Images of the World
Rock Climbing Devils Tower

Although Devils Tower is located in eastern Wyoming the formation is a part of the Black Hills. This is a view of the west side.
Tass and Bruce first climbed Devils Tower in 1995 as a part of our Volcanoes of the World program.

Like most beginning climbers, our first time up we climbed the Durrance route.

Since then we have returned occasionally to climb different routes, but have never spent any substantial or prolonged time at the tower.

In 2004, for his 50th birthday, Bruce decided he wanted to get in physical and mental shape to lead El Matador, a strikingly steep elevator-like-shaft between two columns on the west side of the tower.
Tass climbs up Bon Homme, a fun 5.8 on the southeast side.
To get in shape for El Matador, Bruce spent a couple of weeks climbing different routes at the tower.

Tass joined Bruce for many of the climbs, as did a number of other friends .

With each climb Bruce honed his crack technique, and his confidence.
Our friend Bill Sitkin follows Bruce up a route called Walt Bailey Memorial, 5.9.
Jim Hucks on Tulgy Wood, 5.10a.
Broken Tree is a beautiful crack on the north side of Devils Tower.

On the left Tass is resting before starting up through the crux, the hardest part of the route.

The trick is to keep enough weight on your feet that you can hold on through the thin finger crack near the end of the route.

Bruce starts up Assembly Line, a sustained 5.9 that starts at the top of the Broken Arrow column.
Steve Dick nears the top of Assembly Line.
El Matador runs up the right side of the western face of Devils Tower.
Bruce starting up El Matador, 5.10d. Photo copyright by Michael Clark.
After spending much of August 2004 at Devils Tower, Bruce feels ready for El Matador.

Bruce is joined by two friends, Mike Cronin, who is belaying, and Michael Clark, who takes photographs.

Bruce climbs El Matador first to put up a rope for Michael to ascend using jumars. After Michael is in position, Bruce gets back on the rock to climb the route again for photos.

To enjoy more stunning photographs by Michael Clark go to
Bruce stems through the upper crux of El Matador, The Bull Fighter. Photo copyright by Michael Clark. Click for enlarged photo.
July 4th, 2006 The Black Hills Climbers Coaltion was asked by the Devils Tower staff to take a flag to the top for a special celebration. Tass and Bruce with Uncle Sam on top.
Return to
Climb Home

(except two photos above by Michael Clark)

About Bruce
and Tass
What's New
Q & A
Photo Gallery
Gear Info
World Bicycle Tour
Rainforests &
Mayan Ruins
Volcanoes of
the World
Andes to
the Amazon
African Safari
Life Journeys
Tour Dates & Fees
Teacher Guide