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DescriptionLander is home to several cliffs dispersed throughout the foothills of the eastern Wind River Mountains. The rock is mainly Bighorn Dolomite and occurs in two basic types. There are wind eroded butresses like those of Wild Iris and Suicide Point, and there are walls lining the sides of river canyons, such as Sinks Canyon and Wolf Point. The rock varies in quality from very good to very featured and consists mainly of crimps and positive pockets, some being as small as one-finger on the more difficult lines.
There is a bit of granite climbing as well, the Joint wall and the Sanctuary at the top of Sinks being 2 areas that have about 50 sport climbs all together. There are some fantastic routes on these cliffs if you get tired of pocket pulling. Sinks also has some sandy sandstone at the entrance of the canyon, but it is not worth your time unless you are on a NOLS course or like insecure trad climbing.
It is possible to climb throughout much of the year here. Sinks is the best winter area, with a paved approach and an inversion that keeps the wall toasty when it is freezing in town. It is not uncommon to climb in a t-shirt on sunny days in January and February when the temperature in town is 10 degrees. Summer is better spent at Wild Iris and its surrounding crags as they are much higher in elevation, and mainly under snow in the winter. Spring is sometimes great but often snowy and wet. Fall is the best time for climbing in Lander, with crisp temps, sunny skies, and access to every crag here.
Steve Bechtel's guidebook does a great job of describing the sport routes around Lander and is the best resource for any climber visiting the area. It describes the following cliffs:
The Strawberry Roan
The Sweat Lodge
There are several other cliffs that are either very sparsely developed or that have sensitive access issues and as such are not included in the current guide. These include the North Country near Wild Iris and Stone Horse and the North Fork Wall in the canyon of the North Fork of the Popo Agie.
The bouldering around Lander is getting more and more developed each year. There is a limited selection of sandstone and dolomite bouldering in the heart of Sinks Canyon. The Cabin Boulders at Bruce's Bridge in Sinks is a small granite garden that is good for a short session. The Loop Road above Sinks has several small areas that can be fun in the summer. The Rock Shop on South Pass has a good, although spread out, selection of gneiss rock. Some of these, like the UFO boulder and the Lander Boulder are world class. There are also 2 great areas a little further afield, both approached on the road to Dickenson Park above Ft. Washakie. These are the Devil's Kitchen and the Falcon's Lair. You need a Wind River Indian Reservation permit to be able to access either of these places. These can be obtained in several locations in Lander, including the Wild Iris shop. David Lloyd's guidebook Bouldering in the Wind River Range is the best resource for any pad people wanting to check out the pebble wrestling here.
Also check out Sam Lightner's site landerclimbingweather.com for up to date forecasts for specific cliffs.
Getting ThereLander is located in central Wyoming, easily found on the map. There is free camping in Lander at the City Park for 3 days. It is also the main venue for the International Climbers' Festival (www.climbersfestival.org), held every summer on the weekend following the Fourth of July.
Gear can be found at Wild Iris Mountain Sports on Main Street in town. NOLS is headquartered in Lander and also has a small gear store. There are several places to eat breakfast and lunch. The best for climbers are The Middle Fork, the Lander Bakery, and the Crux Coffee Shop, all on Main Street.
The Cowfish is the best upscale dinner joint and the Gannett Grill/Lander Bar is a must visit for any traveler, climber or otherwise. Both of these fine establishments are owned by a climber.
Classic Climbing Routes at Lander Area
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season