13 December 2009

Best Of 2009 - Curt Gowdy State Park

Curt Gowdy State Park is a part of the Vedauwoo area. For fifteen years or so it sat with good rock that was illegal to climb on. Myself and others had been kicked out and hope was lost to repeat any of the classic routes there. Three years ago a few posts were put up on Mountain Project suggesting that climbing was now legal. With doubt, but hope, I researched and found the truth. A new park manager and a change of heart by the State Of Wyoming opened the park to "outdoor recreation" activities. Bouldering included!
I went into Curt Gowdy over the first winter the park was open to find the old routes and imediately found boulders. The bouldering like the rest of Vedauwoo is Sherman Granite. It is highly varied in quality, spread out in most places, and perfect for winter bouldering. Curt Gowdy State Park sits 1200' to 1000' lower than Vedauwoo proper and closer the Cheyenne than Laramie. It is the same elevation as Laramie and protected by a south facing valley in most places. Often when Laramie and the entire Vedauwoo area is covered in snow and wind, Curt Gowdy is perfect for sending.

 Even in the depths of a winter forest boulders are touched by the sun.
 Curt Gowdy is seperated into two parts because of Happy Jack Highway. A north side and a south side both have a rock. The north side however is much smaller and more limited in regards to access. The Hynds Lodge area is the only public section on the north side of the highway and area is regulated. It is open to those who rent the lodge for $100.00 a day and closed to all others during that time. You can climb on the north side of the road as long as no one is using the lodge. It is a good idea to check in with the park to o.k. the session before going north. The south side is always open to climbing and is the place to go if you can't speak with the park or the lodge is rented. The south side of Curt Gowdy is the side with Granite and Crystal Reservoirs. And with that, the problems at Curt Gowdy are shown below.

 Myself on Sexy Time V2. A good warmup on the south side of Curt Gowdy.

  Guili Zavaschi standing under Ben's Mom V5 which also has a sit start at V7. Guili's usual golden halo is seen above his head.

 Ben's Mom Boulder above Granite Reservoir

 Mitch Fyock on Hot Itch V6. A good problem up hill from Sexy Time and Ben's Mom.

 Mike Hafner on his Get Some V8. This powerful and reachy problem is in the same sector as the previous problems shown.

 Guili Zavaschi on God's Unwanted Children V5 (sandbag). A classic Bryan Vansickle problem that has a poor landing, is tall, and probably V7.

 Guili nearing the crux on God's Unwanted Childeren.

 Bryan Vansickle on The Beast Spine V8. A problem I put up winter of 2008. It is just above the Aspen Grove Trailhead. God's Unwanted Children is just north of this on the same ridge of stone.

All of the above problems are accessed by the Aspen Grove Trailhead.  Take the south arm of the A Loop to find Sexy Time of the north side of the trail. Then walk the small valley up hill (north) to find all other problems. Ben's Mom is on the ridge in the center of the A Loop, not near a trail. The Beast Spine and God's Unwanted Children are directly north of the parking lot. The Beast Spine is visible from the parking area.

There are good problems on the north side of Happy Jack highway as mentioned. Please be aware of the access there as you need to ask and be sure that the Hynds Lodge is not being used by others. If in doubt or you can't find park staff to speak with, go south.

 Guili Zavaschi on Scrape V5

 Guili Zavazschi on Hicup V3


  1. Awesome. So psyched. More potential out that way???

  2. Indeed sir, there is good potential this way. Come on up and have a whirl on some new problems.