Friday, July 17, 2009

Lander, Wyoming and Cowboy Poems

Hiking the trail from Wild Iris. Photo by Joe Kinder

I'm in the middle of the short, hectic space where I'm not yet completely unpacked from my Lander, Wyoming trip, but I have to leave for Salt Lake and the OR Trade Show in 2 days. So much to get done... so little motivation. Frankly, I just want to sit on my ass for a few minutes.

So... Lander. Amazing. Maybe the greatest small town anywhere, surrounded by incredible climbing, and inhabited by the nicest people anywhere (and hottest women). I hope you don't believe me, because when I go back, again and again, I'd love for it to not be overrun with horny climber guys. Oh yeah... it won't... the grades are relatively stiff.

Thanks to Lindsay Nohls for making the ICF another great event, and thanks to the entire Skinner Family for their amazing hospitality. I had an incredible time, and will most certainly be back more often than I counted on.
To honor the Lander locals, who treated me so well last year, I wrote a cowboy poem to perform at the festival. To write the poem I used 65 route names from the local guidebook.

King Of Hearts (Lander Cowboy Poem) (streaming)

Photo by Michael Cartwright

It took me a few days to get really used to the limestone there, focusing mostly on Sinks Canyon, which I had neglected to visit last year. Once I hit my stride there, I fell in love with the stone. I matched my hardest onsight (12d), and managed to redpoint a 13b before I had to start taking care of my festival duties.
Cow Reggae 13b Photo by Becca Skinner
Killer 12c Photo by Becca Skinner

Strangely, climbing wasn't the most memorable part of the trip. This time it was, by far, the people. I got to know the Skinner family much better, and they are truly an incredible group of people. South Africa '11?? Yes, count me in.

Jake, Sarah, Me, Becca, Hannah. Photo by Amy Skinner

Lowering from Cartoon Graveyard 12d, Photo by Joe Kinder