The perfect day.
Interesting. 90% offwidth... but a classic
DEVILS TOWER NATIONAL MONUMENT
June 25, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2010-10
Devils Tower National Monument Lifts Current Prairie Falcon Climbing Route Closure
To protect prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus) nesting sites, the National Park Service (NPS) temporarily closed climbing routes along the west face of Devils Tower beginning April 20, 2010. This closure is an annual event established under the monument's 1995 Climbing Management Plan, with authority from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. NPS professionals have been surveying the Tower to determine the presence or absence of nesting prairie falcons. To date, the surveys documented early nesting behavior by the falcons but lately no activity has been observed around the nest site. Under authority of the park Superintendent and in consultation with biologists from the National Park Service Intermountain Regional Office, park climbing rangers and resource management staff climbed to the site to determine if it was currently being utilized by the falcons. Observations indicate that the nest site has been abandoned. The falcons have since been observed flying around the Tower but have not been exhibiting behavior consistent with nesting or tending young. Because no falcon nesting activity has been observed, the prairie falcon nesting closures currently in effect will be removed on Saturday, June 26, thus opening these areas to normal recreational climbing activities. The areas to be reopened include climbing routes on the west face between and including the “Vulture” and “Abject Cathexis” (routes #154-176 in the Devils Tower climbing handbook) as well as the “Tulgey Wood” and “El Matador” rappel routes.
NPS professionals will continue to survey the Tower to determine the presence or absence of nesting prairie falcons, and climbing and rappel route closures may change in the future based on the location and behavior of nesting falcons. Any areas closed due to nesting falcons will remain closed until young falcons fledge, generally between July 15 and August 1. Updated information on climbing access can be obtained at the climber registration office, the park climbing kiosk, or at the park visitor center or administration building.
These annual closures are 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. Prairie falcons are extremely protective of their nests and are easily driven from an area. The presence of climbers near or above falcon nests is distressing to parent birds; too much disturbance from climbing activities may cause falcons to abandon eggs or chicks.
Beautiful day. It was raining the night before, so we started late, and ended up having a wonderful day. I hired a guide (I was traveling alone with my son, who was waiting for us) Andy Petefish, and he flew up the Durrance. He knew the route so well, and was placing minimal gear. I think we were at the top in 2-3 hrs? and drinking beer in 3 hrs...
First time crack climbing, I got to the top, but not easily :) Meeting Frank Sanders made it all worth it...
Amazing Day, great way to spend my Birthday weekend. Amazing tower, great climbing, great fun. Thanks to Frank (Bigwally) for his hospitality as well, really made the trip for me!
very cool. A must visit.
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior Devils Tower National
PO Box 10
Devils Tower, WY 82714
307 467-5283 phone
307 467-5350 fax
DEVILS TOWER NATIONAL MONUMENT
April 20, 2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2010-06
Devils Tower Climbing Routes Temporarily Closed to Protect Nesting Falcons
To protect nesting sites currently being used by prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus), the National Park Service (NPS) will temporarily close climbing routes along the west face of Devils Tower beginning April 20, 2010. When necessary, such closures are an annual occurrence established under the monument’s 1995 Climbing Management Plan, with authority from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The areas to be closed include climbing routes on the west face between and including the “Vulture” and “Abject Cathexis” (routes #154-176 in the Devils Tower climbing handbook). The “Tulgey Wood” and “El Matador” rappel routes are also closed. The west edge of the Tower summit is closed to climbers. The “Meadows” rappel route remains open and is the recommended rappel route for climbers in this area. Climbing and rappel route closures may change based on the location and behavior of the nesting falcons.
The closure is implemented not only to protect the birds, but also to protect climbers, as prairie falcons are known to defensively dive in order to protect their nests. Prairie falcons are extremely defensive of their nests and are easily driven from an 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.
More than 190 other climbing routes on the Tower remain open. Climbers can find a list of currently closed routes at www.nps.gov/deto/planyourvisit/currentclimbingclosures.htm, the park climbing kiosk, climber registration office, visitor center, or administration building.
NPS staff will continue to survey the Tower to determine presence or absence of nesting prairie falcons. Areas without nesting falcons will be reopened by May 15. 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.
Prior observations suggest prairie falcons use the Tower with an affinity for the west and northeast faces, where pairs nested from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, falcons were observed nesting on the south face of the Tower. In recent years, young falcons were observed to have fledged from nests on the Tower in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2006, and 2007. In 2009, the falcons nested and fledged away from the Tower.
For further information on the climbing closures, please contact the monument’s chief of resource management, Mark Biel, at (307) 467-5283 ext 212.
After a Great Winter of climbing/guiding/teaching/learning in Southern California, it is still Wonderful to get back to this Tower. Climbed with Virginia's son, Richard. Yup, did the Durrance in some chill temps. The winter has moved a significant amount of loose rock onto the ledges; some poor potential outcomes, for sure. Smile, have a Great Time, and be careful with the kicking off the loose stuff. See Ya when You get here !!!
This route really isn't climbing and mostly involve chimneys. The pitches are really really short and the rock is greasy. I won't be doing this route again. It sucks.
Was to young to climb, but I will be back for sure to dominate it!
not very fun descending in the dark much less have to ASCEND twice! first to undo the knot from a crack, then just to flip it over the nose rather than the f'n side of it...exactly as the new guide book highlights! oh well, I like tobasco on my eggs, too. just waiting for those aliens to abduct us...but, alas, the burger at the restaurant a bit later was even tastier.
This turned into an epic. We got a late start (1:30 pm), looked up at the route and thought to ourselves "oh, that doesn't look too bad...". It was a tough route! My leader aided some moves, while I struggled following. We got to the summit in the dark, could not find the rap station, and decided to huddle for warmth and spend the night up there. In the morning we rapped down and was confronted by a ranger about our bivy. Turned out Bivying was not allowed, which we didn't know and weren't planning on doing, but he gave us a warning. It was an epic climb.
Came back a year later and did Durrance, as well as redeemed ourselves on El Mat. Still didn't get the crux pitch clean, but led P1 and 3 and stayed with Frank.
Ever since I was in 2nd grade, I'd wanted to climb Devil's Tower. We were living in Michigan at the time, and my dad had me read an article about a man stranded on top. I don't remember the guys name or even the whole situation. All I remember is thinking "I want to be on top of there some day." Well, I made it. It was a wonderful June day. It wasn't too hot or too cold. We met a chipmunk half way up and he escorted us the rest of the way. Although there were other climbers, we had the top to ourselves. It was definately an enjoyable day.
top of fourth pitch of Durrance, got baked off though...
Rated as a 5.8 in Devils Tower Climbing.
amazing peak, but not climbed because of lacking material and hurt co-climbers, that's a pity...
Climbed the Durrance route, Tulgey Wood, and El Cracko Diablo with Justin Mages. Great climbing!
led the second pitch of El Cracko then shot up to the top and rapped off, I'll bring water next time!
First rockclimb ever. A great introduction to what has been a fun hobby.