Snowy Range

The Snowy Range lies about 40 miles west of Laramie, and has peaks that go to 12,000 ft. A road crosses the range, allowing easy access to some alpine lakes below the main peaks. The main wall is The Diamond, about 1000 ft high, with several routes. It was our goal.

I had some beta on the area, according to which storms can come in from the west, over the ridge, and surprise you. On the first day, we got there pretty late, chose the shorter Keyhole route (5.2) and then chickened out because of the storm thing. We spent a few hours there goofing around, and it didn't rain.

Goofing around.

Later on the trip, in came back with Stan, on the way to Wild Iris. This time I was determined to get the climb, and to do it without getting rained on. I had a lot of adrenaline going, at last a longer) route in a true alpine setting. I kicked steps on the snowfield approach, climbed about half a pitch of 3d class to the top of the Pedestal (a small buttress at the bottom of the Diamond face), and we started on The Red Spot Route (5.5), which follows several crack systems that are intersected by ledges. The crux is the routefinding. I got off route pretty quickly, but I think you almost can't help that on this face, lots of ways to go. The rock is slippery (quartzite like at Devils' Lake, WI), the protection was good, but there are a lot of loose rocks on all the ledges. After the third (crux) pitch, we gained the Diagonal Ledge, which splits the upper and lower half of the Diamond. Two more full rope length pitches on the ledge, and we were on top.

Later on, as we were driving off, it did rain, a lot.

Victor, with Wyoming as a backdrop.