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June Voluntary Climbing Closure for Devils Tower
Submitted By: John McNamee on May 26, 2009

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Devils Tower National Monument superintendent Dorothy FireCloud announces a voluntary climbing closure for the month of June. The 1995 Devils Tower National Monument Climbing Management Plan established a voluntary closure for all climbing routes on the Tower out of respect for traditional cultural activities of American Indians. The voluntary closure has been implemented each June since 1996, and has proven successful: the average number of climbers in June has seen an 85% reduction.

The National Park Service appreciates the efforts of those climbers who choose to observe the closure. In addition, the Access Fund, a nonprofit organization working to maintain access to climbing areas and protect the climbing environment, fully supports the June Voluntary Closure. Most permitted climbing guides do not bring clients to the Tower during the month of June. Rangers at the Monument can provide information on alternative rock climbing sites in the area.

American Indians have long regarded the Tower as a sacred site, and many feel that recreational climbing desecrates the Tower. Traditional cultural activities occur at the park throughout the year; however, June is an especially significant time when many ceremonies take place.

The Tower boasts a rich and colorful climbing history that dates back to the late 1800s when it was first scaled by two local ranchers using a wooden ladder. Climbers from all over the world consider Devils Tower to be a unique and premier climbing area. Currently, about 4,500 visiting climbers come to Devils Tower each year. Although it is sometimes assumed that climbing damages the rock, contemporary climbing technology has little impact on the Tower.

The 1995 Climbing Management Plan provides direction for managing climbing activity in order to protect natural and cultural resources on and around the Tower. That plan was updated in 2006, in order to address issues of resource protection, climber education, and climber safety. Both plans, as well as updated closure information, can be found at www.nps.gov/deto.

All routes on the Tower are currently open for climbing, as nesting prairie falcons have not been observed on the Tower. National Park Service professionals will continue to survey the Tower to determine the presence or absence of nesting prairie falcons, and climbing and rappel route closures may change in the future based on the location and behavior of nesting falcons.

For further information please contact the monumentís Chief of Resource Management, Mark Biel, at (307) 467-5283 ext 212.

Comments on June Voluntary Climbing Closure for Devils Tower Add Comment
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 21, 2009
By 1Eric Rhicard
May 27, 2009
I doubt many tribal members hold it in as high regard as those of us who have left our sweat and blood up there. I think we renew our spirit by climbing the tower. Why should they restrict our ability to do so. I don't restrict there ability to go anywhere that they need to go to worship. I say keep climbing in June and then go tell every tribal member you meet at the park why it is a bad idea to restrict your search for peace during one of the best months to be there. In fact suggest that they take their month in November or December. The closure is bogus.
By justin harr
From: moorcroft, wyoming
May 27, 2009
I've never seen any protest while at the Tower in June, so what's the big bitch?
By natedawg
May 29, 2009
Keep climbing in June? Sometimes climbing just isn't compatible with other values. We might as well start disregarding raptor closures...we can tell the birds that they will have to nest in November or December.
By Evan1984
May 29, 2009
To climb or not is a personal choice. No one is going to get in your face if you going waltzing up with a rope and rack during June. I've been there twice in June and I didn't even see a protest/advocates other than a sign respectfully asking people not to climb.

