Who are Wyoming Mountain Guides?
We are a locally owned and operated climbing guide service with a talented team of guides and instructors working across the state of Wyoming.
Our mission is to make climbing in Wyoming more sustainable. Our aim is not simply to capitalize on the growing popularity of climbing in places like Ten Sleep Canyon and Vedauwoo, but to provide much needed instruction for a growing number of new climbers visiting these areas. Our guides keep people safe, set an example of stewardship, and help preserve these invaluable resources through direct cooperation with land managers.
Sustainability in action:
Five Springs is home to three rare plant species found only in the northern reaches of the Bighorn Mountains. The BLM’s Resource Management Plan recommended no climbing at the falls in order to protect these rare plants, but this de facto climbing ban was not well known and ice climbers continued to climb at Five Springs. As part of the BLM’s Special Recreation permitting process, Wyoming Mountain Guides worked with BLM resource specialists to support a management plan that protects these rare plant species by restricting rock climbing while maintaining access for ice climbers.
We also mean sustainability in the sense of making climbing more beneficial to the local community. We work to improve relations between traveling climbers and the local community by increasing the economic payout of destination tourism (for every dollar spent on a guiding service, four dollars are spent other services), making climbing in Wyoming more family friendly, and helping more locals get exposed to climbing.
What sets us apart?
1) Our location
Our biggest selling point is the place itself. There aren’t many other areas in the world that have desert voodoos, dozens of limestone canyons, and pristine alpine wilderness all within a few miles of each other. Our aim is to promote these wildlands of Wyoming by helping people explore our state’s world class rock, ice, and alpine climbing.
2) Our service
We guide a wide variety of custom climbing trips on rock, ice, and alpine objectives, in addition to our youth and community programs. We teach lessons on safety systems, specialized climbing techniques, and climbing movement. We also offer hands-on, place-based lessons on each of these climbing areas’ unique geology, ecology, archaeology, and history.
3) Our stewardship
What sets us apart from other guide services is our emphasis on stewardship. We think of stewardship as having two major components: education and engagement:
- Education – For us, climbing is not just an adventure; it’s a great way to explore the natural environment and history of the places we climb. We place a lot of emphasis on place-based education in our guiding curriculum and we also believe climbers have a responsibility to help preserve and protect these wildlands of Wyoming. We teach our clients the principles and practices of “Beyond Leave No Trace” and “Beyond Clean Climbing.”
- Engagement – In order to be good stewards of the land, we have to develop good relationships with land managers. We think of the permitting process as less of a regulatory burden and more of a working partnership, where businesses like ours work directly with regulators to help achieve a productive balance between keeping public lands in public hands while also opening up new opportunities for small businesses to help bolster the local economy.
Our guides are professional climbing instructors, wilderness first responders, and experienced all-mountain climbers. We teach people of all ability levels to climb smoothly, safely, and sustainably. We also love teaching our clients about our home state’s geology, ecology, and history.
“I love being able to safely (physically and emotionally) challenge participants both physically and mentally, and then see them succeed! To see someone climb a route they thought was too difficult for them or to see the metaphorical light bulb go off are both equally rewarding for me. When people receive exceptional instruction in outdoor activities we are giving them the tools and knowledge to safely go outside on their own and responsibly experience their public lands, ideally making them advocates for the rest of their lives, and if they were already advocates then they will be stronger advocates. So not only are we creating safe recreationists, we are creating proponents of all things that allow us to keep recreating in these amazing places.”
Assistant Vedauwoo Guide
“Climbing for me has always been an educational endeavor: whether it’s teaching people how to climb wide cracks in Vedauwoo or how to efficiently move on long routes in the Tetons, my passion is helping people develop themselves as climbers. Guiding is also a great opportunity for me to learn from my clients and share about climbing ethics, land stewardship, and community engagement.”
Bighorn Basin Guide & Youth Program Coordinator
“I learned to climb in the Bighorns so I can’t think of any better place to help others learn. Guiding for me is all about getting to relive those first feelings of wonder through other people’s experiences, whether it’s their first knot or first free ascent. My hope is to make climbing more accessible for folks from all walks of life and inspire the next generation of skilled and conscientious climbers.”