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70M rope for Durrance route raps?
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Aug 10, 2012
Everywhere I've read says 2 ropes are required for all the raps on the Durrance route of Devils Tower. Will one 70M rope be adequate or do we still need another rope? Haley D
From Salt Lake City
Joined Mar 14, 2010
5 points
Aug 10, 2012
2 ropes. They were set up based on the 150 ft. length ropes that were typical and popular back in 70's. This is for the standard Meadows rappel I'm speaking of. Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
505 points
Aug 10, 2012
Did it last year and two ropes are mandatory unless I missed something? besides the last pitch can wander so half ropes were nice. Ryan N
From Bellingham, WA
Joined May 21, 2009
0 points
Aug 10, 2012
Haven't been there for years but it's always been possible to get down from the Meadows with one rope. Even back in the days of shorter ropes.

Tho you would have to down climb the 3rd class above the Meadows. Plus you had to do twice as many raps and pulls so most people brought two.
Tim McCabe
Joined Oct 15, 2006
110 points
Aug 10, 2012
The last time I rapped from the meadows I had doubles but stopped at every anchor at exactly the 1/2 way mark on my ropes (double 70s). So that would tell me that its possible to do, but it could be interesting with a single 70. The rap down the easy pitch from the top to the meadows goes fine with a single 70. EldoFiend
From WY
Joined Jul 17, 2008
65 points
Aug 10, 2012
Your going to need two ropes a 70 will not cut it. I would also recommend rappelling the solar route, you will still need 2 ropes but the rappel is far more aesthetic and has a much lower snag potential then the meadows rappel line.

PS. if you only have time for one route I would think about climbing a different one, maybe El Cracko Diablo 5.8, Soler 5.9- or Walt Bailey 5.9 I don't mean to be Debby Downer but Durrance is a less than amazing climb sure it has some really cool history behind the FA but the route is SHIT when I say shit I do mean that literally your going to want to take a shower after this one! Here is the beta

link P1&p2(140ft)- 70ft of uninteresting and awkward climbing then 70ft of thoughtful fun climbing to a big ledge this is going to feel hard for the grade if you don't have a lot of crack climbing experience

link P3 & P4 & p5(110ft)-climb 20ft of awkward and strenuous 5.5 off-width protect with funky nut out left for pro then move right on a small ledge and around a corner. the move around the corner is one of two really exposed moves on the route and one of my favorite. Climb a short crack to a big ledge. climb 40ft up a pigeon shit filled off-width & chimney to an awkward pull onto a big ledge. climb 40ft up a pigeon shit filled off-width & chimney again, slip and slid in bird poo see the salvation of a big jug grab, it and feel the warm wetness of sinking knuckle deep into a puddle pigeon surprise. keep climbing cuz you have come this far its not like your going to turn around now! pull on to another huge ledge and thank Buddha Shiva the real climbing is over and pray you don't have some wired disease from roiling in bird feces! as soon as you pull on to the ledge look at the face on your right for a small cairn and rap anchors from the top these are you second set of rap anchors from the top.

last pitch(not really a pitch) 15ft- build a belay go to the right side of the big ledge crunch down traverse on a small ledge step down to a good foot hold on the face below the end of the ledge and make a wildly exposed step on to the top of a large column (this is the jump traverse) place a piece in the left wall in case your flower blows the move, walk to a small cave formed by a pillar and build you last belay

take a leisurely walk threw the meadows follow it to its end and scramble to the top(this is going to feel sctchey if your not used to this type of train but its not really that bad just watch out for loose rock)

find the summit register and joyfully sing it, crack a brew and take it all in because you just climbed the devils tower!

make sure you have access to a shower and a washing machine after this climb. and there you have it Durrance in two pitches YMMV
From prescott
Joined Oct 13, 2009
40 points
Aug 18, 2012
Do Durrance. I've taken 4 trips of newbies up it and enjoy it every time. Get up early and be the first party (3am) as it fills up or go late/early in the season. It's not full of pigeon crap as described above. I like linking the first and second, third/fourth and the next chimney, and then baileys direct. For rap, there are many anchors and it may be doable, but I've always used 2 ropes for the rappel, and smaller ropes the better as there are some pinch points. I watched someone rap off the end of their rope in 1999 and I would rather you be safe with two ropes. Josh Car
Joined Aug 18, 2012
0 points

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