Vedauwoo: The best of Wyoming trad climbing

Vedauwoo is one of the finest places to learn the fundamentals of traditional climbing anywhere in Wyoming. Although it has earned a reputation for its wide flares and sharp feldspar crystals, Vedauwoo features quality crack climbs of all shapes and sizes.  Whether you’re just learning how to hand jam or you really want to learn the chicken wing, Vedauwoo is the one place you can do it all. With hundreds of fun routes, short approaches, and only two hours’ drive from Denver, it’s also one of the more convenient places to climb in Wyoming.  Not to mention the bizarre beauty and longstanding cultural significance of what the Northern Arapaho called “bito-o-wu”, or “the land of the earthborn spirit.”  Take in the surreal scenery and learn why this place is such a special training ground for so many Wyoming climbers, past and present.

Rappelling at Valley Massif in Vedauwoo

Vedauwoo climbing at a glance:

Type of climbing:

Mostly single pitch trad climbing, with some multipitch

Difficulty of climbing:

Beginner to advanced

Style of climbing:

Flared cracks, offwidths, slabs

Best season to climb:

Summer and fall

Best time of day to climb:

Morning and evening

Accommodations:

Car camping and hotels in Laramie

Other activities in the area:

Mountain biking, hiking, trail running, fishing

Classic climbs in Vedauwoo:

Powder Puff (5.4)
  • Powder Puff (5.4, 95’) – One of the best 5.4’s anywhere with some heady moves for the grade!  You can start either in the chimney or the unprotected ramp to the left, then climb through the bulge on perfect hands to a large ledge.  You can mantle the black cobble to the left (5.5) or exit right on easier terrain.  Build an anchor on the large boulder directly above the climb and walk off to the right.
Pitch 3 of Moor’s Crossing (5.7)
  • Moor’s Crossing (5.7, 270’, 3 pitches) – A wonderfully varied climb with unforgettable moves, lots of exposure, heady runouts, and beautiful positioning overlooking greater Vedauwoo, Moor’s Crossing is undoubtedly one of the finest moderate multipitch climbs in the area.  The first pitch features easy but unprotected chimneying into an offwidth slot with a very tight squeeze exit to a belay on top of a chockstone.  The second pitch consists of well protected liebacking and fist jams past the bolted rappel anchors to a nice belay platform.  The last pitch is for experienced leaders only: unprotected slab climbing to a couple of decent pieces that unfortunately would not prevent you from decking onto the slab as you climb through the vertical headwall on large but grainy holds into the offwidth (bring a #5 Camalot to protect this upper section).  3 single rope rappels or 2 double rope rappels.
Mystic Psychosis (5.8)
  • Mystic Psychosis (5.8, 95’) – Stellar positioning, wild exposure, and cool movement make this one of the most memorable moderates in central Vedauwoo.  Climb any route to get to the top of the Coke Bottle, then locate the large nose-like boulder perched above Fall Wall.  Climb an easy crack to gain a horizontal squeeze chimney, then belly crawl until you can stand up and reach a large jug.  Punch it through the short overhang and onto a runout 5.7 slab to the anchors.  Either rappel the route or walk off to the left crossing the large chasm.
MRC Direct (5.9)
  • MRC Direct Linkup (5.9+, 4 pitches) – This variation to the classic MRC Direct adds two quality pitches to make for a more challenging, sustained, but altogether enjoyable four pitch climb.  Start by climbing the bolted Old Easy Arete (5.9+) up to a large ledge, then move the belay to the base of MRC.  Climb the two pitches of MRC Direct then finish up the wide hands and fists of Straight Edge (5.9+).  Descend the backside of Old Easy trending left down some exposed slabs and short sections of downclimbing.
Hone your traditional climbing and anchor building skills in our Intro to Traditional Climbing courses offered across the state of Wyoming. Photo of one of our lead guides climbing Spectreman, one of the ghostly good climbs of Vedauwoo
Spectreman (5.11c)
  • Spectreman (5.11c, 70’) – This all-time Vedauwoo classic climbs a beautiful hanging dihedral that features a wide range of crack sizes from fists to hands to fingers.  The burly entry moves lead to perfect hand jams and one great rest before the thin hands crux.  The technical difficulty then backs off just as the climbing starts to really wear on your arms – hold on and keep breathing as you plug your way up to the chains!

Courses available in Vedauwoo

Resources for planning your climbing trip to Vedauwoo:

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Interested in climbing in Vedauwoo? Send us an email with your name, email address, and brief description of what you’re looking for.

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