Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Vedau-wow and Misadventures with White Flowers

In which the ill-equipped adventurers encounter blobby boulders and massive mountains and can climb neither!

Vedauwoo (pronounced “Vey-dah-voo”) is a climbing area in southeastern Wyoming known for big, nasty, off-width cracks and chimneys. We hoped that there would be a few climbs we could tackle with our little Gunks rack, but there were very few trad routes we could protect. Folks, bring doubles of #4-#6 and maybe a Big Bro or three. Also a box of tape and kneepads.

the nautilus
So, we spent a half-day sport climbing at Beehive Buttress. The cliff is big, blobby, curves of rock, with lots of slopers and smearing at the bottom, finishing with a shorter, overhung, juggy section. A good way to break up the drive to California, but definitely not the climbing that makes Vedauwoo famous. 

cleaning some climb, don't remember which
We took advantage of the dispersed primitive camping around Vedauwoo at an awesome site strewn with boulders and lit with the most beautiful, golden, desert sunset. 

Medicine Bow Peak in the Medicine Bow National Forest is a sweet dayhike and had been on our radar back in Ithaca. Driving up-up-up into the mountains, temperatures dropped 25 degrees, and we started noticing large piles of white flowers (euphimism for SNOW). 

The trailhead looked like this:

Needless to say, we were not equipped for this climb, either.

We camped off a forest service road at a lower elevation, but at 8,000-something feet, it was still chilly. I love the availability and accessibility of public lands in the Western states. Drive down a dirt road and you're likely to find an established campsite.

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