Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Category Archives: The Wild West

Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, Nevada

Ten Sleep Canyon Part 4 – Superfly 12c/d

Ten Sleep Canyon Part 4 – Superfly 12c/d

So after a patriotic day at the rodeo on the 4th, the next day was back to the canyon for business as usual.  As I said in Ten Sleep Recap Part 2, the 3rd day on in our 3 day chunk was spent scoping out the moves on Superfly 12c/d at the Slavery Wall, so let’s rewind back to there for a minute.  The main difference we noted between Slavery Wall and everywhere else we had climbed was that it was WAY hotter in the morning, due to the lack of tree cover at the base of the cliff.  Thankfully…Read the rest of this entry →

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Ten Sleep Canyon Part 3 – Rest Days and Rodeos

Ten Sleep Canyon Part 3 – Rest Days and Rodeos

Despite being a town with a population of 260, the town of Ten Sleep, Wyoming is actually a pretty good base camp for fun family rest day activities!  And for once, the weather cooperated really well with our plans!  Saturday dawned cold and dreary in town, which meant the canyon was no doubt frigid.  So what would have been a pretty yucky climbing day was actually perfect for exploring, geeking out over nature stuff, and picking up groceries, all while resting our tendons.   For some of us, it was hard to sleep well at the campground. Though surprising, it’s not…Read the rest of this entry →

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Ten Sleep Canyon Part 2 – Superratic

Ten Sleep Canyon Part 2 – Superratic

Our typical “vacation climbing” (ie, more than a weekend) strategy involves a smattering of rest days in addition to climbing days, so that we can climb as close to our best as possible whenever we are on the wall.  We generally try to avoid crowds by planning rest days for a Saturday, when the crag would be most crowded from local day trippers.  For this trip we also wanted to make sure we were in town for the 4th of July celebrations, so we ended up climbing in 3 “chunks” – 2 days on, 1 day off, 3 days on…Read the rest of this entry →

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Ten Sleep Canyon, Part 1 – French Cattle Ranch and Valhalla

Ten Sleep Canyon, Part 1 – French Cattle Ranch and Valhalla

Not sure about your summer, but ours has been nuts – especially the month of July. Last Friday I had vocal cord surgery (don’t worry I’m fine), and the week before that we were at the beach with extended family. So it’s hard to believe that it was just a little over 3 weeks ago that we were living the climber’s dream out in Ten Sleep, Wyoming! Since Ten Sleep is one of my very favorite places in the world, I could go on all day about it, but I’ll spare you the day’s work, and try to limit myself…Read the rest of this entry →

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Wyoming Adventure Finale (aka the part that happened in Utah)

Wyoming Adventure Finale (aka the part that happened in Utah)

After one last wonderful climbing day in Ten Sleep (summed up here), we dragged our tired but satisfied bones back down to the car, and drove west back to Lander.  The next morning we made tracks to Bear Lake, UT, which is probably one of the most beautiful bodies of water I’ve ever seen.  CragDaddy and I had visited there once back in the pre-kiddo days of 2009.  The lake is situated at the end of Logan Canyon, which offers some great roadside craggin’.  Only an hour and a half from the airport, it was the perfect final stop on…Read the rest of this entry →

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Wyoming Adventure Part THREE – Last Days in Ten Sleep

Wyoming Adventure Part THREE – Last Days in Ten Sleep

On our last trip to Ten Sleep (in 2012), we only had 3 consecutive days in on which to climb (and we were so beat on Day 3 that we only made it til lunchtime.)  So this time around, we allowed more time.  After two incredible days at Sector Shinto and Superratic (summed up here in case ya missed it), a rest day was most definitely in order. We started with a drive high into the Big Horn mountains to West Ten Sleep Lake, where we enjoyed gorgeous views as well as a short morning hike down to the Ten Sleep…Read the rest of this entry →

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Wyoming Adventure Part Deux: First Days at Ten Sleep

Wyoming Adventure Part Deux: First Days at Ten Sleep

If you’re new around here, I’m recapping our family’s recent exploits in Wyoming, a few days at a time.  If you missed Part 1 (the Lander edition), click here to catch up!  For the deets on our first few days in Ten Sleep, read on! After an easy Saturday drive from Lander to Ten Sleep, we awoke on Sunday morning psyched and ready to crank out the long hike to the Sector Shinto wall in the French Cattle Ranch area.  After a quick warm-up on an uncomfortably sharp 10a (Great Green Gobs…), we turned our sights to the main objective for…Read the rest of this entry →

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Wyoming Adventure Part 1: Around Lander

Wyoming Adventure Part 1: Around Lander

If you’ve been regularly following this blog, you may have noticed that it’s been pretty quiet of late.  That’s because our family spent 10 days frolicking around in the wilds of Wyoming.  And then recovering from said frolicking.  And now finally getting around to writing about said frolicking.  Since summing up the whole trip in one blog post would probably make my head explode, I’ve decided to break it down by area, starting with our first stop in Lander. Day 1:  Wild Iris and Popo Agie Falls  With so much climbing looming before us, we’d intended this day to be somewhat of a…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Rendezvous in Red Rock Canyon Sans Toddler

A Rendezvous in Red Rock Canyon Sans Toddler

What do you get when you combine the lights of Vegas with the sandstone of Red Rocks?  A perfect weekend with just me and my hubby!  I flew in to meet Steve late Thursday night (he’d been at a conference all week for work…so he says anyway 😉 ).  One of our main objectives for this trip was to take advantage of being sans toddler and do some multi-pitch trad routes.  (Non-climber note: Routes that are longer than one rope length are divided into smaller chunks, usually around 100-150 feet apart, called pitches.  Sometimes each pitch will vary in difficulty,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Hey Baby Let’s Go To Vegas…Without the Baby!!!

