How can we make climbing in Wyoming more sustainable?
Our mission at Wyoming Mountain Guides is to make climbing a more sustainable form of outdoor recreation in Wyoming and beyond. 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 a good example of stewardship, and help preserve these invaluable resources through direct cooperation with land managers.
We think of sustainability as having two major components: education and engagement.
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 – the more people learn about a place, the more likely they are to take care of it. We also believe climbers have a responsibility to help preserve and protect the wildlands of Wyoming. We teach our clients the principles of Leave No Trace, Beyond Leave No Trace and Clean Climbing.
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.
Sustainability in Action: Five Springs FallsFive Springs Falls is home to three rare plant species found only in the northern reaches of the Bighorn Mountains. The Cody 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 retool a management plan that protects these rare plant species by restricting rock climbing while maintaining access for ice climbers
Leave No Trace and beyond
As climbing instructors we work to mitigate our environmental impacts while guiding and teaching others how to reduce their climbing impacts. You can read more about our sustainability curriculum in the following pages:
- Leave No Trace in a Climbing Context
- Beyond Leave No Trace
- Resource Protection Strategies for Guides