So, if you choose to climb, just go about doing what you should always be doing in terms leave no trace and respecting other users.
By pfwein
Jun 1, 2009
Interesting that no other user group is asked not to do whatever they want to do there in June.
Seems to me that the June closure (intended to be mandatory) was the work of a few blowhards who have since moved on to other things, and is now being perversely propagated by "bleeding heart" types who think they are making the world a better place, promoting racial/ethnic harmony, or who knows what else. Go to an Indian reservation and rethink that; I don't think climbers on DT in June is something on their radar. (Even if it was, that would not change my view, but since it isn't, the "voluntary closure" goes from debatable to absurd.)
DT is a great place to climb and June is a good time to go. Have fun and be safe for everyone who has the good fortune to climb there in June (or any other time, for that matter).
By Kyle P.
From: Lander, WY
Jun 1, 2009
See you there in June.
By Dustin B
From: Steamboat
Jun 1, 2009
Right, because getting your jollies while humping your way up a large scale jungle gym is so much more important than having a shred of respect for the values and traditions of others. Have fun fellas.
By dfrancom
From: Anchorage, AK
Jun 2, 2009
The only reason those raptor birds are there is because of the non-native pigeons. Those pigeons are a joke. I was talking to a climbing guide on the Durrance Route last week and he was telling me just how poor the management is over this national monument. If they had gotten ride of the pigeons then the raptors would have never come.
As far as the climbing closure in June. I don't really have an opinion any other way. I guess I would just plan my trips after or before June. However, I can see how it would be a real problem for local climbers though. Sorry guys.
By joelhagan
From: Rapid City, SD
Jun 2, 2009
This is a difficult issue with historical, religious, social and political undercurrents. If you're going to climb in June, climb in June and as always (in most peoples cases anyways) with respect. One of the nice things about this area of the country is that you can always find good times to climb every month of the year.

I would also urge you to look at it from their perspective and have a chat with folks you may see around the area. Eric, you want to talk about sweat and blood? Come on...you make yourself look kind of ignorant.

pfwein...change your name to pfwhine and see the above comment on coming off as kind of ignorant. The wording of the voluntary closure also specifically mentions "hikers...within the inside of the tower trail loop."

IMHO more climbers should show just a little respect and be happy that a mandatory closure to climbing isn't on the table.
Just some thoughts.

Mitakuye Oyasin, Joel
By pfwein
Jun 2, 2009
Joel, interesting that you tell other people to "have respect," yet you mock my name because it rhymes with "whine" and call me (and other posters) ignorant.
But OK, if you want to label "hikers within the inside of the tower trail loop" as a separate group (just what hiking trails are in there?), fine, you got me, and I stand corrected.
I agree with you that climbers should "be happy that a mandatory closure to climbing isn't on the table." In particular, we should be happy to live in a country that theoretically believes in the separation of church and state, such that closing DT for the (alleged) purpose of Indian religion would be considered to be unconstitutional. That is why the closure is just voluntary and not mandatory--it has nothing to do with anyone being "nice" to climbers.
If you think about it, there are a whole lot of reasons why the June closure just doesn't make sense as a matter of logic. For example, did the Indians use the Gregorian calendar? (Answer: no) Then how can a closure in June correlate with the Indian religion? (Answer: it can't)
I do believe in treating all people with respect. But that doesn't mean refraining from doing something I want to do and have a right to do just because some people don't believe I belong on certain public lands.
Here's an analogy: many people believe abortion is murder. Should you respect that belief by not having an abortion (if you are female) or doing everything you can to stop a woman from having an abortion (if you're female or male)?
I think what's going on here is lots of people think the Indians got screwed in general (more properly, the modern Indians ancestors get screwed by a few of "our" ancestors). I generally think that.
I just don't think the idiotic "voluntary" June closure has much to do with that, one way or the other. If you disagree, fine, but let's keep it civil and not go around calling each other ignorant.
By joelhagan
From: Rapid City, SD
Jun 3, 2009
"but let's keep it civil and not go around calling each other ignorant."

You seem to have misunderstood what I stated when I said that you are making yourself look kind of ignorant. I didn't call you ignorant per se, merely that your statements and attitudes make you appear ignorant. I truly hope that whatever choice climbers make they will be wise with open minds towards others beliefs. I'm probably just one of your so called "bleeding heart types" though.
By Eli Helmuth
From: Estes Park, CO
Jun 3, 2009
Having only climbed at the Grizzly Bear Lodge once (Devil's Tower is such a terrible non-local name, worse than McKinley), I found the native spiritual aspect to this place to be obviously 'deep' and I can understand the desire to not have this sacred place soiled by noisy and dirty climbers during this important time of the year.

Respecting nature is an important part of climbing and this includes respecting those who worship nature at a level that most of us cannot comprehend. Our own selfish needs, despite a little lost blood, are insignificant in this regard.

There is plenty of great climbing to be done in this area away from the Lodge. Respecting nature is respecting ourselves and this great sport which allows us to connect with the mother earth in a unique and special way.

