Ten Sleep Canyon Climbing
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No new route development is allowed until further notice. On July 19, 2019, the US Forest Service issued a notice that it would no longer allow the installation of new bolts or the creation of new climbing routes after manufactured routes were established, then subsequently removed/altered by climbers. In addition, the bolts/fixed anchors on an estimated 50 climbs at Ten Sleep have been affected in some manner that may or may not make them unsafe to climb. The list of altered routes can be found in a drop down on the main, "Ten Sleep Canyon" homepage. The US Forest Service, Powder River Ranger District, is actively working with the local LCO, the Bighorn Climbers' Coalition and Access Fund to develop a sustainable framework for route standards and a Climbing Management Plan for the canyon's future.
Enter the Buttery Sickness
Located just East of the town of Ten Sleep, Wyoming (population - less than 300) there are probably more climbers in Ten Sleep Canyon on any given day of the Summer than live in this sleepy Cowboy town. Once a little known backwater, Ten Sleep is now one of the premier limestone climbing areas in Wyoming.
Ten Sleep Canyon is massive. Depending on the cliff, you may see dozen's of parties, or none. Expect to pull pockets, edges and flakes with kindly spaced bolts throughout the Canyon. Use the Sun/Shade tool to plan your crag visits accordingly. There are many pullouts along the highway. Please park head in so that the most possible cars can fit in one lot.
-TENSLEEP CLIMBING GUIDEBOOK (11th EDITION): The 2023 update of the legendary Aaron Huey guidebook. Get your hands on a copy and feel the magic.
-Ten Sleep Rock Climbing (Rakkup Digital): Local developer Mike Snyder's guidebook for your phone. Perfect directions, great photos, and interesting history tidbits from one of the Canyon's longtime locals. Check it out!
-Ten Sleep Canyon Climbing : Louie Anderson's 2019 Guidebook.
WHERE TO STAY:
-Dispersed Old Road camping- Many free sites are available...please tread lightly and use provided porta potties! Road opens June 15th annually
-Leigh Creek Campground- USFS campground with a great setting, toilets, water and trash services. Pay campground
-Meadowlark Lodge- Friendly owners, free tent camping, and good deals on cabins. A higher elevation place to stay to avoid the summer heat! Close to the high country crags + food and beer on tap.
-Ten Sleep Brewery- One of Ten Sleep's great new additions. A large camping area can be your home away from home with a beer garden for a backyard.
-Ten Sleep Rock Ranch- The Anderson's plush camping hideaway. A great place to meet travelling climbers and find a partner. $8/night
-Wherever you stay, remember that many people love this Canyon. Please pack out all your trash and waste!
WHERE TO EAT/DRINK:
-Ten Sleep Brewery- Local beer and occasional food trucks!
-Ten Sleep Saloon- Western food and drink. Good burgers and a patio.
-Bighorn Bar- Like it Western? Stop in!
-Dirty Sally's General Store- Groceries, malts, and everything in between. Stop in for everything you forgot.
-Grocery Stores- Plan ahead! Worland or Buffalo are the closest options for larger markets.
Some things to remember:
- Please top rope through your own gear
- There is currently a moratorium on developing new routes in Ten Sleep Canyon. Please respect the closure.
- Leave the Canyon in better shape than you found it!
Approaching from the West, go through the town of Ten Sleep and head up into the canyon. Pretty simple.
Bighorn Climbers' Coalition
Bighorn Anchor Initiative
Altered Routes in Ten Sleep Canyon- From USFS
August 30, 2019
This list is a compilation of climbs that through my own investigation that have been chopped, padlocked, altered, or otherwise affected in some manner that may or may not make them unsafe to climb. Keep in mind this list is based off of what I can only see from the ground and for a more accurate account, I would encourage a full inspection of the routes.
Everything below the switchbacks on Highway 16 appears to be intact excluding any routes already listed in both the Aaron Huey and Louie Anderson Ten Sleep Climbing guidebooks as being chopped or altered in anyway, specifically at Grither/GB walls.
Above the Switchbacks
The switchbacks are a land mark on Highway 16 that end at a runaway truck ramp when heading east toward Buffalo. Here in the Upper Canyon is where the majority of the affected routes are located.
First pullout on the left after the runaway truck ramp. All routes in Funky Town have a bolt padlocked (either the first or the second) with a red lock excluding climb 8) Up for the down stroke 13b (Anderson p. 138). The following climbs are listed from the left to right (Anderson p.138-143)
- 1)Parliament 11b
- 2) Funkadelic 11d
- 3/4) Bop Gun 12a/Atomic Dog 11d. Both climbs share the same start.
- 5/6) Jungle Boogie 11d/ Jungle Groove 11d. Both climbs share the same start.
- 7) One Nation Under Groove 11d
- 9) Give Up the Funk 13a
- 10) So Ruff, So Tuff 12d
- 11)Shining Star 12c
- 12) Genius of Love 12b
- 13) More Bounce to the Ounce 12d
- 14/15) Brick House 12b/ Brickzilla 11d. Share the same start
- 16/17) Boot House/ Bootzilla 12c. Share the same start.
