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Best Guide Book for Devil's Tower
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By joe disciullo
From Charlotte, NC
Jan 8, 2010

Hi all,
I'm planning to head to DT for a few days in May. Which guide book would you recommend? Also what do you think about being there in May? Temps look good but would love your input. Anything else I should know? It looks like a standard rack and expecting sustained climbing and long approaches is the norm. Anything else to know from a locals perspective?
Thanks for your thoughts!
Joe


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By Rob Kepley
From Westminster,CO
Jan 8, 2010
Yosemite Valley..

Joe, May is an awesome month to climb at the tower. Apph times aren't that bad either. Not sure which guide is the best these days. Look up www.extremeangles.com/ and check out their newer book. Probably the worst is dealing with all the tourists!

BTW, I grew up in Salisbury.


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By joe disciullo
From Charlotte, NC
Jan 8, 2010

Thanks for the reply Rob! I saw that guide book and was about to pull the trigger, was just checking to see if there was something else I should consider. Salisbury NC?


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By pfwein
Jan 8, 2010

I'm not a local but been there 1/2 dozen times or so over the years.

I wouldn't describe the approaches as long. Certainly nothing like alpine approaches, maybe slightly longer than an "average" crag approach, whatever that means.

Not sure what your "standard" rack is, but to me, that means doubles. On lots of routes, that won't be enough gear--it may be woefully short. Some routes require wide gear, but you don't need it for most routes.

May is good but June is the best month to climb at DT-ha ha!


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By joe disciullo
From Charlotte, NC
Jan 8, 2010

Woefully short? Hmmmm, this sounds ominous :) Can you give me an idea of what you think would be an appropriate rack? I am looking to do one easy day like Tad or Soler to top out. Then a couple of days in the .9-.11a range. El Matador is on the list for sure. Depending how that goes I will look for more in the .10 range. I don't place gear every foot but don't feel like I need to run it out when there is gear either. I'm just looking for a rough idea of what you would normally bring along. Thanks so much for your feedback. Your experience with being there is exactly what I was hoping to find here!


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By Jeff G.
From Fort Collins
Jan 8, 2010
Nearing the end of Thank God Ledge.

The Dingus McGhee Poor Persons guides are the best and cheapest. The new guide book pretty much took all the info straight from the poor person guides.

Lots and lots of stoppers for tower pitches. May should be perfect. Check on falcon closures. The past two years the South side has been closed for falcons but historically the West face is closed (bummer). Check with the rangers when you register for your climbs.

Have fun the Tower is amazing! Approaches can exposed and require some scrambling but they aren't long by most standards. 15-40 minutes depending on which face you are heading for.


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By pfwein
Jan 8, 2010

joe disciullo wrote:
Woefully short? Hmmmm, this sounds ominous :) Can you give me an idea of what you think would be an appropriate rack? I am looking to do one easy day like Tad or Soler to top out. Then a couple of days in the .9-.11a range. El Matador is on the list for sure. Depending how that goes I will look for more in the .10 range. I don't place gear every foot but don't feel like I need to run it out when there is gear either. I'm just looking for a rough idea of what you would normally bring along. Thanks so much for your feedback. Your experience with being there is exactly what I was hoping to find here!


So I can be long winded, here's my summary:
bring three full sets of cams and two sets of nuts (and remember 2 ropes).

In more detail:
I've done most of the popular 10s and easier routes (many more than once) so I'm not just making this up, but others may disagree with the following:
I would recommend at least two full sets of nuts (some routes can take nuts very well, and you can bring more if you have them) and, if possible, 4 sets of cams up to a #3 Camalot, and as many #4 Camalots as you have if you want to do routes that take them. There may be a few specialty pitches that take wider (e.g., Patent Pending), but that's atypical.
Three sets of cams would work too for most routes I'm sure and perhaps would be more standard than 4 for most people (I don't mean to say you would bring every cam up every route of course, or even close to it).
Two sets of cams just doesn't seem like enough, but if you have lots of nuts (including in bigger sizes), you could probably make that work.
I'm assuming you aren't using hexes; those could substitute for cams, but who really uses them anymore?

Some well known wider pitches are kind of tricky, such as 3rd pitch of Tulgey Wood, which takes #4 Camalots (new size). I just followed that pitch, which is supposedly easier than the first two, but it takes some combination of skill at the size and lots of bigger cams to make it reasonable.

You need two ropes for many rappels.


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By joe disciullo
From Charlotte, NC
Jan 8, 2010

wow... that is more than I take aid climbing :) Thanks for the info all! It is much appreciated!!


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By Jim Gloeckler
From Denver, Colo.
Jan 8, 2010

expect about 45 min. for the approach and somewhat slick rock. a bit too much quartz in the stuff for me to feel really comfy on. at least I thought it was quartz. also be prepared to change route picks unless you arrive early because of the lines at the classics.


