A climb for the books
“Princesses fall under spells and end up in towers,” said the white-haired man with a ponytail and a handlebar mustache. “I fell under the tower’s spell and ended up in Crook County.”
Frank, our climbing guide, is a Washington, D.C. native. Decades ago he was in our shoes, sizing up a 60-story rock butte just asking to be ascended. Today, and with nearly 1,000 ascents under his harness, he is the go-to climbing guide for Devils Tower. He hooked us up with harnesses, climbing shoes, a chalk bag and the very important belay and rappel device. As beautiful as the panoramic views were and as neat as it was to see the rock formation face to face, we didn’t want to be stuck on the summit after sunset. That would be really dangerous if I decided to take up sleepwalking again.
The climb, and we took the easiest route up, was like our bike ride. We didn’t break any records. But we definitely made memories. As if the fading calluses on our hands aren’t enough proof of our feat, our names are signed in the “guest register” at the top. Plus, Frank gave us a video of our climb. In return, we gave him our word that we’d be back to try a more challenging way up.