Hike To Valley Massif Dennis & Clare Pause to Pose

On Monday morning, it was overcast as we were heading up to Wyoming. It didn’t look good weatherwise. I had packed all my raingear, just in case, but we were all hoping it didn’t come to that. Ann kept driving northward, with trepidation. In order to stay on the cheerful side, I checked out the guidebook and peppered Dylan with questions about climbing in the area.

We saw signs for “Little America” which were humorous to all as that is the last adjective most Americans would want in front of the word America. We also passed a “new” RV park in Buford, WY, at which point, I joked to Ann that they should move there. “Just think of how close you guys would be to Vedauwoo!”. If you saw Buford, you would understand why this is a funny comment.

After an hour or so, we made it to the pullout. It is amazing because that geographic area of Wy is plains. It is the last thing you expect to see is large piles of rock, aspen groves, beaver dams, and lush meadows. But, there you are, right in the middle of it, and just minutes from the fwy!

Scenery Shot at Vedauwoo

We hiked a couple of miles (to escape the sound of the vehicles, and to secure a wall to ourselves). Reaching Valley Massif, we are surrounded by pristine jaw droppingly beautiful land. There are a plethora of crack systems, all equally tempting.

Chilly in the Shade Golly Gee Whilackers-What am I doing here?

Ann recommends Soft Touch 5.5, so I fire up it. It was foreign territory for sure. I felt like how Lewis & Clark must have felt at the beginning of their journeys, it seems like every move I made was fighting against what was natural. It was a lot of pushing and jamming and jerking. Dylan made the observation, “You don’t really climb your way up routes here, you grunt your way up them”.

And She's Off Too tired to fight anymore

By the time I reached the halfway point of the climb, I was really exausted. I didn’t feel connected with what was happening to me-and yet I was having a blast. Dylan took over the latter half of the climb, and after doing it again, I started to get the hang of grunting in Vedauwoo.

Adorable Ann Ann working the crack. AGRE (Ann Gear Removal Expert0 Sparkle Bum

Ann TR’s the climb, showing me the beta on climbing at Vedauwoo. As I watched her climb, certain things became clear to me. It was nice to watch her work the crack, after the struggle. I’m happy I gave it a shot, and a little sad I didn’t get the send. I’m sure if we spent a week there, I’d pick it up. It’s a little much to expect to get it right off the bat, I guess!

After this climb, we worked our way over to the other side of the formation, to explore Bill’s Steal 5.6. Now called Ann’s Steal (hee-hee). See my next post for details.

Ann Leads! Dylan Cleans Bill's Steal Dennis & Clare Pose

The hike back was pretty. As the sun was sinking low on the horizon, the temps cooling off nicely, Dylan shared with us his favorite Aspen grove. It’s amazing just how white the bark looks in contrast the dark shadows from their thick canopy. We made it back to the car.

On the way out... Yeah Buddy! Dylan in Technicolor Can you see the Moon?

Shortly after we piled in, on our way back to the interstate, the sun was showing off. Dennis & Dylan raced to find their camera’s in time to record the beautiful sunset. They snapped some pics and we continued back to Ft. Collins.

Get Up Stand Up We missed dinner for this picture!

The delay in taking the pictures caused us to miss the 8:30pm last call for dinner at the Rasta Pasta place. Darn! So we went back to Coopersmiths for dinner. It was so nice to be eating, at that point, I felt hungry enought to eat an elephant. Instead I settled for Chicken Pot Pie. (A little bland for my tastebuds-but good with Tabasco).

Beer & Dinner At Coopersmiths!

We were really sad to be leaving Ft. Collins, and more importantly, I didn’t want to end our time with Ann & Dylan. They were such great hosts, and I can’t wait to make it back to CO to climb again sometime.

In a final gesture of friendship, Dylan loaned me his “Shelf Road” book so Dennis & I could find our way there for climbing later in the week. But, I felt sad leaving them both, even though more adventure was to come our way.

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