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Sinks, Wild Iris, "International Climbers Fetival"

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Lander, Wyoming, is home to probably the best sport climbing in the state, with Sinks Canyon State Park just northeast of town, and the Wild Iris about 25 miles south. The Wind River Range, to the east, also provides excellent climbing with Gannett Peak and Cirque of the Towers.

This shot of the "Entering Sinks Canyon State Park" sign also shows the Killer Cave area up on the north main wall. Climbing here is hard, with most climbs going stiff 5.10 and up.

Entering Sinks Canyon State Park sign and the cave area, north main canyon wall

Sinks Canyon gets its name from an amazing natural phenomenon whereby the middle fork of the Popo Agie River actually dissapears underground for about a quarter mile, and then reappears at The Rise of the Sinks, seen in the picture below.

The Rise of the Sinks, Sinks Canyon, Lander, Wyoming

This State Parks sign, located at the rise, gives more detail about the canyon and its history.

State Parks sign with canyon detail and history

In July each year, Lander hosts the International climbers Festival: a week packed with festivities, events and climbing.

* Watch out for snakes *

Here, my son Steven, takes a leap in the Dino Competition during the 2002 International climbers Festival.

Steven Bender in the Dino competition during the 2002 ICF

The Wild Iris, as with Sinks Canyon, hosts some extremely strenuous sport routes. However, in this picture taken by my son, I was feeling a little out of place without a crack to jam, and chose a classic but moderate 5.9+ called "Annie Git Yer Drill", in the OK Corral area, for my introduction to sport climbing. Afterwards, feeling a little too sure of myself, I proceeded to jump on another 5.9+ called "You Picked a Fine Time To Lead Me Lucille" on the Five.Ten Wall, and got my butt kicked. Fortunately for me though, my partner, Suzy, was able to finish the route and retrieve the quickdraw I lowered down from.

Climbing Annie Git Yer Drill at the Wild Iris, south of Lander, Wyoming

This band was an unusual bit of entertainment as they played for the climbers at the Wild Iris Five.Ten Wall Saturday afternoon, also during the 2002 ICF.

International Climbers Festival band playing at the Wild Iris

Cirque of the Towers Area Topo Map

Wild Iris Mountain Sports - Lander, Wyoming

Area Guide Books

Climbing and Hiking the Wind River Mountains

Lander Rock: Rock Climbs of Central Wyoming

Sport Climbs of Sinks Canyon

The Legendary Wild Iris

Click for Lander, Wyoming Forecast