Devils Tower Climber's Log

Viewing: 101-118 of 118
Alan Ellis

Alan Ellis - Jul 19, 2003 7:43 pm

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

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.

Brian Jenkins

Brian Jenkins - Jul 7, 2003 4:06 pm

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

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.


wallspeck - Mar 19, 2003 9:50 pm

Route Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: August 1997  Sucess!

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.


bearbnz - Sep 28, 2002 5:31 pm

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

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.


John - Sep 17, 2002 6:50 pm

Route Climbed: Durrance + Bailey Direct Date Climbed: Sept 17, 2002  Sucess!

Climbed with Josh. Nice day though a bit hot on the rock. Ton of bugs (flies?) on the summit. Descended on 7/10.2mm double rope rappels. I continued my evaluation of the Trango Jaws which left a lot to be desired. Luckily I brought along my ATC just in case and it worked like a charm.


Josh - Sep 17, 2002 6:45 pm

Route Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: September 17, 2002  Sucess!

Climbed with John. The climb itself wasn't really was I was expecting. It was okay, but not really worthy of being one of the "50 CCs of NA". The 5.6 rating is quite a sandbag.


gato - Jul 12, 2002 11:22 am

Route Climbed: Durrance Route Date Climbed: June 1998  Sucess!

Ah, offwidths and chimneys. The cornerstone of any memorable climb!


Vinny - Jun 26, 2002 5:50 am

Route Climbed: Assembly line Date Climbed: July 1998  Sucess!

A great enduro-crack!

Fantastic climbing with Dirtbag Dea!

An incredible experience even with the Harley Davidson's cruising around below...

TonyM - Dec 28, 2001 4:49 pm

Route Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: July 20th, 1998  Sucess!

Climbed with Peter Schmitz and Todd P. Todd, stationed at a nearby USAF base, lead the route for Peter and I. This was Peter's first multi-pitch climb: What an introduction to this great sport! Todd did an outstanding job, provided some on the job training, and had fun given his significantly higher climbing ability. We were rewarded with a picture post card perfect day while on the climb as well as at the top.

The history and significance of the route's first ascent was not lost on me as I climbed and relished every foot of the route.

Thanks Todd and Peter!!


bigwally - Oct 24, 2001 5:51 pm

Route Climbed: Many Routes Climbed Date Climbed: March-October, 2001  Sucess!

In an Awesome year of climbing, with Wonderful Friends, Incredible Clients, and a few days out on my own, I have been Blessed with Topping the Tower, a few more than, 100 times. My Thanks, for many many happy hours on this Tower rock, are to Gene Jose, Todd Z.,Ryan H., Chris E., Ranger Chuck, Ranger Brian, Greg Cox, Ranger Scott, Dennis,Terry Rypkema, Steve Gardiner, TheLastPioneerWoman,Ralph Turman, Christian B., LIANA, John C.,John W.,Richard R., Sarah, Bill W.,Craig(youngat 64) V, Dr. Bob,Lisa&Darla&Pam, Sean&Damon,Dawn, Mike&Darcy, DEE-DEE,Chris Underklinger, Scott H.,Pat&Kama,Yaap(the Flying Dutchman), Brent C., Jessica D.(Thesweetestgirlintheworld), GlennJ., John T,Jim B., LIZ, Bob&Betty,Jeremiah,Ernie&Ethan&Jans, SUSAN, Fred&Ann, Ann&Eva,Mason&Luke,TheEnigman,Dicky F,JT Writer, Ted O, Basejumping Bill, Heather, Holly S., Hillary,Dr.JimtheRunner,Jim&Family,TheTexasBoys,Sydne,Jay&Janet, Rich R.&C.Dub,the Entire Morrison Family,Bruce B,FancyNancy,Christine K,Ted,Joey G.,Ray C,Carl&Michelle,Dave&Roberta,John G.,the Stubblefield Family,Davetherinernationalmanofmystery, Dr Kathy C, Byron&Family,Tom&Cindy, CrazyBob,Chris&Kris&Chris,Josh&Scott, thosecrazyfrenchpeople,John&Rachael, The Rosequist Family,Daniele&Alex, Shawn&Becky&Chris,Iggy&Squiggy, Dean&Shawn&Dave&Bill,BUNNYJEAN,Jason&the Argonauts,Theresa&Mary&Aruna,Chris&Paris,Dr Ginger,Rick (threeinaday) F, Counselor Pizzi, Nurse Kathy,Earl R, Dr Roy, The Joja Boys,Counselor Alex,Matt&Dave,John&Travis,Ted&Dave,Harvey&Megan,Kate&Marc,Father/Son Lamberts,Gretchen,Chris F, Lorna Awesome, Nurse Stephanie, Kim&Bradly&Pete&Lau,Alaskan Marcel,John&Chris&Jake&Cody&Ryan, Jason, Dan&Tricia Roadwarriors,Don&Family.

