Vedauwoo Summer

August 9, 2009 at 8:51 pm

It doesn’t seem to matter how often or how little we go back. It doesn’t matter if the weather’s crappy, we get lost, or we do next to no climbing. Vedauwoo is still my favorite place.

It does help when the weather is amazingly beautiful, we get tons of climbing, and we have good friends come along with us. Last weekend we took a trip up to Voo that fits the latter description better.

Liz, Jo and Doug

Mark and I camped Friday night at a nice spot in a stand of aspens near the lower Blair Woods. Saturday morning, Doug, LIz and Jo found us and we drove out to Beehive Buttress (aka Brown’s Landing) for a day of fun sport climbing.

This rock sits so far northwest of Vedauwoo, it’s difficult to consider it part of the same area. It is covered with well-protected moderates, south-east facing, and in a quiet grove of aspens. And there’s very rarely ANYBODY there. A short hike from the car, and you’ve found a small bit of Wyoming sport-climbing heaven.

On Saturday, I led two routes, one of which had a steep, bouldery crux that I actually took a small lead fall on! It was sad that I fell there, in general, but I was proud that I finished both leads without too much anxiety.

Kate rapping down from Beehive at the end of the day

Doug and Mark explored a two-pitch climb at the end of the rock, and found the second pitch to be disappointing and short. The last pitch of the day I climbed on TR. It ran up a cool, left-leaning water groove on the right side of the rock, and was really fantastic.

Camping in a grove of aspens

Saturday night we camped out in the fields, trees, and rocks of Wyoming. Our little campsite had beautiful views. Storm clouds built and died around us through the evening, and we enjoyed the warm glow of august sun as it set between them.

Billowing Storms

Evening Clouds

On Sunday, we made tasty breakfasts and packed up slowly. The Blocksma crew headed back to the Fort, and Mark and I headed down to Blair in search of nice cracks.

We decided to park outside of the Blair picnic area and hike into Blair 3. We have always come from the eastern trail head, so we weren’t entirely sure which way to go here. We ended up going left on an old trail that quickly died out into a vague game trail, and then we were wandering lost in Vedauwoo for a few minutes.

Mark checks out the chest-high patch of black fur, is this from a bear in Vedauwoo?

We walked past one of the big boulders in the forest, and found an unexpected sight. A patch of black fur, caught on the sharp edge of the granite boulder, 5 feet in the air. Was this from a black bear? Vedauwoo supposedly has bears, and this was near a remote picnic area. But we’ve never seen them or seen any evidence of them. At this point, we walked back to the parking spot and found the correct trail to Blair 3.

Black fur caught on the side of a big boulder - bear evidence?

We climbed three fun cracks: Sweet Variation (5.7), Go Left, Old Man, Go Left (5.7+), and Random Crystals (5.8). It was a beautiful, cool, summer day in the green forests of Wyoming, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

Looking out at Blair rocks on Sunday afternoon