Fall Wall ................. Coke Bottle............. Walt's Wall............. Hassler's Hbox..... Master Blaster....... Chinatown............. Holy Saturday....... Foreign Terr.......... Jurassic Park......... Glen Dome............. Turtle Rock............. Rising Moon........... Hypertension......... Heartbreak Hot..... Friction Tower........ Crystal Freeway.... Old Easy................. MRC......................... Golden Triangle... Holdout................... Nautilus..................
A - MAZE -I NG........
CLIMBING AT VEDAUWOO
Rock climbers come to Vedauwoo from all parts of the world to sample some of the best wide crack climbing (called "offwidths") known. There were over 500 challenging and sometimes bloodthirsty traditional and sport climbs documented in the book entitled Heel and Toe, The Climbs of Greater Vedauwoo, by myself (Skip Harper) and Rob Kelman. Published in 1994, this guidebook was the first of its kind to employ computerized graphics at high resolution (Photoshop didn't exist!) and emphasized the illustration of real routes on real rock. Unfortunately, it is no longer available. Of course climbing at Vedauwoo has expanded considerably since Heel and Toe. Now there are over 900 climbs and new areas have evolved. Hopefully this website provides much broader coverage including most of this new development. If its not here now, it will be soon.
** NOTE: Three Guidebooks currently provide coverage of the Vedauwoo Area. These are detailed in the BOOKS section of this website.
Notes on climbing here in general . . .
A painful howl echoed through the woods "this thing is eating me alive"! I had to chuckle as I recalled my first experience climbing at Vedauwoo. The precambrian granite is laced with huge feldspar crystals with scalpel like edges that can impart much more than just friction to a climbers body parts. It has been stated that this attribute tends to "filter out the weak, the soft and the spineless, which leaves better company for you" (Todd Skinner). Also be forewarned, the climbs are notoriously stiff. Solid 5.11 leaders have been sandbagged by many routes of lesser grade. Whatever the case, its a good idea to 'tape up' when climbing here and, for those who can get past these things, absolutely world class climbing experiences can be found.
Perhaps offwidths (cracks wider than your fist, yet narrower than your body width), more than any other type of climb have formed the basis of Vedauwoo's widespread reputation. Many an experienced crack climber has looked up into the gaping maw of one of these contortions (or 'perfections', depending upon your perspective) of nature and walked away. But if wide cracks are your fare, this is the place! Here's Luebben 'handstacking' up Bell Crack (11b). Other examples are Horn's Mother (11a) on the Coke Bottle (a long, two pitch body-rending grind) and Trip Master Monkey (12b) in the Master Blaster Area. On a much more moderate note is Hideaway Chimney, a choice 5.5 inside double dihedral found on the Holy Saturday Formation. So anyone can enjoy offwidthing (is this possible??) if you know where to look.
*PLEASE READ THE "SITE WAIVER"
Hand and finger cracks abound in the area, many of which are considered superior lines. Friday the 13th on the Nautilus is one such climb, an exquisite, 3 pitch long line of the purest hand jamming found anywhere. The first pitch is about 60 feet of superb 9+ hands, the second pitch (roof) goes about 10b and the third pitch (roof), at 11d or so, requires a true cowboy attitude or you'll get bucked right off!! That's where Steve Bechtel is in the bottom photo on the home page, the third pitch! Or try the super thin fingers of Blade Runner (11b) seen in the shot to the right. On a lighter note, try Strawberry Jam on the Crystal Freeway for the best handcrack at 5.8 in all of Vedauwoo.
A variety of face climbs have been created by the artistic skill of local climbers who have visualized lines into otherwise unattainable vertical terrain. "Fall Wall" (10a) on the Fall Wall formation is a moderate bolted face climb whereas Space Oddity (12a) is found on the Coke Bottle and offers a superb challenge of delicate, dance-like moves up a 120' crystalline face. North Shore (13a/b) on Holdout will challenge the best of sports or try the more recreational 2nd Iteration (10c) in Jurassic Park. The shot is of Jim Ghiselli on Braggin' About Jesus (10a) in Blair.
Mixed climbs sharing more than one climbing style (ie offwidth plus considerable hand and/or finger jamming; or hands plus bolted face, etc.) are also found throughout the area and offer a special challenge to those proficient at only one or two climbing forms. The one at left is Master of Sport (12b), starting with strenuous fingers and ending with handjamming. Stinkzig (5.7) on the Nautilus is another climb in the more moderate grades, and Boardwalk (11b) on the Coke Bottle is one of the harder ones. Also see Turnaround (10b/c) on Blair 2 in the New Climbs Section.
GO TO . . . .
*a list of RECOMMENDED CLIMBS
* some NEW ROUTES and AREAS !!
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