41 years, Australia

Daily Mountain

41 years, Australia

6 days ago

91-year-old breaks Devils Tower climbing record

What’s the best way to celebrate the landmark of your 91st birthday? For Dr. Bill Weber of Florida, the obvious answer was to break a record and become the oldest known person ever to have climbed to the summit of Devils Tower.

“National Park Magazine had a little squib around February last year that an 87-year-old, the oldest man to climb the Tower, had succeeded,” Weber says.

“An 87-year-old? Damn, that’s something I could do, I thought.” 

Devils Tower National Monument, Devils Tower, Wyoming, USA  Danita Delimont / Getty Images

Actually, he says, his ascent up the Tad 5.7+ route took place the day after his birthday because his guides, Gabe and Rostyn, advised a day of rest after the training session. At 8 a.m. that morning, a climbing party that also included Bill’s two sons, Bill and John, left the Devils Tower Lodge and began a 16-hour journey to the top of America’s first national monument.

For Weber, the most rewarding part of the whole experience was having his sons by his side as he climbed. He’s grateful they were kind enough to come along.

“I said, boys, are you up for one more adventure with the old man? John said, ‘I don’t know, some of your adventures have about killed me,’” he says.

“Anyway, they agreed to come along with me. I said, it’s my party, I’ll pick up the tab, I would just like it for the three of us to have one last adventure.”

It’s not the first time the three have climbed together, though it’s been three decades since their last expedition in the Grand Tetons in 1988.

“The boys were both young men when we went to climbing school. The older son worked out there for three different summers and he climbed all of the Tetons except Moran – I told him he’s got to go back and get Moran,” Weber says.

Weber’s two sons followed in his footsteps, both becoming veterinarians. Weber himself practiced in Leesburg for 30 years, he says, before his hobby of wildlife photography turned into an obsession and a new career that included 100 magazine covers.

It was through this hobby that the family got to know Devils Tower.

“We camped out west every summer when the boys were little and growing up,” he says.

Dr. Bill Weber takes a break during his record-setting climb of Devils Tower

“I liked Devils Tower because I could take pictures of prairie dogs, so we always went by and we always said we ought to climb that one day.”

When it came to it, getting to the top of the Tower was a little tougher than Weber expected.

“When Frank [Sanders] can do it as quickly as he did it and set his record, I thought, well that can’t be too tough if he can do it in 15 minutes. But it was tough and, the day before my birthday when we practiced with the ropes and the climbing technique, I realized crack timing is not my game,” he jokes.

“I doubted whether I was going to make it but I thought, if I croak while I’m doing this at least I’ll die doing something I wanted to do and I’ve had a good and long run.”

This article first appeared on https://trib.com. The original can be read here.

