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Devil's Lake Great Tower Area

Original Post
mblem22 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 5

I wanted to build a top rope anchor on the great tower and climb with some friends, but we couldn't find good access to the top.  Aside from leading it, does anyone know if it is accessible from the top?  The guide book shows a spot with 5.2 access but it looked pretty sketchy to me.  A fall would have been really bad and climbing it with a pack didn't seem worth the risk.

Andy Summers · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 25

You can definitely get to the top of Great Tower without leading it, it just doesn't have a nice clear trail. If you're at the base of the climb, keep walking up past it on the left side of the tower until you get to the top. Staying as close to the tower as you can should be helpful. Which guide book mentions 5.2 access? I don't see that in Jay Knower's book, but I'm guessing what you're talking about is surmounting the large boulder that blocks the cliff edge? Tie in to something and go for it, it's not hard.

e; Found the 5.2 access you're talking about in Swartling's book. No, I wouldn't go up that way. Walk up on the left side (from the base of Great Crack, which is what I was trying to say but I'm still waking up) and you'll find a small spot on the right that gets you to the base of Picnic Wall, which is right on top of Great Tower.

mblem22 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 5

Ah!  I was at Picnic Wall all day before trying to do Great Tower!  I didn't realize that perch just below Picnic Wall was actually the top of Great Tower.  Do you have to wander past that stack of boulders a ways to get to the bottom side of the tower?  I feel dumb now.  Thanks for the info, though.

Andy Summers · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 25

Yeah, you'll go down the hill a ways alongside the boulder field. The bottom of Great Crack should be pretty obvious once you get there, it's a bit more flat than the rest of the area and looks like a good spot to stop. If you're coming down from the top and walk past a large tree growing nearly horizontally out of a rock formation, you've walked just past the bottom of Great Crack.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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