North Face & Northwest Corner
Submitted by: Mark M.
Voluntary Closure Every June and Seasonal Falcon Closures
April 11, 2014: Devils Tower National Monument temporarily closed climbing routes on the west face and the northwest shoulder of Devils Tower to protect nesting prairie falcons. Over one hundred and fifty climbing routes remain open on the Tower.
Such temporary closures are an annual occurrence at Devils Tower established under the 1995 Climbing Management Plan, with authority from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This closure affects 20 routes on the west face and northwest shoulder of the Tower. Prairie falcons have also been observed near the “Window” on the east face. Climbing and rappel routes between and including “Leaping Lizards” and “Deli Express” are currently closed, and the summit edge above these routes is also closed to climbers. “The closure is implemented not only to protect the birds, but also to protect climbers, as prairie falcons are known to defensively dive in order to protect their nests,” said Rene Ohms, Chief of Resource Management. The presence of climbers near or above falcon nests is distressing to parent birds, and disturbance from climbing activities may force falcons to abandon eggs or chicks. Climbers are asked to report any defensive falcon behavior to a park ranger or call 307-467-5283.
“Failure to comply with the temporary closure may result in a fine and or 6 months in jail. All climbers must register at the climbing office before they begin their ascent,” said Drew Gilmour, Chief of Law Enforcement. Please check at the climbing office for a list of all climbing routes which have been temporarily closed.
To learn more about Devils Tower National Monument, contact 307-467-5283, visit us online at www.nps.gov/deto
DescriptionThe North Face of the tower is the place to be to find shade on hot summer days and is the home to some classic routes with the gem being McCarthy North Face. Most routes in this area are 2 pitches of good climbing with rap bolts, although there are a few that continue to the summit which makes for one of the longest ways to get up the tower.
The North Face / NW Shoulder approach described below will put you near the start of McCarthy's, from this point (with a little effort) you can reach routes all the way to Casper College to the east and One Way Sunset to the west. In short, head up here and you are position for a day of stellar climbing!
Getting ThereTo reach the North Face form the parking lot head left on the paved trail past the west face. At it's farthest north point the trail will make a sharp right turn, just after this you will reach a bench on the opposite side of the trail. Look for a trail here that heads south east through the forest and follow it up to the rock. If you get lost in the woods look up and head for the tall rock pillar in front of you. Watch for Poison Ivy.
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