's Tower and climb with this man. You will never forget it. Thanks, Frank, for a great day.
Posted Jul 19, 2003 7:43 pm

Brian JenkinsRoute Climbed: Durrance with Bailey Direct Variation Date Climbed: July 4, 2003  Sucess!

Brian Jenkins

My buddy Bill and I arrived July 4 at about 7 pm to Devils Tower Lodge and met bigwally (Frank Sanders). Had some dinner and then Frank, who had been doing domestic duties all day with Lorna at the Lodge, asked if we wanted to see the fireworks from the top. Neither Bill or I had ever done any night climbing but we said SURE. We thought it sounded like a cool idea.



Made it to the Tower by about 8:30 pm or so in twilight. Climbed the first warmup pitch after Frank (who literally glides up the rock without effort) and then Lorna followed. She set up to belay Frank who went ahead and I belayed Bill up. Halfway up, Bill said he was sketched out and I lowered him down. I then followed Frank up who had combined pitch one and two into one long one. Had the headlamps going by this time and the fireworks were going off down in the valley to our right, kinda neat. I huffed and puffed my way up the Leaning Tower pitch and the Durrance Crack pitch. Seems harder than 5.6 to me but I could be wrong and just being a big wimp.



Frank then combined the next 3 pitches into one and it was really fun. Easier climbing and big bomber holds. I really enjoyed this part. From there he led the Bailey Direct finish which was kinda grovelly for me but nice when I got it done! As he belayed up Lorna I went to the summit about midnight and signed the log. They came up in a bit and we watched some stars and found the tin cans from the guy who got stuck up there 60 years ago.



Then came the raps off. First one was long and once I shone my headlamp below me and saw a large bird flying past beneath my feet. From the second belay, Lorna went first and her headlamp went out so she finished that up in the dark. Last rap was almost to the end of the rope and then some easy downclimbing. I could not believe we climbed the tower at night! It was really awesome. Found out back at the truck my buddy Bill had injured his knee on the first pitch and had told us he was sketched out so that we would continue and get to climb. What a great friend to do that. Can't believe he did that.



Was a pleasure to climb with Frank and Lorna. Frank is amazing on this tower. Over 700 summits of it. What a legend. Was neat to be on Lorna's first night climb of the Tower too! They are great people and fun to be with. Even if you don't climb with them, you should stop by and say hello at the lodge. Really cool and positive place.



Posted Jul 7, 2003 4:06 pm

wallspeckRoute Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: August 1997  Sucess!

wallspeck

After our '67 VW van blew up in Butte, Montana, we walked down the street and bought a '59 Ford Fairlane, threw our climbing gear in the trunk and headed on down the highway for Wyoming. We topped out on the Tower just before sunset and watched as the sky turned orange, then red and then it was dark. We rapped in the dark using a borrowed head lamp. My wife loved the rodents and cacti on the summit. Next stop, Wall Drug.
Posted Mar 19, 2003 9:50 pm

rmjwintersRoute Climbed: El Cracko Diablo Date Climbed: May 31, 1987  Sucess!

rmjwinters

Tad Parke and I climbed El Cracko Diablo years ago. We were racing a thunderstorm rolling in off the plains. Climbed hard and fast, reached the summit, snapped some photos, rapped off and reached the base as the downpour began. Exhilarating climb!
Posted Dec 12, 2002 2:21 pm

kullabergRoute Climbed: el matador .10d Date Climbed: june 90

kullaberg

sustained lead (they all are at the tower), lots of medium stoppers and 1" cams. longer legged persons have an easier time, since it's all wide stemming for 150 feet. Calf strenghts is what you need, while the occasional handjam provides a welcome 'no feet rest'.
Posted Nov 28, 2002 10:07 am

bearbnzRoute Climbed: Durrance Route Date Climbed: Summer 1990  Sucess!

bearbnz

The route was cool, but I felt the rating was a sandbag, as I flailed up the wide crack on the 2nd pitch. This peak is one of the very few that has no access for tourists (except for climbing tourists), a nice bonus. The NPS supplied rap anchors are a nice touch.
Posted Sep 28, 2002 5:31 pm

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