Mountain Project Logo

Climbing Devil's Tower - Durrance Route (5.8) next week. Anyone interested?

Original Post
Tyler Shillig · · Ogden, UT · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 0

Two climbing partners already bailed on me, but I'm going to be in the area for a family reunion, so I'm looking for someone to climb with. I could do it any day from the 29th - 31st. I've only led a few trad climbs, but I'm comfortable on 5.10c/d sport. I have all the gear and am fine leading 5.8. Let me know if you're interested or know someone who is!

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

 1st. Durrance is 5.6 not 5.8  in all the books that I have.  2nd, it apparently eats 512 spurt climbers alive and confiscates their ropes :)

Steve Pulver · · Williston, ND · Joined Dec 2003 · Points: 455

Maybe. I can probably give you a better answer Sat night

Tyler Shillig · · Ogden, UT · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 0

Sounds good Steve! You can PM me or just keep it going in this thread. As for the fact that the climb eats sport climbers and their ropes, well, these are problems that I'll need to investigate more closely while I'm on the wall. :)

Ken Nichols · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2014 · Points: 0
Nick Goldsmith wrote:  1st. Durrance is 5.6 not 5.8  in all the books that I have.  2nd, it apparently eats 512 spurt climbers alive and confiscates their ropes :)

Like you, "trad" climbers are old, sore losers that couldn't sport climb when they were young.  

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

  Not a sore loser and have put up a few really nice spurt climbs over the years. This post just remined me of my first time on the tower.
  Having driven all the way from Vermont in a battered Honda Civic I was waiting in camp for a few days for my partner to arrive. This was long before the days of cell phones, constant communication and text messages.  Phone calls from the road were made in pay phones and I had not heard from my partner in a month or so but the plan from our last conversation in july was Devils tower 1st week of September.  I was chilling in camp. teaching myself how to play guitar and going for bike rides. reading a book. generally just killing time hopeing my partner was going to show up. The kids in the site next to mine were in a jeep with West by god Virginny plates. They announced that they were 5.12 sport climbers from the New  and they were going to do the Durrance as a warm up. I watched them for a bit but got bored with the slow pace so went for a long bike ride. later that evening they came staggering in to camp. Burnt lobster red and rasberried from head to toe (shorts and tank tops)  When I asked them how it was their heads were hanging low and they mumbled something about not getting to the top and a problem with the ropes. The poor bleeding parched souls got in their jeep and left never to be seen again.   About 10 that evening a dirty white Toyota pickup with CO plates and bumper sticker from some beer store in Durrango that sells beer colder than your ex wifes heart rolled in.  Alex piled out of the truck declaring, " you sob I figured you would be here" a dozen or so beers later we crashed. Completely missing the Alpine start that helps mitigate the Tower heat we roll up to the parking lot at the crack of 10am. the first thing the rangers ask us is if we are planning on doing the durance and if we did could we bring down the stuck ropes the guys from West virginia left  up there.  We were not but told them we would have a look on our way down. We climbed Soler in good time but finished our water on the summit. naturally we got our ropes stuck on the Durrance rappels and had our own mini epic that resulted is severe thirst which in turn once we finally made it back to camp resulted in severe hangovers the next day :) I will never forget the look of those char broiled sport climbers hanging their heads in shame and bleeding from head to toe from the 5.6 off width love ;)

Zay Redux · · Mariposa · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 36

Nice story Nick, TFPU

Tyler Shillig · · Ogden, UT · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 0

That's funny Nick! Thanks for sharing. :) Now if only I could find someone to climb with some day from the 29th-31st.... I'd be willing to take my chances at ending up like those West Virginia fellows. As a native Virginian, I feel it's almost an obligation...

raoulkabob Nitzsche · · Lakewood, OH · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 0

I’m looking for a partner for tomorrow. 

raoulkabob Nitzsche · · Lakewood, OH · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 0

I’d like to do Durance around sunrise. But I’m also open to other climbs as well. 

Tyler Shillig · · Ogden, UT · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 0

I'm sorry, but I just got back from the trip last night late. Best of luck!

Where's Walden · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 100

Use the partners forum, not the regional forum.

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

Tyler, did you get to do the tower???

Tyler Shillig · · Ogden, UT · Joined Jul 2019 · Points: 0

Haha, yes Nick, I was able to find a partner and do the tower. We had a fantastic time and somehow managed to escape the rope eating beast cracks of doom. :) I didn't have a #4 or #5 cam though, so the last 15 feet of the Durrance crack had me puckered like you wouldn't believe. 5.6 my butt!  

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 10

Hey Tyler,  Glad you made it up...Dang near August is tough weather to climb in on a south facing route.

If you ever make it back out, a much nicer outing than the Durrance is the Bon Homme variation.  It is rated 5.8, but the only real scary climbing is the wide section at the bottom transitioning to the hand crack.  No problem if you are solid.

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440
 Super glad you were able to partner up and summit! Says right in my book here that Durrance is 5.6... Of course we did not do Durrance because I would Much rather take my chances on sandbagged 5.9- than  sand bagged 5.6  ;)
Mark Pilate · · MN · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 10

I think the wildest part is that Nick survived a summer ascent of the Tower in jeans!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Wyoming, Montana, Dakotas
Post a Reply to "Climbing Devil's Tower - Durrance Route (5.8) n…"

Log In to Reply