It's true, I am an avowed nature lover, peacenik, and worshipper of the panchamama: she is our genesis, our mother, and the best hope for 'salvation' for all living things that cling to her surface. None of our other 'false gods' or desires should take precedence over the source of all life.

We can only hope to learn from our past mistakes, not continue through ignorance or greed to continue along the wrong path.

Peace on-
By joelhagan
From: Rapid City, SD
Jun 3, 2009
Mato Tipila is the Lakota name for the tower a translates as Bear Lodge. It is a shared sacred site with many other Tribes and has other names as well.
By pfwein
Jun 3, 2009
Eli, so that I may reduce my ignorance (not per se, just what I write), can you or anyone else reading this tell me what great climbing there is anywhere near what you call "the Lodge" that is at all comparable in quality/style to that at "the Lodge." (Granted--you didn't actually say that such climbing exists, but I think it's a fair implication.)
No sarcasm intended--this is a serious question and I'm not familiar with any trad climbing that is at all comparable to the quality/sytle of the "the Lodge" within hundreds of miles.
Also, if you really believe climbing at "the Lodge" in June is somehow disrespecting nature, I trust you'll not climb there in any other month as well, as that also pisses certain nature-lovers off. I guess I'll look forward to not seeing you at "the Lodge."
Peace out.
By Eli Helmuth
From: Estes Park, CO
Jun 3, 2009
Pfwein- If you were a real climber you wouldn't have to ask where to climb?
If you were a real man, you would use your real name.

To quote from a great man: (read with an open heart if you dare)

Yonder sky that has wept tears of compassion upon my people for centuries untold, and which to us appears changeless and eternal, may change. Today is fair. Tomorrow it may be overcast with clouds. My words are like the stars that never change. Whatever Seattle says, the great chief at Washington can rely upon with as much certainty as he can upon the return of the sun or the seasons. The white chief says that Big Chief at Washington sends us greetings of friendship and goodwill. This is kind of him for we know he has little need of our friendship in return. His people are many. They are like the grass that covers vast prairies. My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain. The great, and I presume -- good, White Chief sends us word that he wishes to buy our land but is willing to allow us enough to live comfortably. This indeed appears just, even generous, for the Red Man no longer has rights that he need respect, and the offer may be wise, also, as we are no longer in need of an extensive country.

There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory. I will not dwell on, nor mourn over, our untimely decay, nor reproach my paleface brothers with hastening it, as we too may have been somewhat to blame.

Youth is impulsive. When our young men grow angry at some real or imaginary wrong, and disfigure their faces with black paint, it denotes that their hearts are black, and that they are often cruel and relentless, and our old men and old women are unable to restrain them. Thus it has ever been. Thus it was when the white man began to push our forefathers ever westward. But let us hope that the hostilities between us may never return. We would have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Revenge by young men is considered gain, even at the cost of their own lives, but old men who stay at home in times of war, and mothers who have sons to lose, know better.

Our good father in Washington--for I presume he is now our father as well as yours, since King George has moved his boundaries further north--our great and good father, I say, sends us word that if we do as he desires he will protect us. His brave warriors will be to us a bristling wall of strength, and his wonderful ships of war will fill our harbors, so that our ancient enemies far to the northward -- the Haidas and Tsimshians -- will cease to frighten our women, children, and old men. Then in reality he will be our father and we his children. But can that ever be? Your God is not our God! Your God loves your people and hates mine! He folds his strong protecting arms lovingly about the paleface and leads him by the hand as a father leads an infant son. But, He has forsaken His Red children, if they really are His. Our God, the Great Spirit, seems also to have forsaken us. Your God makes your people wax stronger every day. Soon they will fill all the land. Our people are ebbing away like a rapidly receding tide that will never return. The white man's God cannot love our people or He would protect them. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help. How then can we be brothers? How can your God become our God and renew our prosperity and awaken in us dreams of returning greatness? If we have a common Heavenly Father He must be partial, for He came to His paleface children. We never saw Him. He gave you laws but had no word for His red children whose teeming multitudes once filled this vast continent as stars fill the firmament. No; we are two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies. There is little in common between us.

