Devils lake?


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Messages 1 - 17 of total 17 in this topic

Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Oct 10, 2012 - 02:21am PT
After a decade in California, I'm moving back to Minnesota with my wife. I will miss the Sierra with all my heart and any cheaper cost-of-living will go to plane tickets back to the mountains of light. I have been to this sierra three out of four weekends that I have lived in California. I already have two trips booked before the end of the year. I am curious though how good Devils Lake Park is. It is a short drive from the Twin Cities. Will i be content with the single pitch climbs there, And an occasional trip to red rocks and the valley?

Consider this an open thread to get me stoked about Devils Lake.

lawrence kansas
Oct 10, 2012 - 02:23am PT
cold. very cold.

Oct 10, 2012 - 04:16am PT
Prepare to suffer an apparent loss of climbing ability.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 10, 2012 - 08:05am PT
I learned to climb there.

But haven't been back in 40 yrs

Trad climber
Oct 10, 2012 - 09:08am PT
Devil's Lake is so radically different from the Sierra that I wouldn't go in with any expectation that it'll compensate. However, it is a great place to climb, and the ratings are fairly stiff. Lots of cool history there, as well.

Have fun, and I totally get your longing to keep coming back to the Sierra!

Trad climber
under the sea
Oct 10, 2012 - 09:57am PT
Love that place. slick as snot. Good technique mandatory. Use your feet. Peace.
Alan Rubin

Oct 10, 2012 - 10:31am PT
Like Jaybro I learned to climb at Devil's Lake but haven't been back for decades----maybe that fact in itself tells you something!!!!However, if you are based in the upper midwest or just passing through, the Lake is a wonderful climbing area (especially at this time of year----I have fond memories of the red setting sun breaking below a cloud bank and illuminating the gorgeous fall colors and the reddish hue of the rock and reflecting it all back onto the underside of the clouds---even the most hardened and cynical of our group just stopped and observed).The area is very extensive (though most climbers tend to concentrate in a small area)with over 1000 short routes and boulder problems. The majority of the climbing is on an almost always vertical, very slick quartzite but with usually sharply cut holds that tends to be very pumpy and finger intensive---very different from typical Sierra fare. There are a few areas of sandstone as well, though there has been a history of access issues on those buttresses and I don't know the current status.Protection, especially on the abundant face climbs, is often limited hence the frequency of top-roping(most of the hard leads were done in "headpoint" style by folks familiar with the rock and style of climbing). The grading, as suggested above tends to be "humbling". Having said all the above, the bottom line is, as long as you can accept that you are in the midwest and pretty much limited to short single pitch climbs, there is more than enough challenge at the Lake to keep you interested for many years, and the scenery is beautiful even though not the Sierra. It is worth realizing that it isn't that "short" of a drive from the Twin Cities---maybe 2 1/2 hours (I'm guessing here). Closer, though much more limited, is Taylor's Falls (Interstate Park)with good basalt short routes and bouldering. Also, I believe, closer to the Twin Cities than Devil's Lake is Barn Bluff in Red Wing,MN (developed since my time in the midwest)a sport climbing area with mostly difficult routes on rock of not the highest quality but still worth checking out. Another midwest area reachable from the Twin Cities (but further than the Lake) are the various crags along the North Shore of Lake Superior east of Duluth--such as the basalt "seacliffs" of Palisade Head and Shovel Point and the inland igneous outcrops. And,finally, the South Dakota Needles and Devil's Tower, are within weekend (well, long weekend) range of the Twin Cities as well. So, while you will surely miss the Sierra, with an open mind you will still find plenty of opportunities to get on the rock--- except,well then there IS the 10 months of winter!!!!!

Trad climber
East Coast US
Oct 10, 2012 - 11:17am PT
Beware F7

Oct 11, 2012 - 12:55am PT
Taylor's Falls is going to be a big come-down from the Sierra. Go there and then Devil's Lake will seem pretty grand. I spent 6 years in Chicago, driving 4 hours to and from the lake many weekends. The rock-climbing is outstanding but the larger experience is constrained. Check out the travel time to Baffin Island versus California and think outside California.
The Dude

Truckee, CA
Oct 11, 2012 - 01:26am PT
Do the first east bluff girdle.. I bet it would be about 20 sideways pitches or so.

Boulder climber
Oct 11, 2012 - 01:35am PT
From the thread linkd above --
devil's lake has 1,700 climbs. most are 100 feet long or less, many can be led, but there's a strong tradition of toproping ...

the last bivy
Oct 11, 2012 - 01:51am PT
its a short ride to the Rockies

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Oct 11, 2012 - 03:01am PT
Not that far to Devil's TOWER


just sayin

Oct 11, 2012 - 05:52pm PT




Trad climber
Oct 13, 2012 - 01:45pm PT
Visited the place a week ago. Plenty of one-pitch climbes. VERY slipery. Didn't have my rack (balls, hehe) to lead anything.

photo not found
Missing photo ID#267801

photo not found
Missing photo ID#267803

Social climber
Oct 13, 2012 - 01:55pm PT
Go up the shore
Todd Eastman

Bellingham, WA
Oct 13, 2012 - 02:04pm PT
The Birkie is almost sold out of entries...
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