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Nature's Gargoyles

The clefts and crevices in these pillars of columnar basalt, particularly at the top edge, remind me of the gargoyles which adorn many of the medieval cathedrals of Europe. Because the Devil's Tower is sacred ground, the outdoor cathedral if you will, of the Lakota and other Native American peoples, climbing is restricted and indeed prohibited during certain times of the year. If you want to get to the top of Devils Tower, you must, presumably after demonstrating some required level of competence and waiving your legal rights in case of injury, get a permit from the Park Service. Can you count the climbers here? They are ascending on the Durrance route. The surface at the top is relatively flat and about the size of a football field (100m. X 50m.). The views are reportedly spectacular and given what can be seen from the trail at the base as shown in the next previous photo, I imagine the reports are correct. This view is more or less to the north of the south face of the tower.

(Submitted to the 2013 February TTT contest as entry #78 and to the 2014 February NPC contest as entry #24.)

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 22, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by mg1744
    • Camera: OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. SP500UZ
    • Taken on 2010/07/09 23:25:08
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 34.70mm
    • F/Stop: f/3.500
    • ISO Speed: ISO80
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash