Saturday, April 21, 2007

Devil's Tower

If there's anything to make me want to rock climb, this is it.

Devil's Tower rises up out of the plains in northeastern Wyoming. I visited it on my way back from Elk Creek Gardens in Oregon to St. Paul at the end of summer in 2004.

Devil's Tower is an igneous intrusion; i.e. a very resistant piece of volcanic rock called porphyry that forms hexagonal columns as it cools. The surrounding rocks are sedimentary, making them far less resistant to erosion. Originally, they probably surrounded Devil's Tower but have gradually worn away, while the harder igneous rock remains solid.

New England doesn't have anything nearly as dramatic as Devil's Tower, but the Appalachians are made of granite, another durable igneous rock, which is why they are still around after so many ice ages.


GnightMoon said...

Riely -
I can't say I'm interested in climbing Devil's Tower (or any serious big wall sort of rock climb) but I can offer you the opportunity to ascend numerous high, gorgeous peaks this summer in the Colorado Rockies - you know, elegant tramping. Seriously, you should try to make it out here this summer and we'll bag some 14ers.

Pedro_in_Wyoming said...

I was there on Saturday with none other than Dan Kravetz... It was my third visit this year. And 'drew, for what it's worth, the igneous rock column you referred to is "Devils Tower," without the apostrophe. From one journalist to another, just wanted to make sure you're aware. Did you see the squirrel attack on my blog? It's hilarious. Peace.