Vedauwoo

The name Vedauwoo (Vee-Dah-Voo) is debated. As far as anyone can tell, it is a highly anglicized version of an Arapaho word meaning “from the earth.” If you’re anything like me and a climber, when you hear the name Vedauwoo you think offwidth, rough and burly. You’re right! That is, if that is what you have come for. If so, you will not be disappointed as routes from 5.6-5.14d will be found here in the wide. If you want to hone those skills, this is likely the best granite climbing for that. Don’t let the abundance of wide cracks fool you! Vedauwoo holds a lot of climbing of all styles, including some bolted (not sport) face routes.

Whyoming Rock Climbing
If you’re looking for offwidth climbing, Vedauwoo just outside Laramie is the place to find it. Photo by Cody Bradford

Start at Middle Parallel Space to climb offwidths and granite

On day one, I thought I was here to climb offwidths. I went straight to a route called Middle Parallel Space on the Nautilus since it holds a grade of 5.9. It’s quite secure and well protected as the opening moves require a single BD#5 nut and secure chicken-winging to a chimney with a hand crack on one side. The first pitch has rappel anchors and has the option of great granite friction as a second pitch to the top. Like I said, wide isn’t the only thing here, however!

Step up your game at Captain Nemo and the nearby Blair areas

Friday the 13th’s first pitch contains amazing 5.10 fingers and hands up a 50-foot corner to a bolted anchor. Feeling strong? Continue through the 5.11 lieback roof of the second pitch! A great moderate first pitch of a harder climb is Captain Nemo. The first pitch is an awesome 80 feet of hand and fist crack to a bolted anchor. Again, this has a harder 5.10+ second pitch that pulls out of a traversing roof to sloping jugs on steep terrain.

A few of my favorite climbs in Vedauwoo

For more quiet climbing with a bit longer approach, I recommend one of the Blair areas. Nautilus is a one-minute walk and only five minutes depending on your destination climb. For a great hand-crack primer, Le Petit Arbre’s first pitch goes at 5.6 and is quite secure, as well as consistently well protected. Just left is the long, Intimidation at 5.9+ — a journey of extremely varied climbing up the center of the face. For a good sport climb, Missiles for Jesus is a stellar 5.10 climb at the Pretzel Wall.

There are many more sport routes dotted across the areas. Of course, if you came here for the offwidths, you will not be in short supply. The Mountain Project features a map for climbing the Vedauwoo in Wyoming for more detailed information on routes.

What to know when planning your climb at Vedauwoo

For camping, you can camp along FR 700, which passes right by the climbing areas. You can’t camp in the parking lots, however. There are a variety of marked campsites along the road. The road can get quite rough in spots the further you go, but generally, any car should be able to go quite far. Laramie is your nearest town and is an awesome university town. All of the supplies you can need. For your gear needs, Atmosphere Mountainworks is a good spot.

As it says in the popular guidebook Rock Climbing at Vedauwoo Wyoming, “The wind season runs from early January to late December” so prepare to move locations based on current wind conditions. Summer can be hot but shade is quite easy to find. Many Laramie and nearby Front Range locals practice winter “Woo” climbing, but even in the sun if paired with wind, it can be trying. Climbing at Vedauwoo is especially amazing in the Fall, when the weather stabilizes and the aspens begin to change!

About the author

Cody Bradford

Cody Bradford

AMGA Certified Rock Guide and 57hours Ambassador

Cody began his guiding career with the North Carolina Outward Bound School in 2012 where he received his AMGA Single Pitch Instructor certification in November 2012. Cody gained his AMGA Rock Guide Certification in April 2018. Follow him on Instagram @thecodybradford to see #TechTipTuesday where each week he demonstrates a skill or technique to make your climbing more efficient and fun.

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