To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret. Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. The Red Man could never comprehend or remember it. Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors -- the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.

Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander away beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return. Our dead never forget this beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its verdant valleys, its murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, sequestered vales and verdant lined lakes and bays, and ever yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the happy hunting ground to visit, guide, console, and comfort them.

Day and night cannot dwell together. The Red Man has ever fled the approach of the White Man, as the morning mist flees before the morning sun. However, your proposition seems fair and I think that my people will accept it and will retire to the reservation you offer them. Then we will dwell apart in peace, for the words of the Great White Chief seem to be the words of nature speaking to my people out of dense darkness.

It matters little where we pass the remnant of our days. They will not be many. The Indian's night promises to be dark. Not a single star of hope hovers above his horizon. Sad-voiced winds moan in the distance. Grim fate seems to be on the Red Man's trail, and wherever he will hear the approaching footsteps of his fell destroyer and prepare stolidly to meet his doom, as does the wounded doe that hears the approaching footsteps of the hunter.

A few more moons, a few more winters, and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain to mourn over the graves of a people once more powerful and hopeful than yours. But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We will see.

We will ponder your proposition and when we decide we will let you know. But should we accept it, I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as the swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch. Our departed braves, fond mothers, glad, happy hearted maidens, and even the little children who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season, will love these somber solitudes and at eventide they greet shadowy returning spirits. And when the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children's children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone.

Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless. Dead, did I say? There is no death, only a change of worlds.

Chief Seattle, 1854 or Dr. Smith, 1887.
By John Peterson
Jun 3, 2009
archives.gov/publications/prol...
By Eli Helmuth
From: Estes Park, CO
Jun 3, 2009
"Never let the truth get in the way of a good story"
-unknown
By Carpet
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 5, 2009
I never understood why a handful of climbers from a climbing Mecca (Boulder) would be so adamant about climbing in Devil's Tower during June. Why not show the community outside of climbing that climbers can respect the wishes of other groups. If it was up to them we wouldn't be able to legally climb on DT at all. They ask for one month (for whatever reasons they may have) out of twelve for voluntary closure. Why not show the greater community (who could probably care less about "climbing rights") that climbers can compromise seamlessly without red tape (official closing of the tower)?

For the climbers who live in the Boulder area. The next time you start stressing about your right to climb on DT in June, go take a look outside and the amount of climbing we have access to and how fortunate we are to not only have the venue but the time to enjoy it. Is it really worth it to make a case with a small tribal community whose lineage probably dates back further than the lineage of our forefathers in this country? Why not work in harmony with them?
By DeanG
From: Woodbury, MN
Jun 5, 2009
This is my view regarding the closure. I feel that native Americans did get a bad deal when the west was settled. Not much anyone is going to do (or really can do) about that now. So lets not dwell on that lets move forward and co-exist together. DT (no mater what you call it, I choose to go with Devils Tower) is a national park created so that it can be use (responsibly) by all who choose to come visit and no one group should have control or exclusive rights over it. The argument if the area should have ever become a national part is up for debate and probable will never get many to agree on. My view is DT is a national park and they should not tell one group (climbers, and apparently hikers also) that they should not use it for one month. This makes no sense to me. Why not just close the tower for all people for one month. That makes more sense to me. Then they (whom ever they are) can worship or meditate, or hold ceremonies, etc, from outside of the park. I really hope that does not happen. So I say do not interfere with others using the park and they (whom ever they are) should not interfere with me using the park. They have a right to be there and so do I. This is why the park was created in the first place.
By Carpet
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 6, 2009
The voluntary closure would make sense when placed within the context of the idea that the Native Americans did in fact get a bad deal. Furthermore action can be taken now to do something, albeit very small, about that injustice. The argument is not about who has rights and who doesn't; who has control and who doesn't. The option not to climb shows that the climbing community can go above and beyond to show respect.

Climbers who live locally within the Devil's Tower Area definitely have a harder choice to make, I can understand and appreciate that. For most climbers in Boulder the sacrifice should not be more than a minor inconvenience.
By Brian Scoggins
From: Eugene, OR
Jun 7, 2009
"Pfwein- If you were a real climber you wouldn't have to ask where to climb?
If you were a real man, you would use your real name."

