ApproachTake the South Face Approach, traverse right ( east) across the South Ramp, around the corner, across East Ledges and scramble over right, to the base of The Window. You might count on a long, yet rewarding ,day.
Route Description This route was first done by Royal Robbins and Peter Robinson, in August of 1964. It is of note that this route was done on Robbins' blitz through the area. Three years after he established Salathe Wall on El Capitan ( the hardest rock climb in the world at that time), RR showed up at Devils Tower to be informed by the Park Authorities that he needed to climb the Durrance Route, FIRST, to demonstrate his ability, before they would give him permission to attempt any other route....and he had best wear a hardhat, instead of his white cap ( his trademark). Citizen Robbins did so, and returned the next day to establish Danse Macabre (5.10d), the first 5.10 on the Tower ! (This route resisted a repeat for more than 10 years). The very next day he established The Window, in 10 hours. This was the first A4 on the Tower. (This route resisted a repeat, though many , many tried, for 14 years, when the plum fell to an All-Star, local cast of T.R.,C.B.,S.G.,& F.S.). RR then vanished into the setting sun, leaving the locals to ask , "Who was that guy?" Three months later he established North American Wall on El Cap (and that became the world's hardest rock climb, hosting long falls and resisting repeat for 14 years.....To this day, The Window Route remains a challenging testpiece, generating some "air-time" over its history. Although it was originally graded A4/A5, there is really nothing to hit, if you rip, as several uninjured, but somewhat shaken leaders have come to realize. Find your way up this one and you are One-Of-The-Chosen-Few!! This is Truly a Classic Act! A 3-Star Aid Route, even in the New Millenium !
Pitch 1. (145 ft., A2) Take the crack that splits the double roofs on the left side of The Window Area. Easy aid on good placements takes you to a hanging belay from solid pins. Recent reports have it that some party has added a bolted anchor.
Pitch 2. (155 ft., A3/A4) Although it starts easily, this pitch becomes progressively harder as you work towards the first roof. Most falls have occurred below the roof. On reaching the roof you can set very good protection, although it all goes straight up.This roof is quite strenuous. As there is no crack in it, the leader is compelled to get nearly horizontal to reach up and over to set the next piece. A crack and straight-up placements, with some dangling, will lead you over the second roof. Another 25 feet higher, you can set a secure hanging belay with your own pieces, breath a sigh of relief and inhale deeply to let out a Barberic Victory Yap!
Pitch 3. (150 ft., 5.6)You need to climb up, one crack left, about 25 feet before retuning to the original crack which will lead you to the summit. Easy free climbing with SOME LOOSE ROCK characterizes this section.
Essential GearHow many small nuts, micro-stoppers and RP's that you bring is entirely up to you. It hasn't been done clean, yet, but I don't think that anyone has seriously tried. Typically, a liberal selection of small to medium knifeblades, short-thin & short-thick Lost Arrows, Leepers, baby to fat -standard angles, Friends and lots of tie-offs characterize a successful rack......oh yes, cleaning the roof can be as spectacular as leading it....and alot Safer !!! Enjoy !!
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