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Areas in Upper Blair

East Corner 1 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
Heap, The 10 / 1 / 0 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 13
John's Tower 25 / 1 / 0 / 2 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 27
Little John's Meditation Boulder 0 / 0 / 2 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Little John's Tower 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
North Corner 5 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Pretzl Wall 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
South Corner 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Upper Blair Boulder Problems 2 / 1 / 0 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Wango's Workshop 4 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4

Description

The Upper Blair area of Vedauwoo offers many nice lines on a small band of tightly knit rock formations. A lot of the routes here face north, offering shade all, or part of the day. The lines are easy to find, and most are quite descript. The area is easy to navigate thanks to excellent topos, pictures, and descriptions in the "Heel and Toe: The Climbs of Greater Vedauwoo" guide. Another nice quality of this area is the lack of boulder fields at the base of the rocks, making canine access a breeze. Don't forget to check out Spectreman, the area classic.

Per Skip Harper: Upper Blair is literally bursting with high quality climbs - if you know where to find them. When I first started trying to make sense out of it (mid-eighties), I was blown away by the unruly disorganization of the place. One look at the 'Upper Blair topo' indicates just how crazy it is. I knew there were some great climbs 'up in here' and a few talented climbers were 'quietly at work', but there was no truly definitive material available. Using a combination of USGS Topos, an early aerial photo, mental notes from prior conversations, and a brief tour with one of the 'old guard' from Laramie who had summited some of the formations, I set out to 'decode' the place mostly devoid of trails and well-known landmarks. Yes, many knew where the '8 Ball' and 'John's Tower' were (they are hard to miss), but how about 'South Corner', 'Medium Cool' or 'Little Creatures'? No answers! Then Scarpelli's opus 'The Cracksmen' appeared ('87). Here was a compilation of detailed, hand-drawn 'route topos' of lines put up in Blair until that time. So if I could find the route - it would confirm the formation. The incomplete results ended up in "Heel and Toe" ('94); however, it also became apparent there was still lots of virgin territory to be explored.

Despite what is stated elsewhere, nearly 1/3 of the climbs in Upper Blair were put in during the nineties, an effort that continued to a lesser degree after 2000. Even today, with high resolution satellite information, GPS and new guidebooks, there are some climbs that continue to defy one's ability to find them. Perhaps the fabled 'Spectreman' is one of the most sought after climbs located here, yet there are many other climbs of (nearly) similar quality. There are thin fingers to hard offwidth in one climb (Ultraviolets), lengthy offwidths (SS Maywood), fun yet challenging climbs (Baobab Tree), big roofs (Roofinit), finger cracks that will really push you (What the French Girl Said), fine bolted routes (Easter Island), mixed climbs (trad+bolts = Disappearing Act) and other interesting concoctions (Inebriation Confabulation). No matter what your comfort level is, you will find adventures here that will keep you coming back again and again.
Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 Details

Getting There

From the I-80 exit drive west on the FR 705. This dirt road parallels the big skid on it's south side for 1.5 miles eventually going north underneath. Follow this road into the national forest and past the Lower Blair parking. The road curves and rises. Turn right onto FR 705A, and again onto FR705AF. Note the 8ball as you approach. Park at the end. Alternatively one can approach from the Lower Blair parking, or at a cattleguard uphill from Lower Blair with a trail on the south side of the barbed wire fence.

Per cstebbins024: from the I-80 exit 329, take Lincoln Hwy (the highway parallel to I-80) northwest watching for a right turn that goes underneath the interstate. This is FR 705. Follow this road into the national forest and past the Lower Blair parking. The road curves and rises. Turn right onto FR 707. After a short distance, either park at a less obvious road (now closed) just past a cattle guard or continue a little more and park near another barricade on FR 707.A, a more obvious road (also permanently closed). Note the 8 Ball as you approach. Alternatively one can approach from the Lower Blair parking, or at a cattleguard uphill from Lower Blair with a trail on the south side of the barbed wire fence.