Top-5 Female Climbers or Queens of Modern Climbing (Part One)
8 Like Daily Mountain
Mike Horn to climb Nanga Parbat
8 Like Daily Mountain
Kiwi mountaineer Chris Jensen Burke conquers Mt Kanchenjunga - world's third highest peak
7 Like Daily Mountain
Honnold and Caldwell Break Nose Record (Again!), Blaze Up in 2:01:50!
7 Like Daily Mountain
Four siblings from Dolakha district atop Mt Everest
7 Like Daily Mountain
Israeli mountain climber thought dead, rescued alive
7 Like Daily Mountain
Woman climber Nima Jangmu Sherpa sets world record
7 Like Daily Mountain
On top of the world! Lionel Messi thanks climber as Argentina star's shirt reaches Mount Everest summit
7 Like Daily Mountain
Slovenian climbing legend is awarded lifetime Piolet d'Or
7 Like Daily Mountain
Dhaulagiri remains unclimbed this spring
7 Like Daily Mountain
Karl Unterkircher Award 2018 nominees
7 Like Daily Mountain
Climbing Season Closed: A Look Back at Record Year on Everest
7 Like Daily Mountain
Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell set a new speed record on the Nose
7 Like Daily Mountain
Polish climber evacuated from Mt Makalu
7 Like Daily Mountain
Nepal honours 9 guides for Everest successes on anniversary
6 Like Daily Mountain
Tenji Sherpa scales Mt Everest in memory of Ueli Steck
6 Like Daily Mountain
Polish mountaineers announce second winter attempt on K2 for 2019-20
6 Like Daily Mountain
Climber Charlotte Fox Died from an Accident
6 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing Books (Part Two)
6 Like Daily Mountain
Japanese K2 Expedition Arrives in Pakistan
6 Like Daily Mountain
More climbers scale Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse
6 Like Daily Mountain
Shepherd climbs Denali to complete 7 summits
6 Like Daily Mountain
Changabang North Face alpine style by French trio
6 Like Daily Mountain
Ngima Nuru Sherpa becomes youngest climber to ascend Mt Everest for 21st time
6 Like Daily Mountain
Emirati adventurer plans to be first Arab to scale K2
6 Like Daily Mountain
Mike Horn Turned Back on Nanga Parbat
6 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing and Mountain Movies (Part Two)
6 Like Daily Mountain
Sadpara joins French mountaineer for 'Beyond Mount Everest' expedition
6 Like Daily Mountain
Maurizio Cheli becomes second astronaut to climb Mt Everest
6 Like Daily Mountain
Pakistani female climber Uzma Yousaf set to scale Broad Peak
5 Like Daily Mountain
Boy, 8, becomes youngest to scale Old Man of Hoy
5 Like Daily Mountain
Hansjorg Auer Begins Solo of Lupghar Sar
5 Like Daily Mountain
Summer 2018: K2 and the Karakoram
5 Like Daily Mountain
Manxman, 68, claims UK climbing record
5 Like Daily Mountain
Denali in the #MountainAlphabet project
5 Like Daily Mountain
Kami Rita Sherpa made 22 successful ascents of Mt. Everest
5 Like Daily Mountain
Everest's Hillary Step Now a 'Slope': Climber
5 Like Daily Mountain
Colin O’Brady Wants to Scale the 50 Highest Mountains in the U.S. in Just a Month
5 Like Daily Mountain
Indian climber becomes world's youngest mountaineer to scale six peaks over 8,000 m
5 Like Daily Mountain
South Koreans Survive Avalanche on Latok One
4 Like Daily Mountain
Swedish-Pakistani Team Targets Mt. Spantik
4 Like Daily Mountain
Fingerless Kim Hong-bin to scale Gasherbrum-I
4 Like Daily Mountain
Woman with Cerebral Palsy Scales Tallest Mountain in Africa
4 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing and Mountain Movies (Part Three)
4 Like Daily Mountain
SC Vacates the Rule to Bar Double Amputee, Blind Persons From Climbing Mt Everest
4 Like Daily Mountain
Hansjörg Auer to scale Lupghar Sar West
4 Like Daily Mountain
Colin Haley dashes up Denali Cassin Ridge in record-breaking 8 hours 7 minutes
4 Like Daily Mountain
Cancer Survivor Is Planning to Scale the Most Dangerous Mountain In the World
4 Like Daily Mountain
New Route and Fifth Ascent of Cerro Paine Grande in Patagonia
4 Like Daily Mountain
Azar becomes youngest woman to climb Everest twice
4 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing and Mountain Movies (Part Four)
4 Like Daily Mountain
Limerick climber Ger McDonnell commemorated on mountain where he died
4 Like Daily Mountain
Cotopaxi in The #MountainAlphabet Project
3 Like Daily Mountain
Alex Honnold Free Solo Trailer
3 Like Daily Mountain
Old Man of Hoy climb by eight-year-old raises 30,000 € for Climbers Against Cancer
3 Like Daily Mountain
Video of Andrzej Bargiel K2 First Ski Descent
3 Like Daily Mountain
The first 10 climbers to summit Mt Everest
3 Like Daily Mountain
Russian mountaineer rescued on Latok I
3 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing and Mountain Movies
3 Like Daily Mountain
Lhakpa Sherpa scales Mt Everest nine times breaking the world record
3 Like Daily Mountain
Australian Steve Plain becomes fastest climber to scale the highest peaks in seven continents
3 Like Daily Mountain
Karakoram 2018 Season Summary
3 Like Daily Mountain
Luo Jing becomes first Chinese female mountaineer to conquer 14 eight-thousanders
2 Like Daily Mountain
Kami Rita Sherpa among 60 climbers scale Mt Manaslu on Day IV
2 Like Daily Mountain
First paraglider flight from Mount Everest video
