Devils Tower Climbing

Devils Tower climbing expeditions are quite popular these days. In fact, hundreds of people ascend to the top of the national monument on an annual basis. There are various routes to select from, and regardless of which route climbers choose, they are rewarded with some pretty spectacular views once they get to the top. The famed rock formation rises 1,267 higher than the surrounding terrain, and it's one of the most famous attractions in Wyoming; travelers often look for hotels near Devils Tower so they can spend time exploring the area.

People have been climbing Devils Tower for more than one hundred years now. The first known ascent was achieved back in 1893, and it saw two ranchers using a wooden ladder of sorts. Some of the ladder’s pegs remain in place. Also worth highlighting when it comes to Devils Tower climbing is the first technical climb. This climb, which employed more modern techniques, was executed by three men in 1937. These men were members of the New York-based American Alpine Club, and their names were Fritz Wiessner, Lawrence Coveney and William P. House. Only one piton was used by Wiessner during this famous ascent. He later regretted the fact, deeming that it was unnecessary to rely on the fixed gear implement.

These days, Devils Tower climbers can choose from a number of routes. These routes range in difficulty. Some are quite easy, while others are considered to be among the most difficult climbing routes in the world. It is essential to make note of the fact that all Devils Tower visitors who wish to climb above the boulder field must register before they do so. They are also required to check in immediately after they have completed their mission. Registration is free.

As for when to climb Devils Tower, May through September is the peak season. That being said, it is possible to climb the monument at any time of year. From April to October, most climbers register with an official at the visitor center that can be found at the tower’s base. If the visitor center isn’t staffed for some reason during this period, climbers can self register at a kiosk that is found in the parking lot at the base of the tower. Since the visitor center is not staffed during the winter months, winter climbers must self register at the same kiosk.

Among the important facts about Devils Tower, it is important to note that American Indians have long treated Devils Tower as a sacred site, and generally speaking, they are not in favor of people climbing the monument. In an effort to promote understanding and respect, the National Park Service advocates that people refrain from climbing Devils Tower during the month of June. This doesn’t stop all visitors from climbing during the month, though it has resulted in a major decrease in June climbers overall.

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