You are an idiot.

Seriously. P.F. Wein. Not a real name? Well shit, I guess I can't sign my name as B. Scoggins anymore.

Second, while we can all see the exposed rock around there, none of it compares in quality or quantity to the tower itself. So when you say "climb elsewhere", it means don't go to the Devils Tower region. And for all but the locals, that's a minor inconvenience.

However, June was a compromise month. Some of the Natives wanted no climbers at all. The NPS did not go down that road, because (obviously) they couldn't.

I don't like the closure because it is still public land, whatever the underlying cultural or religious significance. I think that I don't need to be Catholic to visit St. Peter's Basilica around Easter. I agree that we need to be respectful of others' beliefs, but I think that a person can climb Devils Tower while simultaneously respecting their beliefs. Hang dogging, excessive chalk use, and excessive bolting are not ways to respect those beliefs, but rather leaving it as we found it, and making ourselves better until we can climb the rock on its terms alone.

A lot of people are compelled to climb Devils Tower for what could easily be termed spiritual reasons. It is just as unfair to deny them that opportunity, so long as they do it in a way that has no lasting impact on anybody else.
By pfwein
Jun 7, 2009
Hey Brian,
Glad we're on the same page on this one--when I'm not hitting you with a stuck rope, we've got something in common. Interesting comments about St. Peter's Basilica. I'm not Catholic but had the good fortune to be in Rome last year and went to St. Peter's (and Vatican museum)--it is an incredible place and well worth visiting for anyone regardless of his/her religious beliefs.
I'm not sure whether Eli is an idiot or just an unusual guy who sees the world in a unique way. Or maybe the fact that he's a climbing guide in Estes Park affects his judgment: fewer climbers in DT means more in Estes, including maybe some "climbers" who will pay him.
Eli, I don't mean to disrespect you but maybe you should think twice about calling people out who are trying to have a mature and respectful discussion about an issue important to climbers and apparently some Indians (but to how many and in what manner, I honestly don't know--you admit you've been there exactly once, so I'm guessing you're a little shaky there yourself).
Notwithstanding anything I or anyone else writes here, I'll try to treat everyone with respect in real life even when we disagree, but I take access to climbing on public land very seriously and don't intend to just throw in the towel just because of some random Internet spray. It's not just access for myself that I care about--I'm a middle aged guy who can afford to travel around. But there are probably some local kids in the DT area--maybe some white, some Indian, some whatever--who aren't in that position in life yet. The climbing season isn't long there (yeah, there are some nice days year round, but what are the percentage of nice days in June compared to December?) and not climbing in the premier area for a month in peak climbing season IS a big deal.
If there are going to be particular ceremonies in certain places on certain days, I could definitely see voluntarily not climbing on that part of DT. It's a circle and I would have no problem giving a group of people some privacy on any particular occasion. That would be better to me than an arbitrary, month-long climbing ban. There is a lot of nuance here, at least from my perspective.
Peter aka PF aka Wein aka Weinberg
Edit: Jimbo, I agree with your point below, except that I would not assume that the "local tribes" in fact have a problem with climbers in June. That's just not clear to me. I think lots of people are making assumptions about what local Indians think of the whole thing: at least according to some knowledgeable people who have weighed in on the issue, prohibiting climbers (either voluntarily or involuntarily) is not on the agenda of the vast majority of Indians in the area. I don't have any first hand info one way or the other.
By Jimbo
Jun 7, 2009
It's always seemed interesting to me that the local tribes get upset with climbers on the tower in June but the platoons of snot nosed, yelling and screaming kids, throwing coke cans into the talus doesn't seem to bother them.
Why, because tourists spend money at the tribes establishments and climbers usually don't.
I'd have way more respect for the tribes "religious" position if they (and the park service)closed the Tower down completely in June. As long as tourist dollars continue to usurp religious sensibilities, I can take the tribe's position too seriously.
I understand the white man has been stealing their cake for many years but they do seem to want the cake and to eat it too in this situation.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 8, 2009
I was at Devils Tower over the weekend, and it was too rainy to climb anyway. Not that we planned to do so, having brought no climbing gear. I got some nice photos of the tower coming in and out of the fog.

