SUNSHINE OVER THE DRISKILL NATION. Frank starting the 1st Pitch. Its Not Pretty but its Fun !!!
Now this route has got a History !!! I first encountered this section of rock, on Devils Tower's East Face, in 1976. I was a Seasonal Park Ranger and the Amazing Dennis Horning took me on as his climbing partner. Following him around for the summer my leading skills went from 5.6 to 5.9 !! One day, for some unknown reason, Dennis took me down a rappel route that he had established on the Tower's East Face. Descending, I studied the crack, but it didn't look good to me at the time. But it stuck in my mind.
32 years later, the crack was still unclimbed. Dennis had tried it, years previous, and had intimated to me that, "Parts of the 1st pitch will go free..." Well, THANK YOU for that.Scott Fitzgerald was just returning from a good trip of aiding and high-lining in Yosemite, and he was keen for the Project....
My Good Friends,(and my nearest Neighbors) are the Driskill Family. The Family has been on the land here since 1880!! THEY WERE HERE BEFORE THE PARK SERVICE !! Their houses sit to the east of the Tower. Each of their houses has a huge picture window, framing the Tower's East Face;and this route especially. Grandmother Driskill (Ellen) had recently passed away,(though she's still watching over us all). Her nick-name, growing up, had been SUNSHINE !! It seemed long over-due that a route should be put up, Honoring all of the Generations of Driskills (the Driskill Nation) and their Love and Devotion to the Land and the Tower...The route IS on the East Face...so SUNSHINE OVER THE DRISKILL NATION was chosen as a Route Name.
The Lovely and Talented Kristen Rauthopt, played Sherpa, and helped us haul gear to the base of the climb. Even the scramble over there is quite an Adventure. Devils Tower, Wyoming.
Scramble up to the East Ledges (Soler, El Cracko) and keep going to the right. 4th Class climbing (oh, be careful) takes You over towards the WINDOW area (DUSK IN DOGTOWN, LET ME GO WILD, ANIMAL CRACKER LAND, ETC). We rapped down here and continued across (careful, careful,careful!!!) past the right side of the WINDOW area. The route is the crack directly left of WITCHIE and right of SATAN'S STAIRWAY.
SUNSHINE OVER THE DRISKILL NATION. Approaching the Killer Flake, on the First Pitch. Devils Tower, Wyoming.
Pitch 1. A2 (125 ft) Awkward nailing and nutting take You upward. There is a Major League, Loose Flake part way up. Hook AROUND it on the left side. Good Bolt Belay from the Rap Route Anchors.
Pitch 2. A2 (125 ft) Clever nailing and nutting carry You further. Good Bolt Belay from the Rap Route Anchors.
Pitch 3. A3- (125 ft) There is a tricky bulge to work around right off of the belay. Guess that's the Crux of the route (unless You've dislodged the flake on Pitch 1 and chopped Your belayer). Though the crack ahead is thin, it is deep and pretty fun. Good Bolt Belay from the Rap Route Anchors.
Pitch 4. 5.8 (125 ft) Free climb up, tending right and into the finish of WITCHIE and ADRENALINE SURFER. Some loose stuff here, just be careful and You will find the Tower Top !!
Standard Aid Rack. Some #1 Beaks, Blades & Bugs.
Larger cams for the last pitch.
External LinksPhoto Gallery