Area climber tops out on Devils Tower for 100 months in a row

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DEVILS TOWER, WYO. (KOTA TV) - What did you do this weekend? Watch football? Go out for a walk? A hike?

Well, don't let climber Leigh Lassle upset you. All he did was climb to the summit of Devils Tower. For the 100th consecutive month.

He's 48 years old but has the energy of a much younger man.

Eight years ago he started the streak and on Friday hit the major milestone.

He had his best friend with him to help him hit his mark.

"He's very inspirational person," said Shannon Twomey about his friend Lassle. "The stuff that he's gone through. Cancer survivor. Just always a good attitude."

Lassle started climbing relatively late in life. He was over 30.

"At that time I was probably 250 pounds just coming out of all my thyroid cancer stuff and just trying to get life back," he said.

Devils Tower climbing legend Frank Sanders took him to the top of the Tower for the first time.

"One pitch at a time," he said. "It was probably one of the scariest things I ever did in my life. It was exhilarating. It was hard. And I got to the top."

And then what happened?

"I definitely knew at that point there was more to life. It was a life changing experience," he said.

And a new passion came into his life. And then took it over.

He climbed the Tower in a rainstorm. It was tough and almost miserable. But then he had a crazy notion.

"Let's see if we could summit the Tower for a year," he recalled.

Well, he did that -- seven years ago. "And it kind of turned into forever."

Even though it's sometimes scary.

Like the storm that produced lightening that struck him and his partner three times indirectly.

"It was terrifying. I mean the first jolt was unexpected and it hurt like hell. And the second and third one, you knew it was coming. That was the worst part about it," he said.

But he kept coming back.

"You know every summit is different and every summit is rewarding," he said.

And back.

"Every time I get up there, I mean, even (Friday) it was cold and just crappy and windy and the sun was gone and it was still special," he said.

And back.

"One hundred consecutive months on that thing and It's just pretty freaking cool," said the Gillette-based climber who's also a Karate Black Belt.

So we asked him, Now that you've climbed the Tower a 100 months in a row, what are you going to do?

"Well I'm pretty sure I got a hundred more left in me," he said.