I don't see how one can get too upset about a voluntary closure. If you feel so strongly about it, why not just climb anyway? I noticed that you must get a permit, and I suppose the rangers will try to convince you not to go.

I would also suggest that it is not the local climbers that are most inconvenienced. They can drive to the Black Hills. What about climbers from foreign countries that can only come in June?
By joelhagan
From: Rapid City, SD
Jun 10, 2009
Jimbo: Your dirtbag/cheapo climber argument is weak. The "Tribes establishments" that you speak of don't exist and therefore your argument is moot.

P.F. Wein: The majority of Indians I've talked with(mostly Lakota), especially traditionalists, do have a problem with climbing in June as well as the rest of the year. May,June, and July are months with lots of ceremonies that are centered around Mato Paha(Bear Butte) and Mato Tipila(DT). These include Sweats, Vision quests and especially at DT a Sun Dance in June. These are largely held at locations just off of the immediate "National Land" so you don't often see a heavy Indian presence at the actual base of the tower itself.

Brian Scoggins: Your argument using St. Peter's Basilica (expounded by Wein) is a classic straw man fallacy. The only similarity is that they both center on religion.
1. a)The Vatican is a sovereign city state. All of the fees at the Vatican are go directly to the Catholic Church/Vatican. (and they aren't shy about collecting fees)
b)DT is within the boundaries of the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Although the U.S. Gov't. broke this treaty long ago that doesn't invalidate it. (For proof of this read the recent precedent setting case Lavetta Elk v. United States) This case was won using one of the provisions of the Fort Laramie Treaty.

2. The concept of sacredness is vastly different between Catholicism and Most Native Religions.
a) The Lakota see the actual formation as sacred and too holy to be desecrated by humans through touching it, climbing it, etc.
b) The Vatican is seen as a holy place, but in the long run the Christian church is the people and the building is just a building.

3. The activity at St. Peter's is completely different than that at DT. You argue that you don't have to be Catholic to visit there around Easter, which is true. It's also beside the point. Here's a scenario that I would pay to see;
Who: Brian Scoggins, PF Wein, Jimbo
What: FA of the Cherub route on St. Peter's Basilica
When: Easter Sunday
Pro: bring plenty of runners for the various slingable protrusions including the crux dome pitch where a #1 Camalot fits nicely in a crack in the plaster. Don't forget that shorts and tank tops are not acceptable for this route (or for anywhere in the Vatican for that matter).

I guaranty that you wouldn't even get racked up before you were kicked out or jailed.

A lot of the problems with this debate center on the same arguments being made over and over. Rarely is the discussion more than superficial and is often based on comparing Apples and Oranges.

Just some thoughts, Joel

P.S. There's some pretty good climbing in the Black Hills in June...Come on over.
By John Gunnels
From: Gillette, WY
Jun 30, 2009
Being a Tower local is, in fact, sometimes difficult in June.

During the Climbing Management Plan process, I was serving as the "Grand Poo-Bah" of the NE Wyoming Climbing Club. From day one, the vast majority of locals supported the plan... and some even took part in the initial "Cross Cultural Education" functions the acting Superintendent coordinated between Native American Tribal Elders and climbers.

My... how times change.

Original "Marketing Strategy": CROSS CULTURAL EDUCATION and the promotion of MUTUAL RESPECT.

Today, step inside the visitors center. As a climber, I feel like a second rate citizen.

To date, I have honored the June voluntary closure. But in light of NPS attitudes, I just might cave next year...

Side note: The only archaeological evidence that Native Americans ever gathered at Devils Tower is kept in a vault at Mt. Rushmore. Don't know why there is "secrecy" around this fact...
By Loyd Wofford III
Jul 21, 2009
I love the tower!! PLEASE PLEASE everybody be happy. Let's go climbing. It is JULY!!!

P.S. First at the top on the 4th 0730 w/JHARR!!!!!!!!!! GO WYO!!!!!!!
P.P.S Hey Joel, wanna go climb at "The Tower?"