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East and Northeast Buttress Approach

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Adrenaline Surfer S 
Assembly Line T 
Back to Montana T 
Belle Fourche Buttress T 
Broken Tree T 
Buckspeck S 
Burning Daylight T 
Casper College T 
Dump Watt T 
Everlasting T 
Gooseberry Jam T 
Hourglass, The T 
Maid in the Shade T 
Missed Opportunity T 
New Wave T 
Patent Pending T 
Pinball Wizard T 
Soaring T,S 
Spectator Sport T 
Stepping Out of Flatland T 
Surfer Girl T 
Team Ropin S 
Witchie T 

East and Northeast Buttress Approach Rock Climbing 

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Location: 44.5911, -104.71442 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 38,383
Administrators: Peter Gram, Mike Snyder, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Brian Milhaupt on Jul 11, 2002


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This area encompasses a large portion of Devil's Tower that is accessable via the East and Northeast buttress approaches. Everything from offwidth to finger cracks can be found here. Most routes are of high quality with sustained straight-in climbing. On the East side of the tower looms a large roof system that cuts across the sheer East face of the tower. To the right of these roofs is the Belle Fouche buttress which forms a prominent protrusion that ledges out halfway up the tower. This buttress marks, more or less, the left end of the routes accessable from this appoach. The right end is at the terminus of the ramp below the north face. Quality climbs of note include Belle Fouche buttress, McCarthy's North Face, and New Wave. From the Teacher's Lounge ledge there are several great climbs including Patent Pending and Assembly Line.

Getting There 

From the lot follow the paved trail around the North side of the tower. The trail dips low into the woods and then climbs back into view of the tower. Hike past a bench and before a large boulder start looking for a faint trail that is sometimes cairned. The trail winds up to the notch that separates the base of the east face from the northeast. At the notch the better defined trail goes up steps to the right to the routes below teacher's ledge lounge and continues on broken ledges to all the north face routes. The less defined trail is so because there are less quality routes and abundant poison ivy. To reach routes on and near Belle Fouche buttress ford the ivy and scramble up and across slabs to the base.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.5 miles from here

23 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in East and Northeast Buttress Approach

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for East and Northeast Buttress Approach:
Patent Pending   5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches, 640'   
Assembly Line   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 140'   
Gooseberry Jam   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 4 pitches, 400'   
New Wave   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 220'   
Burning Daylight   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   
Broken Tree   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 270'   
Belle Fourche Buttress   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 150'   
Dump Watt   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 450'   
Buckspeck   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 170'   
Casper College   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 160'   
Back to Montana   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 140'   
The Hourglass   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 140'   
Stepping Out of Flatland   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 3 pitches, 400'   
Everlasting   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 2 pitches, 300'   
Maid in the Shade   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, 165'   
Team Ropin   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Surfer Girl   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Trad, 160'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in East and Northeast Buttress Approach

Featured Route For East and Northeast Buttress Approach
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing the approach pitch to Teacher's Lounge fo...

Assembly Line 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  Wyoming : Devil's Tower : East and Northeast Buttress...
An amazingly continuous hand crack that begins from the platform reached after the steep steps on the Northeast approach, directly left of Teacher's Lounge. The route starts after the two pitches moving up and left through ledges and bushes and back right to Teacher's Lounge ledge as described in Patent Pending and the Northeast Buttress approach. The route is easily located from the Teachers Lounge above and to the left (around the corner) of the rap anchors for New Wave and Broken Tree. The li...[more]   Browse More Classics in Wyoming

Photos of East and Northeast Buttress Approach Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: North East Devil's Tower Dec.2012
North East Devil's Tower Dec.2012
Rock Climbing Photo: North and northeast sides
North and northeast sides
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down from teachers lounge, broken tree is ...
Looking down from teachers lounge, broken tree is ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Big rock... reeeeeealy big...
BETA PHOTO: Big rock... reeeeeealy big...
Rock Climbing Photo: The East face of Devils Tower
The East face of Devils Tower

Comments on East and Northeast Buttress Approach Add Comment
Show which comments
By Barrett Cooper
Sep 10, 2002
The way we were told to find the trail for the approach was wonderful. From the parking lot take the right(counterclockwise) paved path that leads you under Durrance and follow it to the USPS information sign for the fallen tower. From there walk 70 paces, the trail leads up to the left. It works every time and if your paces are smaller than mine the trail is ~70 paces at a point where the paved path starts going back up after dropping down a hill.
Sep 30, 2004
Dear Friends,I am leaving today, just for the winter. For that I am a little sad. I hope everyone keeps crankin' & and having fun.Remember climbing is not to feed the EGO but a chance to be a good partner and enjoy Life around the corner from the manstream lifestyles. I have climbed in a few areas besides the ones in SD WY but here is home and in my opion really really great!! In our time right now there is so much BS already it seems odd to me that sometimes we fight in a very childish way. Lets all stand together and help one another not push one another down and judge each other for the small things. I know I am not a Saint, and that keeps me in check. Everyone make mistakes, hopefully we can all learn from them? Well anyway as we sometimes say, "I'M OUT"!I love this place and all the people in it, I may not show it sometimes but I think and pray for our community and resorces in it, all the time. I consider myself one of the Lucky Ones to have grown up here and in the process make many Lifelong Friends.To all of you out there short, tall, strong or weak, I LOVE YOU.Love Curt
By Andy Busse
From: Rapid City, SD
Oct 1, 2004
Take it easy Curt, Have a good off-season.We look forward to hearing from you time to time....Andy Busse
By Sergio P
From: Idaho Springs, CO
Jul 26, 2007
It is possible to descend from the top of the tower via Assembly Line. Down climb the final 5.0 chimney of that route and look east for rap anchors.
By Kyle Sherby
Jul 30, 2017
There is a rap outlined in the guidebook for the NorthEast side. I rapped this after topping out on Assembly Line. It was fairly straightforward and easy. The first rap anchor was immediately to climbers left when topping out, with a cairn marking the short downclimb. The first two rappels were 2 or 3 old bolts equalized with cord. Use your own judgement in replacing this cord. Also, the book says the 2nd rap is 110'. This is incorrect, a 70m rope will not reach the next rap anchor. Bring 2 ropes. From a large pine tree at the bottom it's an easy walk back to the base.

Shade in the pm.

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