Land of the Earth-born Spirit
Home of the ‘must do’ EDWARD’S CRACK.
HERE’S THE MAIN FACE OF WALT’S WALL (WW)
Walt’s Wall Area, and particularly its namesake climb named “Walt’s Wall”, has been climbed more than any other area in Vedauwoo. It was named for Walt Sticker, who climbed the face in 1954, but surely it was climbed before that. It was the original ‘proving ground’ for the University of Wyoming Outing Club’s beginning climbing classes and instructional classes are held here even today nearly 40 years later. The wall is more user friendly than many formations at Vedauwoo and an attractive mixture of crack, slab and sport climbs can be found here. This broad, granitic expanse of climbing delight faces south and enjoys sun most of the day, but it can become quickly and dangerously exposed during afternoon thundershowers, so be forewarned.
DESCENTS: Descent can be accomplished in one of several ways. The most popular by far is straight down Walt’s Wall Route via rappel stations that have been established for decades. You will need to make 3 raps using a single 50, and 2 raps with doubles. This way down can get rather congested on busy days so you might want to consider an alternative. The Fourth of July rap station can be used. One can hike over the Coke Bottle eastward to the Fall Wall rap stations. And there is always the trail down the backside (NE) of the formation into the Box Canyon.
WALT’S WALL TOPO
red dots = fixed anchors/belays; blue dots = belays on gear. * REWORKING THIS!!
1.) The Face That Launched a Thousand Slips 8+ Take the middle of five water troughs using small pro to a bolt. Continue to a large ledge and belay on gear. (Piana and Jackson, ’82).
2.) Tourist Trap 4 If you start it, you’ll get ‘trapped’ into finishing it. If you do, you need to climb a harder route, eg Edward’s Crack, to get to the top.
3.) Foolishness 4
4.) Edward’s Crack – Left Exit 4 5.) Edward’s Crack 7- The second most climbed route at Vedauwoo clear back in the ’70’s, you can see this classic line clear out on I-80 – it is that big and imposing looking. Named for Jerry Edwards who did the first recorded ascent (in 1958), it splits Walt’s Wall from top to bottom. Without doubt, its the ‘must do’ route on this formation and goes at only 5.7- in either 2 or 3 pitches. The start will help you develop your OFFWIDTH technique and once the main crack is attained, its jamming all the way to the short OFFWIDTH roof (crux) at the top (see photo to right). Take a good selection of cams starting at about a 0.5 Camalot through a # 3, probably doubles in the intermediate sizes (depending upon your ability). One #3.5 or 4 Camalot will help with the top roof until you learn its ‘secret’. A few medium to large wires are helpful. Belays on gear. Photo 2 is of a ‘casual group’ (Camille, John and Jennifer), tied in and obviously enjoying themselves at the first belay ledge. (PHOTO 2 by Stacy Bender).
6.) Edward’s Crack – Right Exit 5
7.) Jacquot’s Face 7
8.) Siska Face 5
9.) Friction Slide 9 Was climbed as a friction climb in decades gone by in klettershoes. A few years ago, someone put in two bolts, so clip them if you think its necessary. Continue with Walt’s Wall or choose whatever you wish.
10.) Mantle Route 9+R. Yes, its runout. Start on Walt’s Wall Route and traverse left on a shallow downsloping ledge about 12′ of the ground. Mantle up using the corbel, mantle up and then mantle up. The first bolt is about 40 feet up. Suck it up if you’re going to lead it – we’re talking real pucker factor! Solid evidence exists that this route, as well as others here were first treated as ‘toprope problems’ over 3 decades ago. Rap anchors.
11.) Walt’s Wall Route 5 An excellent and varied modest climb involving easy liebacks, mantles, jamming, friction and moves on crystals. P1: (*See photo 2 below) Start on the right side, lower corner of the wall, go up an easy jamcrack to its top, step up on or mantle large corbels and lieback the edge of a huge flake to a large, flat ledge – belay on anchor chains. P2: Traverse left (west) past Friction Slide, turn the corner (use good ‘engineering’ on your rope to lessen rope drag around the corner) and continue up a long ridge past a bolt to a steep jam crack. Jam the crack to its top and traverse right to a bolted belay. P3: Use smearing and good edges straight up from here, finding sparse protection, to the top bolted belay.
*NOTE: Several variations exist to Walt’s Wall; described later.
A CLOSER LOOK
Here’s a typical fired up group at the base of Walt’s Wall shown in photo on the right. Someone’s rapping from the first WW anchors at the big, flat ledge – down the Mantle Route (10), and someone can barely be seen standing at the second WW anchors above. But the shot is more than that – lots of detail can be seen. So PHOTO 2 is shown at 50% density with several routes overlayed on top. Check it out. The numbers correspond with the numbers in the text on this page – #10 is Mantle Route, #11 is the first pitch of Walt’s Wall Route, etc. Note the proximity of the Coke Bottle Left Routes with Walt’s Wall.
12.) Satterfield’s Crack 8 “Named for Chuck Satterfield, who for many years was the first and only person to have climbed this route. However, since he did this using an upper belay it does not count as a first ascent” (Halfpenny, ’71: FA Fall, 1970, Skip Hamilton and Jerry Sublett). P1: (*See photo 2 above) Climb the fat crack in the huge (left facing) dihedral corner where Coke Bottle Left meets Walt’s Wall. Belay (on gear) on top of the big boulder (giant chockstone) right of the second bolted belay of Walt’s Wall route. P2: Continue towards the top and follow the large chimney. Belay again on gear. Take big gear – really!
13.) 5.7 Cracks 7 Originally known as the “Sublett Cut Off”, this is a great climb for a bold 5.7 leader, although somewhat run out. (*See photo 2 above)
14.) Jake’s Variation 5
15.) Horn’s Mother 11a Described on Coke Bottle left. (*See photo 2 above for location)
16.) Waterstreak #2 10a A Layne Kopischa special and always a favorite at the grade. Takes off up and right from 1st Belay of Walt’s Wall. Follow the bolt line. The original line moves left after the third bolt and joins Walt’s Wall Route about 20′ prior to the belay. The Kopischka Exit goes right at the third bolt to a fourth bolt and straight up to the bolted belay. The moves are definitely getting ‘thinner’ from use over the years!
17.) Journey to the Center of the World 10c New (’02) bolted route between Waterstreak #2 and Saterfield’s Crack.
18.) Fourth of July 12a Described on Coke Bottle Left. (*see photo 2 above for location)
19.) Silver Salute 13b Described on Coke Bottle (Center).
For More Information see other Reynold's posts.