After 8,593 miles, 3 months, 2 countries, 9 states,
14 CRAGs, and 222 pitches, we’re DONE!

Camping - Good vs. Bad


Here at CRAGCATION, when we’re not clipping bolts, we’re knee-deep in field research. “What differentiates good camping from bad?”, you ask.

Empirically speaking, bad camping means there are, a.) plenty of insects/critters to terrorize you, b.) a severe lack of shade… For instance, the moment morning sun hits your tent, you feel as if you’re inside an oven, your sleeping bag is a foil packet, and you’re a filet of Alaskan Salmon, and c.) wind. Lots of wind. Ideally the kind that lifts your tent from its stakes and places it against a barbed-wire fence.

Good camping, in contrast, means a.) shade by way of trees, b.) fire rings, c.) lack of insects/critters, and d.) a water source.

A Few from Wild Iris, WY


You’ll notice Big Willy’s back on the sharp-end, as his ankle continues to mend.

Beyond Wind & Rattlesnakes or any route FA’d by Paul Piana (we doff our hats to Paul who must have been the only guy in Lander with a rope longer than 30 meters or eye for pitches longer than 50 feet), picking favorite lines is an exercise in semantics… For the brain cannot reliably distinguish one bolted boulder problem from the next.

Wild Iris, We Got Beef


Before beginning, a couple necessary caveats:

  • We just spent the past week in Ten Sleep. It set a high bar as far as concentration of quality pitches and attitude are concerned.
  • We may not be strong enough to appreciate the hardest/best routes/areas Wild Iris has to offer (Rodeo Wave, the Erratic). This is our problem.

O.K. now the beefs:

  • The quality scale in Lander Rock Climbs (2015), is woefully inconsistent. It deservingly gives Wind & Rattlesnakes 3/3 stars, then turns around and claims Little Buckaroo is cut from the same cloth. Wind is inarguably MEGA-classic, while L.B. is a 20-foot piece of shit that shouldn’t have been bolted.
  • the high quantity of low quality lines, to me, indicates two things: Wild Iris has been over developed and those bolting laughable lines are only doing so to rack up FA-credits.
  • Shortness of routes. If you climb .13 or .14, please explain what makes projecting one of the 30-footers at Rodeo Wave so spectacular. Why not chase larger, more aesthetic lines? What are we overlooking here?