I know there have to have been threads about climbing at Devil's Tower, but I guess they are gone. Anyway, I've been perusing the DT page here and on mountainproject, and thought I would throw out some feelers. I'm thinking about checking out some of the good routes up to 5.8, and wondering about the following :
- Seasons: sounds like April / May are nice, perhaps Sept/Oct also ? Sounds a little like Yosemite Valley in terms of elevation, so the summers are probably really hot. Do they usually see afternoon thunderstorms at that time of year ?
- Recommended guidebooks: any opinions on Guillmette / Gardiner vs. Lynn / Orenczak ?
The impression I get is that two ropes + double rack are de rigueur.
The main reason for our visit to Devils Tower was to visit with Frank Sanders. One of the most generous souls I have ever met in the climbing industry and a must person to meet if you get the chance. He is a contributer to summitpost and maintains the Devil's Tower page.
We had the entire tower, Durrance route, etc, to ourselves on a great day in April, summit as well. Maybe two other parties on the entire tower! April, mid week, the way to go. 70m was perfect to rap the routes we did. There are stations all over this tower. If you are willing to be a bit tough and climb when it is a bit colder, you too can experience it as we did.
Yes on thunder showers, yes on being damn hot in the summer.
You do not need a guidebook. This is not a big place. Everything within the grade you are talking about is well described on line by Frank and others.
It can sometimes get busy seems like may-june gets a little crowded. Beware of April you can show upand watch it snow and or rain for days. The wag bag deal is bogus, crap before you leave the parking lot and you're good to go. Good Luck and enjoy oh and don't forget to get a hold of Frank Sanders at Devils Tower Lodge.