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By John Gunnels
From Gillette, WY
Jan 8, 2010
Old Belay Slave

pfwein wrote:
So I can be long winded, here's my summary: bring three full sets of cams and two sets of nuts (and remember 2 ropes). In more detail: I've done most of the popular 10s and easier routes (many more than once) so I'm not just making this up, but others may disagree with the following: I would recommend at least two full sets of nuts (some routes can take nuts very well, and you can bring more if you have them) and, if possible, 4 sets of cams up to a #3 Camalot, and as many #4 Camalots as you have if you want to do routes that take them. There may be a few specialty pitches that take wider (e.g., Patent Pending), but that's atypical. Three sets of cams would work too for most routes I'm sure and perhaps would be more standard than 4 for most people (I don't mean to say you would bring every cam up every route of course, or even close to it). Two sets of cams just doesn't seem like enough, but if you have lots of nuts (including in bigger sizes), you could probably make that work. I'm assuming you aren't using hexes; those could substitute for cams, but who really uses them anymore? Some well known wider pitches are kind of tricky, such as 3rd pitch of Tulgey Wood, which takes #4 Camalots (new size). I just followed that pitch, which is supposedly easier than the first two, but it takes some combination of skill at the size and lots of bigger cams to make it reasonable. You need two ropes for many rappels.


Tower local for 23 years. Couldn't agree with this post more.


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By Lee Wilson
From Cheyenne, WY
Jan 8, 2010
IC

pfwein wrote:
So I can be long winded, here's my summary: bring three full sets of cams and two sets of nuts (and remember 2 ropes).


In my few trips up there, I often found that I placed more nuts than cams. I'd usually go with a double set of cams or so and as many nuts as I could get my hands on. Plus a LOT of draws/slings for all of those nuts.

Obviously routes and personal preferences will vary but double/triple cams and nuts will get up up most routes you'll be looking at.

Enjoy


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By Jon Miller on the WS
Jan 8, 2010

Rob Kepley wrote:
Joe, May is an awesome month to climb at the tower. Apph times aren't that bad either. Not sure which guide is the best these days. Look up www.extremeangles.com/ and check out their newer book. Probably the worst is dealing with all the tourists! BTW, I grew up in Salisbury.


I'd steer clear of the Extreme Angles book if it is anything like their Needles guide. That is the worst guide book ever! I've not used their Devils guide, but the Needles one makes me hesitant to get any of thier publications. I second the poor persons guides, or the Devil's Tower Climbing Handbook.


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By R.Walters
Jan 9, 2010

+1 for extra stoppers. Also, micros are helpful if you've got 'em.

+1 for the Poorperson's guide. However, if you've got the $, extreme angles has color route photos.
Guilmette's Climbing handbook is good if you can get ahold of it.

Climbing rangers are typically present who are helpful in answering questions regarding routes/weather when you arrive. You will be required to submit a free registration with them each day you climb.

Have a blast


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By joe disciullo
From Charlotte, NC
Jan 11, 2010

Thanks again for all the helpful replies! I'm glad I asked as I would have never expected these responses. As it turns out I just got a good deal on a second set of nuts and and .4-3 BD Cams. I wasn't planning on needing those but I'll take them now for sure!


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By Nate Myers
Jan 13, 2010
Topping out on Bloody Mary (5.7), Mt Lemmon

Since their are so many knowledgable Devil's Tower climbers on this thread, I thought I might ask if any of you have specific rack recommendations for El Cracko Diablo? Most of what I've read pretty much says "...as many hand and fist sized pieces as you can carry...", could anyone possibly narrow this down a little?

Joe, I apologize, I'm not trying to hijack your thread.

Thanks a bunch,

Nate


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By Kirtis
From Rapid City, SD
Jul 25, 2014
Way up on pointy little devil

Hey I read this thread an I didn't get a clear answer on the best guide book.

For my knowledge there are three guide books

1. The newest By Rachael Lynn and Zach Orenczak

35$

extremeanglespublishing.com/index.php/cart?page=shop.product>>>

2. DEVILS TOWER NATIONAL MONUMENT CLIMBING HANDBOOK
By Guillmette, Richard, Steve Gardiner, etc.
Price: $14.95

www.chesslerbooks.com/item/955-devils-tower-national-monumen>>>

3. The poor persons Guide
No idea where to get this one


I live in SD and have made a few trips to the tower but now I am looking to dedicate allot of time there this year I was just wondering if any one has used the first 2 books.

If the book by By Rachael Lynn and Zach Orenczak is any thing like their needles guide I think it would be better to burn my money then use the guide book.


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