Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Climbing in Sinks

Nick Climbing, Syd belaying on More Funky then Gunky 5.9

Since getting off the river I have been doing a bit of skiing and climbing. From Vernal I ventured to Driggs Idaho to get some early spring turns and after a few days of heavy snow and not seeing the corn coming soon I headed to Lander Wyoming to do some climbing.

Lander is a small town of about 6000 people, has a large concentration of climbing within an hours drive and is the home of the NOLS International Headquarters. Lander's most popular climbing areas are Sinks Canyon, Sweetwater, Wild Iris, the Wind River Range a mecca for alpine granite, as well as numerous other climbing areas. There is a reason Todd Skinner called Lander home.

So I arrived in Lander on April 3rd, checked into the Noble (The NOLS Hotel) and have been staying here climbing since!

 Sydney on Harvest Moon 5.11a
Sydney on Harvest Moon 
Climbing in Sinks Canyon is awesome! It is south facing steep pocketed/overhanging limestone with a short approach and you can climb year round! I was quick to get ahold of friends so we could get out climbing.  Sunday night it snowed so we, Zac Berman, Sydney Hartsock and I, waited until about 11am and then headed up the canyon. Things where dry and I had my first introduction to the steep pockets of the Sinks Canyon limestone. We climbed at the Scud area and left of the Killer Cave (which is home to some of the hardest routes in the canyon). It is common practise to, after having a good day of climbing, go down to the Gannite Grill & Lander Bar for happy hour and a burger. The burgers are sourced from a local farm and pitchers are $7.00. It's hard to bet!

 Sydney on Elmo's Fish 5.10d
Syd climbing Nick belaying Elmo's Fish 

The following days saw Zac Berman sent Bush Doctor a overhanging 12a in the Killer Cave, lots of trying to onsight things, falling off things and another climbing partner getting into town, Nick Storm.

Nick and I had made plans before I went on the river in March to climb. We had thoughts of going to Indian Creek or Devils Tower or even Cody to ice climb, those thoughts feel through due to inconsistent weather and having Sinks Canyon 10 minutes away.

 Nick climbing a 5.10a

Zac had to head out of town so Storm, Sydney and I climbed pretty much everyday! Now I'm sitting in the Noble trying to focus on resting my body, so far it is working. Sydney starts a contract today and Storm is heading to California to visit family. So I'm going relax, find another partner and get right back at it tomorrow and until I head to Vernal for my next work contract on monday April 18th.

 Max on Duck Soup 5.9 Photo by Sydney Hartsock

Max on Duck Soup Photo by Sydney Hartsock

If you ever find yourself in Lander Sinks Canyon is an amazing area to climb, get strong and push for limits sport climbing. Grades range from a few 5.9s to 5.14 and 15 draws will get you up pretty much everything. A few routes I recommend are Duck Soup 5.9, Sandman 5.10c, Elmo's Fish 5.10d, Harvest Moon 5.11a, Stud Alert 5.10c and there are many more!

 Syd climbing, Max belaying on Stud Alert 5.10c Photo by Nick Storm

Nick and Syd chillin'

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