By: Patrick Gensel
I am sure those of you who read this site often have heard this story before. It was August of 2010 and Me and two others had just finished a successful summit of Devils Tower via the Durrance Route and were beginning to make the 1200 foot descent when we were caught off guard by an early afternoon thunderstorm. Winds picked up to nearly forty miles an hour blowing our two sixty meter ropes over our heads like they were paper. As we descended, our situation got worse when our ropes got stuck and it began to lighting fiercely. Seemingly stranded on a three by five ledge several hundred feet off the ground, and being pounded by rain, this was the first time in my life I had thought to myself “Shit, I’m gonna die.” So my question for everyone is, have you had an experience like this? how did it make you feel, how did you keep panic at bay and what did you do when you ultimately survived?
After several hours of struggling with ropes and weathering the storm, we arrived in the bowling alley, humbled and severely dehydrated. It was an experience I won’t soon forget.