2 Like Daily Mountain
Climbers from Germany and Russia to ski Dhaulagiri
2 Like Daily Mountain
Mt Manaslu records first summit of autumn season
2 Like Daily Mountain
Sherpa climbers summit Europe’s highest peak
2 Like Daily Mountain
Climb for Climate Team Aims to Scale 82 Summits in 100 Days
2 Like Daily Mountain
Piolet d’Or 2018 Winners Announced
2 Like Daily Mountain
Climbers taken to Everest with fake permit
2 Like Daily Mountain
Second Ascent of Denali Light Traveler
2 Like Daily Mountain
Mountaineer Kim Migon Conquers His14th Eight-thousander
2 Like Daily Mountain
Drone Saves Climber Presumed Dead in the Karakorum
2 Like Daily Mountain
Andrzej Bargiel becomes first in history to ski down from K2
2 Like Daily Mountain
Colin O'Brady Scales 50 Highest Peaks in the US in 21 Days
2 Like Daily Mountain
31 climbers summit K2
2 Like Daily Mountain
Hansjörg Auer succeeds in Lupghar Sar West solo ascent
2 Like Daily Mountain
#MountainAlphabet. Letter A - Mount Aconcagua
2 Like Daily Mountain
79-year-old Japanese woman will try to scale Mount Everest
2 Like Daily Mountain
Mount Baker in the #MountainAlphabet Project
2 Like Daily Mountain
Mt Lhotse records first summit of the season
2 Like Daily Mountain
Famed mountaineers celebrate 40th anniversary of historic Everest conquest in Nepal
2 Like Daily Mountain
A 79-year-old Carlos Soria Will Attempt Dhaulagiri Again This Spring
2 Like Daily Mountain
Two climbers are trying to recreate NASA’s twin study—on Mount Everest
2 Like Daily Mountain
Double amputee Chinese stands atop Mt Everest
2 Like Daily Mountain
Pakistani mountaineer to climb Gasherbrum-II
2 Like Daily Mountain
Astorga and Chase complete first female ascent of Denali's Slovak Direct
2 Like Daily Mountain
Andrzej Bargiel Aims for First Ski Descent of K2
2 Like Daily Mountain
Janhukot finally climbed, British team makes first successful ascent
2 Like Daily Mountain
Two Sherpa climbers aim to set world record on Mt Everest
2 Like Daily Mountain
American climbers perform a record ski descent on Mt Lhotse
1 Like Daily Mountain
Team of blind climbers summit Mt Kilimanjaro
1 Like Daily Mountain
Top-5 Climbing Books (Part One)
1 Like Daily Mountain
Climber Attacked With Crampon On Manaslu
1 Like Daily Mountain
Bold Attempt to Ski the Lhotse Couloir
1 Like Daily Mountain
Sir Richard Branson 'seconds from death' on charity Mont Blanc climb
1 Like Daily Mountain
Carlos Soria abandons his expedition on Mt Dhaulagiri
1 Like Daily Mountain
Over 200 climbers scale Mt Manaslu
1 Like Daily Mountain
France to impose daily cap of 214 climbers on Mont Blanc
1 Like Daily Mountain
Freeride in the Death Zone: Project Cancelled till the Next Year
1 Like Daily Mountain
A group of amputee-athletes successfully summited Cotopaxi
1 Like Daily Mountain
Foreign climbers to scale K2 in winter
1 Like Daily Mountain
Four Chinese climbers complete all 14 peaks above 8,000m this autumn
1 Like Daily Mountain
New Himalayan Peak Unclimbed
1 Like Daily Mountain
Route to Mt Ama Dablam Summit Opens
1 Like Daily Mountain
Dhaulagiri and Cho Oyu in one season
1 Like Daily Mountain
Alex Honnold scales exterior of N.J.'s tallest apartment tower
1 Like Daily Mountain
Foreign climbers stranded on Mt Manaslu
1 Like Daily Mountain
Belongings recovered, Pemba Sherpa remains untraced
1 Like Daily Mountain
Eight-time Everest Summiter Pemba Sherpa Goes Missing in the Karakoram
1 Like Daily Mountain
Meet The First All-Black US Group Set To Climb Mt Kilimanjaro
1 Like Daily Mountain
Fingerless South Korean scales Mt Annapurna
1 Like Daily Mountain
Summit route opens from Nepal side, 8 Sherpas scale Mt Everest
1 Like Daily Mountain
Search for top Bulgarian mountaineer missing in bid to reach Tibetan summit
1 Like Daily Mountain
7-Year-Old Becomes Youngest Girl to Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
1 Like Daily Mountain
Season’s first summit on Mt Makalu: Chinese female climber scales the peak without oxygen
1 Like Daily Mountain
North Ridge of Latok I Finally Climbed After 40 Years
1 Like Daily Mountain
Kim Hong-bin: without fingers onto Annapurna
1 Like Daily Mountain
200 foreigners to climb Mt Manaslu this autumn
1 Like Daily Mountain
Queen of Everest
1 Like Daily Mountain
The Cholita Climbers of Bolivia Scale Mountains in Skirts
1 Like Daily Mountain
Mummified body of Russian climber found after 31 years on Mount Elbrus
1 Like Daily Mountain
Everest Climbing Permit: Expedition handling agency faces action for forgery
1 Like Daily Mountain
Eiger’s Hardest Repeated by Zangerl and Larcher
1 Like Daily Mountain
Carlos Soria Returns to Dhaulagiri for One More Try
1 Like Daily Mountain
Freeride in Death Zone. Two Alpinist Will Ski From Annapurna
1 Like Daily Mountain
A 10-year-old mountaineer scaled Mt Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak
1 Like Daily Mountain
Kids Meet a Mountaineer
1 Like Daily Mountain
Italian Paraclimber Scales El Capitan Zodiac in Yosemite
1 Like Daily Mountain
Snowstorm Kills Five Korean and Four Nepali Climbers
0 Like Daily Mountain
See all
Rental Gear
Price: $2.00 / per day
1 review
Add to wishlist

Join the growing Alpine Community now.