11 January 2009

The most inspirational story of 2008

Better posted late than never.

I first remember reading about Devil's Tower in 7th grade. The imposing name gave me pause. Due the sheerness of it, I wondered how anyone ever climbed it. It's just a big, crazy rock jutting up out of the middle of nowhere, and the stuff of cool Native American legend! Now, a decade and-a-half later, the mysterious attraction continues for me with this great story!

Climbing Devils Tower a daily delight
By The Associated Press


"We're just working on bettering personal bests," said Sanders about people he guides and himself. "If I'm not pressing myself, then what am I doing asking others to push themselves?"

Climbing usually is done in tandem with a partner. Sanders often does his climbs solo - and "free" or without safety gear that climbers use. It's the most dangerous way to climb, and he knows it.

"The first thing in the morning, I pray and say I give it up, I gotta stay sober today," Sanders said. Climbing Devils Tower is an important part in Sanders' sobriety because it's a form of meditation. The solitude of hanging on the side of a column high above the ground - alone - is a time of deep clarity.

Sanders said he often asks himself why he climbs alone. But it is in those climbs those times that he is forced to overcome himself.

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