Saturday, August 23, 2008

Crag Exposure: Ten Sleep Canyon

WARNING: with blue and grey streaked walls so steep and pockets so small you may spontaneously blurt out phrases in French. People have been shot for much less in this part of Wyoming. For the goodies on TS hit the jump now!

Giddy Up! The Wild West comes alive in Ten Sleep, Wyoming. From local Outlaws to Saloons to wide open vistas, Ten Sleep is the O.K. Corral of the Climbing world. Far from the "Scene" of Rifle, Ten Sleep is a much more relaxed destination. With so much rock, some developed and some awaiting development, it will make you want to slap your mama and say your favorite expletive! Sorry ma, I really don't want to slap you.

This delightful Dolomite canyon has seen most of it's concentrated activity from the mid to late nineties to the present. TS is a great destination crag for those of you that need or want more elbow room than you local crag. With 20+ walls and more on the way, TS is quickly becoming a must do on the would be Western Climber's road trip itinerary. If you can't make the TS this season, plan on a little known climber's festival held there over the Fourth of July holiday next year. The festival has been growing in popularity the last few years and should be a darn tootin good time.

The Scene: Boys, don't expect to saddle up a cragging filly in cute little boulder booty shorts, you're more likely to see or rein in a dame that looks like she just hog-tied a goat and milked it. Exceptions do exist, like this chica in the photos, but I think she's taken. Girls, watch yourselves at the crag, hungry female-starved males are lurking in the shadows, seriouslyHowever, if you are going to Ten Sleep for Rock Climbing, then you are in luck! There are plenty O'Rocks to climb and it's fun too.

Ten Sleep's crags are around 50 miles west of Buffalo, Wyoming. This is where you need to stock up on the essentials. There is an Outdoor/Sporting store in Buffalo that sells things like Ropes, Petzl draws, and harnesses, but don't expect to get them cheap. Also, Buffalo is where you lose cell phone service for the next hundred miles west, so make your calls.

Before you go, you should probably buy the Ten Sleep guidebook, even though some of the info is incorrect, it's still very useful in navigating your way around. Aaron Huey is the author and you can click here to find out where to purchase. Camping is free and pretty darn abundant on the Old Highway. If you are looking for more luxurious accomadations, there is a campground a few miles up canyon from the crag. Okay okay, here's the shit you really want to know.

Must Do's:

1. Beer Bong 5.10, although I didn't get on this route, I assume it's the area's most heavily traveled climb.
2. Save the Best For Last 5.11 (Wall of Denial), climbs next to an ice cave that is seriously 20 to 30 degrees cooler than the outside temps. Great route!
3. Circus in the Wind 5.11 b/c (Circus Wall), classic 5.11!
4. Sleight of Hand 5.12a (Dry Wall), long and sustained, like most 12a's in TS.
5. Great White Behemoth 5.12b (Supereratic Wall), top three sport pitches I have ever been on! Worth the seven our drive to do this route and visit this wall!
6. Happiness in Slavery 5.12b (Slavery), Classic 12b climbing on pockets and edges. An area favorite.
7. Center El Shinto 5.12b (French Cattle Ranch), I can't say the word sick enough! French Cattle Ranch and Supereratic walls are two of the best looking sport walls out there!
8. Circus in My Pants 5.12d (Circus Wall), great route with the gaston mono-pocket! Sustained and awesome!
9. Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle, aka EKV, 5.12c (Slavery), Pumpy, sustained, great!
10. Burden of Immortality 5.13a (Slavery), check the rope length! Long and cruxy.
11. Hellion 5.13c (Supereratic), Gorgeous is all I have to say!
12. Sky Pilot 5.13+ (French Cattle Ranch). Pretty much, do any route you can at this area!
13. Several 14 projects that need to be cleaned up for those of you that like monos, micro crimps, and long moves on steep rock!

Ten Sleep is legit! If you happen to run into some of the local yokal climbers such as Kevin or Alli, they are super-cool and will be happy to give you any updated beta on the area as well as direct you to the best that Ten Sleep has to offer. So, pack your rigs and head to Wyoming where the Ice Cream is as creamy and dreamy as the Dolomite!!

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