- 18/19) White Horse 12d/ White Stuff 12d. Share same start.
- 20) Mr. Big Stuff 11c
- 21) Super Freak 12a
- 22) Fantastic Voyage 11b
- 23) No Parking(on the Dance Floor) 11c
- 24) Freak-A-Zoid 12a
- 25) Uptown Funk 11b
- 26/27) Mothership Connection 10c/Star Child 11a
- 28) P-Funk 10c
Some of the most popular climbing in Tensleep. Trailhead begins at the Willem Becker Memorial Lot.
Only wall affected in the Mondo Beyondo area. Climbs listed left to right. First number representing the climb in the Anderson book, Second number is from Huey’s. (Anderson p.175-176); (Huey p.130).
- 15; 390) Abolitionist 11c. All bolts appear chopped, pockets filled with epoxy/glue
- 16; 391) Cakewalk 10d. All bolts appear chopped
- 17; 392) Uncle Tom 10b. All bolts appear chopped, pockets filled with epoxy/glue
- 18; 393) 40 Acres and a Mule 10c. No bolts appear chopped but pockets looked to be filled with epoxy/glue. Potentially dangerous for the unsuspecting climber.
- 19) Emancipation 12a. Bolts appear chopped to the roof. 4-5 bolts? from the ground
Last pullout on the left before the top of the old rd. Another popular climbing area in the canyon encompassing many walls. Walls are listed left to right, climbs are listed left to right.
(Anderson p.197); (Huey p.152)
- 6/7; 456) Road to Oblivion 10b/ Oblivion 12b. All bolts appear to be chopped and some pockets filled with epoxy/glue.
(Anderson p.199); (Huey p.154)
- 4; 460) Casa Grande 10d. All bolts appear to be chopped. Many pockets filled with epoxy/glue.
(Anderson p.202); (Huey p. 154-159)
- 9; 472) Drug of Choice 12a. Red padlock on the first bolt. Reportedly unaltered otherwise.
- 11; 473) Heroin Hoedown 11a. All bolts appear to be chopped.
(Anderson p. 212); (Huey p. 160)
- 4; 492) Harder than You 12b. Bolts chopped, some pockets filled.
- 5; 493) Bulletproof 12c. Bolts chopped.
- 6; 494) Firm 11c. First bolt present. Others chopped?
(Anderson p. 217); (Huey p. 162)
- 2; 503) Just One Fix 12a. All bolts appear to be chopped.
- 4; 505) Burning Inside 11b. All bolts chopped.
- 5/6; 506/507) Knee High Bear 11d/ Effigy 12c. Bolts chopped on KHB, unsure about the extension Effigy.
- 7; 508) Thieves 12b. Bolts chopped
- 8; 509) New World Order 12d. Bolts chopped, pockets filled.
- 9; 510) Stigmata 12b. Bolts chopped, pockets filled.
- 10) Jesus built my Stigmata 12b. Bolts chopped pockets filled.
The next collection of climbs is located lookers left and right of Ten Sleep Falls, near the bottom of the old rd. The parking area is near a telephone pole below a collection of huge boulders and the pink streaked waterfall above.
When the trail Y’s near the waterfall at the top of the trail, take a left crossing the creek. Pass the Powers Wall and go to the climbs furthest left along the base of the crag to get to the Honky Tonk area. The furthest right climbs of this area are the one affected.
(Anderson p. 371)
- 17) Friends in Low Places 11d. Bolts chopped, pockets filled.
- 19) Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) 12b. Bolts 1-5 chopped, pockets filled.
- 20) Shotgun Rider 11c. Bolts 1 and 3 chopped, pockets filled. *danger*
- 21) Chicken Fried 12c. Bolts 1-3 chopped, pockets filled.
- 22) Hell Yeah 11d. Bolts chopped
Wall you pass to get to Honky Tonk just after passing Ten Sleep Falls.
(Anderson p. 376)
- 24) Fat Bastard 11d. Red Padlock on the first bolt.
- 25) Groovy Baby 11b. Pockets filled.
- 26) Swinger 10d. Pockets filled.
At the top of the trail just before you hit the waterfall, take a right instead of left at the fork and this will take you to Trump Tower.
(Anderson p. 384)
- 6) Dolt 45 12d. Bolts 2-4 chopped
- 7) Cheeto Bandito 13a. Bolts 2-4 chopped.
In total about 50 climbs, depending on how you tally extensions of an already listed climb, appear to be have been chopped, padlocked, altered, or otherwise affected in some manner other than what was originally intended for the climb that may or may not make them unsafe to climb. Again, I would encourage a full inspection of the routes for a more accurate assessment.
Anderson, Louie. Ten Sleep Canyon Climbing. 2019.
Huey, Aaron. Ten Sleep: Swallow the Lightning. 2019.
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