Hey Baby Let’s Go To Vegas…Without the Baby!!!

We’ve got a big milestone coming up in our household.  Any guesses?  Nope…not potty training (unfortunately).  You probably won’t guess, so I’ll just tell you – my first overnighter away from Cragbaby!  For the past 2 years and almost 8 months I’ve woken up every morning in the same house as C (and for a good bit of that time, in the same bed!)  And except for the occasional date night for New Year’s Eve and extended family vacations where C’s grandparents give us a night off from the bedtime routine, I’ve been there to give a good night kiss…Read the rest of this entry →

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Nothing Like the Needles…and Our Moves Like Jagger.

Nothing Like the Needles…and Our Moves Like Jagger.

We  couldn’t have scripted a better ending for our trip than the spindly little spires surrounding Custer State Park, also known as the Needles.  The tiny, airy summits provided more than enough reward and motivation for 4 (and a half…) climbers to get off the ground one more day.  And the long runouts over moderate terrain was ideal at the end of the week when lead heads were secure but our bodies were tired.  The word that best sums up the climbing at the Needles is FUN!  For me, it was an experience with a distinctive child-like quality to it.…Read the rest of this entry →

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An Affair With Ten Sleep Canyon

An Affair With Ten Sleep Canyon

Dear Ten Sleep Canyon,Thanks for the amazing time.  Were it not for geography I would definitely make cheating on the New River Gorge a regular occurrence with you.  But the long-distance thing is gonna be hard, so we’re gonna have to settle for a rendezvous every year or two.   Love you long time,Cragmama     Over the top?  Not really.  This place was that good – a summer sport climbing paradise I tell ya.  First of all, the canyon was ridiculously impressive, making Spearfish look like nothing more than a small trench in the foothills.  The approaches were long but rewarded…Read the rest of this entry →

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A Devilish Rest Day: Devil’s Bathtub and Devil’s Tower

A Devilish Rest Day:  Devil’s Bathtub and Devil’s Tower

After 2 days of  crankin’ in Spearfish Canyon, our crew was ready for something a little more low-key.  The only must-do on our agenda was to make our way 3 hours west to Ten Sleep, Wyoming, but nobody said a rest day had to be boring…We had found out from some locals about a surreal swimming hole along Sunshine Creek in Spearfish Canyon, which seemed like a great way to pass by the morning.  It was about a 2 mile hike round trip, along a well-worn trail that was mostly flat and often meandered back and forth across the creek.…Read the rest of this entry →

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Wild West Whirlwind Round 1 – SPEARFISH CANYON

Wild West Whirlwind Round 1 – SPEARFISH CANYON

As most of you already know, our family just got back from a whirlwind climbing trip to South Dakota and Wyoming.  To say that the trip was a success would be an understatement – we had a fabulous time, and as I look outside at my droopy, hot backyard as I type this, my only regret is that we’d had more time to spend out there!  This trip was a far cry from our usual weekend excursions, and in a lot of ways, it was somewhat of a “luxury trip” (for us anyway…though it probably doesn’t fit most people’s definition…Read the rest of this entry →

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What happens in Vegas…shows up on Facebook.

What happens in Vegas…shows up on Facebook.

I’m now in what most consider the “feel good” stage of my pregnancy. At almost 18 weeks, I am no longer exhausted like I was in my first trimester, but I’m not huge and cumbersome yet (just big enough to feel like a small whale at times…) So this seemed like the perfect opportunity to take a vacation! Steve’s company sent him to Vegas all last week for a Microsoft SharePoint conference at the Mandalay Bay. The conference ended Thursday afternoon, so I used some frequent flyers to meet him out there Thursday night. We spent the first night on…Read the rest of this entry →

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Maple Canyon and Closing Thoughts

Maple Canyon and Closing Thoughts

The climbing at Maple Canyon is probably the most unique climbing area I’ve ever been to.  The rock is a conglomerate embedded with pebbles and rocks of various sizes.  The routes are difficult to read from the ground, and require a lot of endurance to onsight, since you never know what kind of hold a cobble is going to be until you grab it, so you end up spending a lot of energy trying to find the right cobbles to use.  However, b/c of all the  cobbles, we discovered that Maple is also a place that rewards good footwork.  No matter…Read the rest of this entry →

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Big Cottonwood Canyon

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Day 1 ~ Outside Corner, w/North Face variation, 5.7 Pitch 1 – Steve led the first pitch, a fun wandering crack system that wandered up and out to an arete, and up to a ledge.  We saw Norbert and Manuela driving up as we were just getting started.  They spent the day at the Salt Lake Slips, where our line was in clear view all day.  They were thoughtful enough to check on us throughout the day, and document our progress via photos 🙂 Pitch 2 – Short, but sweet.  I scrambled up a series of broken crack systems til…Read the rest of this entry →

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Logan Canyon

Logan Canyon

We left the Idaho Falls airport on Saturday around lunchtime, and drove 2 hours thru southern Idaho to the city of Logan, just over the border in Utah.  Our original plan was to drive east to the High Uinta Wilderness outside of Kamas, but apparently there was a lot of snow this year, and the melt off wasn’t quite as far along as it usually is this time of year, so most of the routes were running with water, with 10 foot snow drifts at the base.  So, one  could say that our Logan Canyon plans were sloppy seconds, but…Read the rest of this entry →

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