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Vedauwoo, my home crag, is located just 30 miles west of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The rock is granite, and the style is trad. In my opinion, this is some of the sweetest climbing along the Front Range. Crack climbing, known as an exercise in pain control, is what Vedauwoo is all about.

Having learned to climb here, for the first couple years I assumed that taping up (Vedauwoo has very sharp crystals) was a common practice. Then, as I started exploring down the front range in Colorado, I found myself mentioning Vedauwoo to a number of climbers who would scrunch up their faces and say " but you need to tape your hands for that!" I blatantly replied "well, ya!"

For an extremely good online source of information on the climbing at Vedauwoo, check out this new site, Vedauwoo.org by Skip Harper, co-author of Heel and Toe - The Climbs of Greater Vedauwoo.

This formation, shot from the west and slightly north, is Valley Massif. It's a popular spot even with the 30 to 40 minute approach. Climbs range from one to three pitches, with most in the moderate 5.5 to 5.9 range.

NW side of Valley Massif, Vedauwoo, Wyoming

MRC Left, easily seen from the parking lot in Central Vedauwoo, is on the MRC complex. I rate this as one of the best moderate climbs at Vedauwoo. In this picture, I'm pulling over the crux roof. While this climb is only 5.7, it's best when combined with the first pitch of MRC Direct, which goes at 5.8+.

Taken by John Benson, pulling the crux move on MRC Left, at Vedauwoo, Wyoming

Plumb Line, located at the Citadel area, is another popular climb with a fairly long approach. This picture was taken in the fall of 2000, and I appear to be doing ok unless you've noticed how tight the rope is. This climb pushed the limit of my ability at the time, and I rested on every piece going up. I'm lucky I didn't have a zipper on this with my belayer standing back away from the wall.

Myself struggling up Plumb Line at the Citadel area at Vedauwoo, Wyoming

Each year in the fall, the Laramie locals put on the Fat Crack Festival. While this is small in comparison to other climbing events, it's still a lot of fun. Towards the end of the day, they always have some odd and unusual form of competition. In this next shot, John Langston is struggling to get up Handjacker in Roller skates.

John Langston on Handjacker in roller skates, Fat Crack Fest, fall of 2000

Doing better without the skates, John starts up Hesitation Blues (5.11b) in this picture taken March of 2001. This is a climb well worth the effort it took busting through the snowdrifts surrounding the Nautilus that day.

John Langston, pitch 1 of Hesitation Blues, the Nautilus, Vedauwoo

Away from the mainstream of Central Veedauwoo, the Nautilus, and even Valley Massif, is a nice quiet area called Blair. Blair is home to some of the best quality challenges Vedauwoo has to offer. This next shot has me struggling up one of my favorite off-widths, rated 5.10A, SS Maywood. Located on the North Corner in Upper Blair, and always in the shade, this is one of the best hot summer climbs around. SS Maywood has two cruxes: where it widens in the middle, and at the bulge near the top. You'll love every dreaded minute of it.

SS Maywood, North Corner formation, Upper Blair, Vedauwoo

Mother #1, on the northwest side of the Nautilus, is climbed, more often than not, for the thrill of the free rappel off the potato chip: the ICON image shown on the back cover of the Heel and Toe guide book.

The Potato Chip from the south, the Nautilus, Vedauwoo

Area Guide Books

Heel and Toe: The Climbs of Greater Vedauwoo, Wyoming

- Out-of-Print -

Rock Climbing at Vedauwoo, Wyoming: Climbs of the Eastern Medicine Bow National Forest

New! - Published June, 2004

Click for Vedauwoo, Wyoming Forecast