Driving to Vedauwoo, I'd gotten a call from Curt, one of the guides at Devil's Tower. He'd remembered me mentioning Vedauwoo as my next stop, and was down there himself having a few days off climbing by climbing. We hooked up for some climbing for a few days. Worked out well really. He got to put up tough climbs for me, and he had plenty of fat cams.
We started off the day with a 5.8, to ease us into the Vedauwoo climbing scene. Through thick and thin. Hard work. Very wide, very abrasive, I learnt to tape pretty well by the end of the stay. Finishes out a roof, then we decided the rest of it wasn't worth doing, and rapped off a horn. Next in line was Narrow and Ugly, a 9, but when we got over there, Wide and Ugly looked much more appealing. Well, to second anyway, but Curt liked the look of it to, and headed up overhanging fists and hands, 5.11a. Lots of cams, which made it much more achievable for me to try and follow. This was also very hard, as I suppose it is entitled to be at 5.11.
Matt had gotten out of class by now, and came out to join us. We moved into the shade, and climbed the Grand Traverse, which was very unVedauwoo, in that it had narrow cracks, face climbing, and generally broken rock. Scouted the crag, and looked at all sorts of death wish wide cracks, like the Torpedo Tubes, which are rated 5.10, and are allegedly still a massive sandbag. Curt was psyched to do some fists, so we went to find Elevator, a 5.10a, described in the guide as 35 feet of perfect fists.
Well, it might be 25 feet. If it's lucky. And I don't know whos fists they would be perfect for. It's hands, cupped hands and bad fists. In a leaning corner. Very stout. Curt of course lead it in fine style. I got up, but not at all clean, and Matt struggled. This was a fairly rude introduction to crack climbing.
Then home, for dinner in a kitchen, beers, and some sleep, ready to do it all over again the next day.
Curt, and fat cams for fat cracks
Through Thick and Thin, Pitch 1 (5.8)
Curt on Wide and Ugly, 5.11a
Rapping down Wide and Ugly
Curt starting the Grand Traverse, 5.10a, Matt belays
Curt shows us how it's done, Grand Traverse, 5.10a
Curt near the top of the Grand Traverse, 5.10a
Curt on the Grand Traverse