You all, are the Sunshine of my Life!!! May we climb together again, some more.....


Jim Clarke

Jim Clarke - Jul 23, 2001 6:18 pm

Route Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: 5/15/98  Sucess!

Climbed for my 31st Birthday...found a helmet on top with a quote written in magic marker on it: "Better to have endured moments of sheer terror, than to have died having lived life a coward."

dustan8 - Jun 30, 2001 6:48 pm

Route Climbed: Bon Homme Variation Date Climbed: June 23, 2001  Sucess!

We had a great climb with Jim and Mike from Billings. The traverse was kinda tricky but the crack after the traverse was a crackheads dream. I was sposed to visit Frank Sanders but getting there late and all it just wasn't possible. Sorry Frank. The climb was long as we had a few people but everyone was cool about sitting at belays waiting and I WAS THE FIRST TO TOP OUT.


bigwally - May 19, 2001 7:15 pm

Route Climbed: Durrance Date Climbed: May 19,2001  Sucess!

A totally beautiful, Wyoming day. The breeze blew the clouds around, as I climbed with our "Women on the Rocks" class. Darla and Pam spent all day amazing themselves, and me, with their grace, skill , flow and at times strength. These two are Rock Goddesses!!!!!!!At day's end, they returned to their families and I caught an updraft and free soloed Durrance. A perfect day !!BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO LIVE OUT THEIR DREAMS!!!!!!!


bigwally - Apr 25, 2001 10:27 pm

Route Climbed: Chip Salaun Memorial Date Climbed: April 25, 2001  Sucess!

A beautiful, breezy day at this Devils Tower. Christian Baird, our local pro-snowboarder, came from Spearfish, SD, so that we might finish a project that we'd been eyeing for weeks. We made our way up the lovely, yet previously unclimbed off-width, two cracks to the right of the Leaning Column. About 160 ft. of difficult, but well protected off-width got us to the top of the Durrance column. We rated it 5.10a and placed it at the top of EveryBody's Off-Width Favorites List. The climb was named after Chip Salaun, a powerful fellow who loved the off-widths, ran Iron Man Triathlons before they were fashionable, did many routes on the Tower and many, many more routes on the Diamond on Long's Peak.On a solo trip, he vanished into a crevass in the New Zealand Alps. The force with which he lived Life, challenged us. His spirituality Lifted us. His constant care for every form of plant or animal opened our eyes and let more Life in.


bigwally - Apr 24, 2001 10:13 pm

Route Climbed: El Cracko, Soler, Weissner Date Climbed: April 24,2001  Sucess!

Met Todd Zorn, for the first time, today. With the blue sky applauding and the sun cheering us on, we summited 3 times. The weather is beautiful ;wish you were here. Come join us.


bigwally - Apr 23, 2001 5:49 pm

Route Climbed: Various Date Climbed: April 23, 2001  Sucess!

It was a beautiful day. The snow had gone away. Although we had "arranged " to climb together, my partner did not show up. I could not resist the beckoning of the rock. Free soloed, three times to the top, sharing the Tower only with the sun, the wind and one other party. BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO LIVE OUT THEIR DREAMS.


bigwally - Apr 8, 2001 5:10 pm

Route Climbed: Durrance Route w/ Bailey Direct finish Date Climbed: April 8, 2000  Sucess!

The forcast called for rain, mixed with sleet, hail and snow...."Winter Mix" they called it !! Well it didn't happen and the day way beautiful and windy. The dark clouds were in sight, but kept their distance. Free soloed the Durrance route, with strong updrafts and had a wonderful day just being the only person on the Tower. BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO LIVE OUT THEIR DREAMS.

ness_dan - Mar 30, 2001 8:48 pm

Route Climbed: Bon Homme Route Date Climbed: 08/99  Sucess!

Followed Joe Ripperger's lead up Bon Homme Variation route -- wasn't pretty, for me, but was rewarding. Joe was clean, as always, leading the route. He led TAD the day before w/another buddy, Tyke.

Viewing: 101-118 of 118
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