|Ranch land + buffalo's|
|Early views of the Tower|
So back to the main event... the scenery eventually changed and became greener with rolling hills. All of a sudden we spotted Devils Tower. It stands out like a giant thumb, impossible to miss. Immediately I could see why people are drawn to it.
|Climbers on the steep side!|
We stopped the car repeatedly as we got closer to it to take pictures and gawk at it. When we finally arrived at the visitors centre and you look up at the North face (I think!) its just mind blowing. The face closest to the visitors centre is the steepest side with the hardest climbs on it (all over 5.11 I think).
|Weighing up the routes|
|UFO and the Tower...|
|The Durrance route goes up the fallen pillar then straight up|
|Another view of the Durrance route (fallen pillar) and loads of others!|
|Ben on the first pitch|
|Me entering the first chimney|
|view of other climbers abseiling back down (as the rain started)|
|Ben enjoying one of the wide pitches|
|Just got to the top|
With that in the bag I thought it would get easier, but the remaining 3-4 pitches were mostly off width, and it kept raining which did play on my nerves a little as its not much fun trying to squeeze up a chimney or off width as the very few footholds available were soaking wet...
|back down - all safe!|
It was a great feeling being on top, its like a slightly dished meadow with a cairn in the middle. Probably as big as half a football pitch, and you can't really see the edges, but you get unparalleled 360 degree views. We saw a few rainbows as the showers kept blowing through.
There was another pair of climbers on top and we chatted and took pictures of each other before signing the summit register and watching the rainbows. The American couple asked if we wanted to ab(seil) with them as they had 2 x 70m ropes. As we didn't know where the abseil points were at that point it made sense to join them. Because of this we didn't hang around on top too long.
Summary.... Devils Tower is amazing and it definitely has a mystical and captivating quality to it. Along with places like the Grand Canyon it is one of the most compelling, distinctive and beautiful natural wonders of the world that I have witnessed for sure.
We were both super 'stoked' to have climbed it, Ben declared he never felt the need to climb it again but for me it was the opposite, and I was left wanting more. I feel captivated to return and climb some of the other routes to unlock the key to this place some more. Whether I do is another matter!
If you want to watch a quirky but cool video about Frank and the Tower (which actually further inspired me to go), click here (enjoy).