First Weekend in Vedauwoo! Part 1

May 17, 2008 at 6:18 pm

We’ve been watching storm after storm blow through Wyoming, waiting for months for the snow to melt and the skies to clear up long enough to get back on that old Ved granite. And, finally, this weekend we made it. There are some nice pictures in the gallery.

Doug enjoys Vedauwoo!

Doug and Liz agreed to join us for camping on Friday night and climbing on Saturday. After hearing about the astounding and enigmatic Beehive Buttress from Dylan and Ann last fall, Mark and I asked Doug and Liz to show how to find the place. The rock is hidden northwest of just about every other rock in Vedauwoo, and required a half hour of driving into a remote wooded area of the mountains.

Vedauwoo has a long history. The guidebook actually lists very few FA’s, and the reason given is that it is assumed that local Native Americans most likely ascended many of the routes long before pioneers arrived. More recent climbing history has established a very strong traditional ethic. There are only a handful of bolted routes, all of which are protected carefully and sparsely. There are rumors that people who have added bolts to climbs have been severely punished.

Which is why I was so shocked when Dylan came back to Fort Collins last fall with tales of a massively bolted sport crag in Vedauwoo. This place isn’t in any guidebook, and not on any websites. And that is probably good for the health of the people who installed all of that hardware.

Other climbers on Beehive Buttress

We enjoyed a great day climbing under a hot sun. Unlike Dylan (who seemed to have some insider information), I cannot give names or grades for the climbs. I know nothing about the place!

We started with the two easy climbs to the far left, and I did a rusty, slow, lead of the one on the right. We moved further to the right and climbed four other more difficult routes. So, in all, I ticked off 6 long pitches that day, which was a long day for me. Mark and Doug climbed one more ultra long route, bringing their total up to 7 pitches for the day. We hiked out hungry, tired, sore and sunburned (some of us more than others…) at the end of the day.

Sunset in Wyoming