Having hatched our plan to travel west and climb Devils Tower (Americas first National Monument) nearly one year prior, Patrick and I began planning travel, lodging, what route to climb, and what gear to bring. We are seasoned climbers, but having spent most of our time climbing in Red River Gorge, we knew we would need more gear for this undertaking. Quest Outdoors was our preferred retailer for all the gear we would need.

We would end up flying into Denver and renting a car to drive 7 hours to Devils Tower, WY. Because we wanted to have some amenities available (hot showers and Wi-Fi!), we chose to stay at the Devils Tower KOA. What a wonderful campground!!

Now that travel arrangements and lodging were secured, what about gear? Climbing sport and trad in RRG, we seldom encounter routes over 300′. Devils Tower, however, would be roughly 800′ of scrambling and traditional climbing. We were in need of extra carabiners, webbing, lightweight packs to climb with, and other miscellaneous gear. Quest Outdoors was our one stop shop for Black Diamond hardware and for The North Face Verto 26 pack I chose to climb with. I had never climbed with a pack on before, but after reading reviews and with the knowledge of Quest employees I chose the Verto and it fit the bill! Lightweight, package, and comfortable; I forgot I had it on as I followed Patrick up the multi-pitch face of Devils Tower. And for the hiking, those Smart Wool socks sure did a great job keeping my feet comfortable and blister free.

All of our planning, training and hard work paid off when we submitted DT on September 10 mid-day. The view from the top was amazing and breathtaking! One can see for miles and miles. And no, there is not a government facility for communicating with extraterrestrials on top :)

Thank you Quest for helping Patrick and I make this trip a reality and, more importantly, that we summited and descended safely!

Matthew McFadden
Patrick Perdue