Per Skip Harper: the topo was drawn as a basic guide to the formations and locator for some of the more well known climbs. Using this and one or more of the existing guidebooks, you can zero in on your chosen destination.

Refer to the directions for Blair, including directions for Upper Blair. No need to reiterate it here. Worthy of mention is that during this year ('14), due to the temporary closing of Road #707a, people have been accessing Upper Blair from a 'new' turnoff from Road #707 slightly downhill (w) of the usual turnoff (#707a) near an obvious cattle guard. A makeshift parking area is forming here and the hike in is shorter than following the usual roads

73 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Upper Blair

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Becker
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Baobab Tree
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Big House
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
SS Maywood
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Yellow Belly
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Ultra Violets
Trad 2 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Burning Man
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Behind Blue Eyes
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Jamminy Crackit
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Spectreman
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Iron Maiden a.k.a. Blood Drive
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Country Western Swing aka Mystery Blocks
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13
The Rookie
Trad
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Call Me Barney
Trad
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
The Day Saver
Trad
Becker John's Tower 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Baobab Tree Little John's Tower 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Big House John's Tower 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
SS Maywood N Corner 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Yellow Belly John's Tower 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Ultra Violets John's Tower 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad 2 pitches
Burning Man John's Tower 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Behind Blue Eyes Upper Blair Boulder Problems 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Jamminy Crackit John's Tower 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad
Spectreman Heap 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Iron Maiden a.k.a. Blood Drive John's Tower 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Country Western Swing aka M… Heap 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Sport
The Rookie Heap 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13 Trad
Call Me Barney Heap 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad
The Day Saver John's Tower 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad
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Chris Brus
Libby, MT
Chris Brus   Libby, MT
Does anyone know anything about a small formation to the southeast of The Heap containing a right arching hand crack which faces the northwest? This formation almost directly east from blue eyes and southeast from the heap. Does anyone know what this formation and route are? Also on a side note, there is currently a wasp nest inside the crack on Behind Blue Eyes. My partner was stung three times after sticking his fingers directly in the nest so watch out. Aug 11, 2008
After about a half an hour of driving around aimlessly this weekend, I thought I'd submit "alternate" directions.

From the Vedauwoo road exit, turn left and you will come to a paved frontage road. Turn right, drive for about two miles and turn right on blair road. This is 705. Continue for several miles. You will see a sign saying that you are entering Medicine Bow. You are looking for the 707 right turn off. There is a patch of grass and trees in the middle of the intersection. The signs are set back from the road, so keep your eyes open. You will soon take another right on 707AF.

This road dead ends in a wooded camping area. There is another parking area about fifty yards before this one, but it tends to have a lot more traffic.

There is a trail that continues in roughly the same direction as the road after it ends, rather than going uphill immediately. Follow this trail until you see a barbed wire fence uphill to your right and a large, low angle slab. Crossing the fence and heading up the slab will lead you to the base of Spectraman.

If you instead, want to get to the area around Big House crack (the obvious splitter on the large formation), take the faint trail leading uphill from the campground. You should end up on top of a hill, with the eight ball rock on your right. Hiking down from here will take you to a more distinct path leading along the base of the cliff. Turn left and look for an easy scramble to get to the base of the routes.


May 15, 2006
On hot days dogs seem to like the hang at the base of Spectreman, so if you are a climber that brings dogs to the crags, please be considerate and keep your dog away from there if climbers are attempting this route. Thanks. May 6, 2002
A note on your personal safety. Last time I was in the Blair area and pulled into the Upper parking are on FR 705AF I was welcomed by a small band of confederate army supporters. Luckly they were still passed out, but they made their presence noticable by the collection of empty bottles creativly placed everywhere, a wide selection of shotgun shells decorating the parking lot, and a conspicuous confederate flag hung between trees. We decided to park somewhere else and avoid and accidental shooting, travel at your own risk.

May 6, 2002

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