◊ 7.27.2017 ◊ Ten Sleep, Wyoming
Spurred by our successful trad summit of Devil’s Tower, we headed to Ten Sleep Canyon for some sport climbing fun. In the recent months, we had heard a lot about this canyon, and I must admit we were eager to discover it.
The road from Buffalo WY took us over the Powder River pass at 9,666ft. The views reminded us of Colorado and we were enchanted to discover the wide and rocky canyon down to Ten Sleep. The name of this tiny village (population less than 300) comes from its old role as an American Indian rest stop, which was said to be 10 days (or 10 sleeps) travel from Fort Laramie, Yellowstone, and the Indian Agency on the Stillwater River in Montana.
Ten Sleep’s present popularity resides in 2 main points: hundreds of bolted routes on mostly excellent rock, and tons of free camping within the canyon (from mid-June thru mid-November). We spent 2 nights there, camped along the old highway among dozens of other climbers.
Our first day was split between morning climbing at Leigh Creek, and afternoon at the Mondo Beyondo. Leigh Creek is one of the crags located on old highway’s side of the canyon, therefore conveniently located near the campsites. The approach is short, and includes a refreshing creek crossing. We warmed up on the Lower Psychoactive Wall, before attempting some harder routes on the Higher Psychoactive Wall. Scott onsighted Gloom (5.11b/c) and Suck The Nipple (5.11d).
We then checked out the nearby Godfather Boulder and its overhanging routes.
After a well deserved nap, we drove over to Mondo Beyondo, the “main” crag at Ten Sleep.
We hiked past Valhalla’s Vietnam wall and stopped once we got to Hot Lixx. We hopped on a few very fun routes and ran into fellow truck camper travelers we’d been following on Instagram for a few months- you never know who you’ll run into at the crag! Before heading back down, Scott onsighted the beautiful Number One Enemy (5.11a) – highly recommend it!
On our second day, we drove back up the canyon to the higher elevation crag of Lake Point.
At 8,500ft, the hike from the lake takes you on old logging roads before heading uphill to the wall lined with HPL’s (Horizontal Pockets Lines).
Johanna led a couple of 5.9 routes. Scott then tried to lead Mini Blonde Bomb (5.11-) before encountering a HUGE spider right in front of his face as he reached for a high handhold at the crux. “TAKE!!!!” Scott had to come down, get a branch, climb back up, and carefully remove the spider from the wall. When the thing fell, it was so big that Johanna saw it falling down and onto the ground!
After all these emotions, Scott decided to add even more intensity to the day and he onsighted Triple Double (5.12a) – his first 12 on lead!!!
Well, once again, our busy calendar caught up with us and it was time to hit the road again… to the Tetons!