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Missed Opportunity: Climbing Devils Tower

October 17, 2011

Devils Tower Climb

We should have pursued it, but laziness won out. Climbing Devils Tower in Wyoming, if only to a height of a couple dozen feet with a class for climbing noobs, would have been a worthwhile and memorable experience.

The truth is I had mostly forgotten about a climbing class until we saw this couple defying death and gravity some three-quarters of the way up the monolith. It was awe inspiring to watch. They were so high we could barely see them with the naked eye. Slowly moving dots of red and white is about all we could make out. Their Spiderman-like heroics made visible only with the aid of a 300mm zoom lens and a close picture crop.

A team climbs in tandem with one person securing the rope while the other climbs. We estimate these folks are 300 feet or more off the ground.

Devils Tower Climb 2

Somewhere in these cracks, our climbers slowly make their way to the top.

Devils Tower Daylight

13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2011 11:54 am

    We passed on the climb, too, but just marveled at the different personalities of the rock from different sides. And of course, got the hairy eyeball from the park ranger when I asked what time the spaceships came by….

    • October 17, 2011 3:58 pm

      Funny! I had already used “Close Encounters” in a recent blog title so I didn’t feel right about using it again. I’ll say it is hard to talk about Devils Tower without thinking of the movie, but that probably just dates me.

      • Atari permalink
        October 19, 2011 2:15 pm

        Honestly, as soon as I saw the wide shot of the mesa, I immediately heard the theme in my head! 🙂

  2. October 17, 2011 5:34 pm

    Awesome place…looks like the rock has stemmed out of nowhere! almost like the Aeyer’s rock in aussie land

    • October 18, 2011 9:08 am

      It is pretty neat. Apparently Devils Tower formed underground, like a Jello mold, and the rest of the earth eroded away around it. It’s amazing to think that at one time the land was as high as the peak of the tower and that it just washed away over time. Nature is awesome.

  3. Grant permalink
    October 18, 2011 11:49 am

    Great pics. Number 3 is essential to get a sense of scale.

  4. October 19, 2011 6:17 am

    Wow, I’d never actually heard of this place before. Where is this?

    • October 19, 2011 8:41 am

      I’m always a little embarrassed when a reader asks a question that should have been answered in the blog post, but somehow wasn’t. Devil’s Tower is in Eastern, Wyoming. (Sheepishly slinks off to add that detail)

  5. Atari permalink
    October 19, 2011 2:16 pm

    This just makes me want to go take a climbing class so I can start defying death like they are!

    • October 19, 2011 6:13 pm

      Rock climbing is something that is on my to-learn list. I figure it’s something that I probably won’t devote enough time to get any good at, but I’d like to give it a shot. Devli’s Tower would have been a really neat place to do it to. Maybe next time.

  6. October 20, 2011 5:03 pm

    That looks beautiful and frightening!

  7. October 22, 2011 12:00 am


  8. October 22, 2011 4:48 am

    Thank you for the like. I like your like. Awesome blog, incidentally. Great stuff. .

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