For rock climber Frank Sanders, the captivating power of Devils Tower was instant and life-long. This iconic butte in Wyoming, which you may recognize from the classic 1977 sci-fi film, "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," was America’s first national monument.
In the last episode of "The Great Wide Open" Jared Leto joins Sasha DiGiulian to climb Devils Tower for the celebration of Independence Day on the summit. In addition all of the previously featured climbers appear for some final thoughts.
The first time REI member Frank Sanders saw Devils Tower was in the sudden brilliance of a lightning strike. It sent a wave of anxiety through him, but the next day he climbed The Tower.
Professional climber Jenn Flemming had always wanted to climb Devils Tower, the otherworldly volcanic formation that was featured in the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Devils Tower National Monument is located in eastern Wyoming, a day's drive from Jenn's home in Colorado, where she has achieved several first female ascents. Jenn grew up in Massachusetts and has climbed in top U.S. destinations and in China, Iran, South Africa, Bolivia and other countries. She loves climbing that is very technical, and credits her parents with instilling a passion for the outdoors by taking her on many family trips to America's National Parks.