Shauna, this is beautiful. I understand why Devils Tower means so much to you!
There needs to be added on a disclaimer or qualifier. In adding route descriptions to this Devils Tower Page, I have not tried to replace a guidebook. I have only tried to supplement one. There are two excellent books available. Please get one!! My efforts here have been only to point out a few of the Classic Routes, encourage you to climb them, supplement specific equipment lists, note the locations and natures of the cruxs, add a few hints, lend a small sense of History and generally attempt to increase any climbers enjoyment and Safety on these routes. If you take difference to anything that I've written or would like more Beta and information, please don't hesitate to contact me at www.devilstowerlodge.com .BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO LIVE OUT THEIR DREAMS. .......... bigwally
ALL STARS OF EACH GRADE
El Cracko Diablo
Bon Homme (Horning Variation)
Belle Fourche Buttress
McCarthy West Variation
Hollywood & Vine
Dusk In Dog Town
One Way Sunset
Spank The Monkey
McCarthy North Face
No Holds For Bonzo
California Dreaming (Kernal Sandfly)
McCarthy West Face
Maid in the Shade
The 1995 Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Management Plan established a voluntary closure for all climbing routes on the Tower out of respect for the traditional cultural activities of American Indians.
Devil's Tower is awesome! It has a distintive profile that can be seen from many miles away. It was used for the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
It is also sacred to the Native Americans in the area [not sure the tribe(s)]. You will notice many offerings, ribbons and such in the trees and rocks around the base. You may also see Native Americans there. In any case, please be as respectful as you would be in any house of worship. They were there first. Think of it as a cathedral on which climbing the outside of it is permitted.
Also, there is a paved trail around the base. A lot of tourists walk around the base. Be especially careful with rock or gear fall.
And this is in the far northwest corner of the Blackhill mountains. Don't forget that the rest of the Blackhills has some real high quality rock climbing.
He was a father, a husband and known as "Coach" to most. On July 11th 1992 Layne Kopischka passed away and his friends along with his daughter the former youngest girl to climb the tower, took his ashes to the summit. May he not be resting but climbing forever.
February 24th, 2005 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Route Closure to Protect Prairie Falcons
To protect Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus) nesting sites, the National Park Service (NPS) will temporarily close climbing routes along the west and northeast face of Devils Tower beginning March 15th. This closure is an annual event established under the monument's 1995 Climbing Management Plan. The areas to be closed include all pitches of climbing routes between and including “No Holds for Bonzo” and “Accident Victim” on the west face. On the northeast face, routes between and including “Belle Fourche Buttress” and “Maid in the Shaid” will be closed. All pitches terminating at the “Teacher’s Lounge” will remain open. In addition, the entire west and northeast edges of the Tower summit will be off limits to climbers. Climbers may ask at the visitor center or administration building to see a list of all closed routes.
NPS professionals will survey the Tower to determine the presence or absence of nesting prairie falcons. Areas without nesting falcons will be reopened by May 15th. Areas with falcon nests will remain closed until young falcons fledge, generally between July 15 and August 1. The closure areas may change based on the location of nesting pairs.
Prairie falcons are extremely defensive of their nests and are easily driven from the area. The presence of climbers near or above falcon nests is distressing to parent birds. Too much disturbance from climbing activities may force falcons to abandon eggs or chicks. The closure is implemented not only for the protection of the birds, but also for the protection of climbers, as prairie falcons are known to defensively dive in order to protect their nests.
Prior observations suggest prairie falcons are using the Tower with an affinity for the west or northeast faces. Two young falcons fledged from nests on the Tower in 1996, 1998 and 1999. An adult northern goshawk ( Accipiter gentiles) has been observed hunting on the Tower. Interactions between falcons and goshawks are poorly understood. Both bird species are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
For further information on the climbing closure please contact the monument’s chief of resource management, Jim Cheatham, at (307) 467-5283 ext 12.
Though this is still a controversial subject, the Park Service encourages all climbers to avoid climbing the Tower in June, out of respect for Native American ceremonies happening there. Although some climbers and at least one guide service choose to ignore this voluntary ban, many other climbers and the Access Fund support it.
It's certainly a matter of individual choice and conscience. June is a great month to climb the Tower, however.
There is a reason that it is a "voluntary ban. Myself, I've had a very deep spiritual connection to the tower. Though, I am not of native ancestory, it means no less to me than it would them. Had I not discovered this place, I simply would not be in this world. That is the depth of the connection I have to Devil's Tower.
Having that sort of spiritual connection to a place, I wouldn't want to "prevent" anyone else from forming their own connection, regardless of what that connection may be [read: climbing or other].
Information about June climbing can be found at www.sacredland.org/endangered_sites_pages/devils_tower.html and www.nps.com/deto
Do you think anyone's interested in the fact that Devil's Tower is a prime character in Steven Spielberg's 1977 blockbuster movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"? This film probably brought the greatest worldwide fame to this outstanding natural edifice more than anything else to date (including rock climbing). My humble opinion.
Senior and Access Passes will get you in for free, as well as the "America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass"
For more info... http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm
Interesting article from Outside Magazine... http://outside.away.com/outside/features/200608/devils-tower-national-monument-1.html
you forgot to mention another man in you list of people pioneering routes up on the hill. you forgot yourself Mr. Frank Sanders, how do you leave out such a trouble maker like yourself. You're the man Frank.