Q: What type of climbing will I find in Cody?
A: One of the strongest attributes of Cody climbing is its diversity. The majority of the established climbing is located within a few minutes of city limits, in the scenic Shoshone Canyon. Moderate to easy approaches will quickly get you to just about any style of climbing you might be in the mood for. Cody proudly offers over 1,000 established boulder problems and 370 roped climbs on a wide variety of rock in all grades. The majority of the boulders are comprised of fairly solid sandstone with routes on both pocketed dolomite as well as variable granite, which can be either coarse or smooth and riddled in edges. Although the majority of the routes are well-bolted sport routes, approximately 100 of these established lines are traditional climbs with dozens of multi-pitch options (both sport and trad) up to seven pitches in length. A recent surge in development means the number of routes in the canyon is quickly changing thanks to the efforts of John Morrison, Jason Litton, Aaron Danforth, Jeff House and Mike Snyder. In 2016 approximately 40 new routes were established with many of them becoming instant classics. Only a few months into 2017 and already a dozen new routes have been developed.
Q: What is the best season for Cody climbing?
A: Thanks to Cody’s semi-arid climate and an average of over 200 days of sunshine a year, climbing in Cody can be enjoyed year round. The average temperature ranges from 25-70 degrees Fahrenheit with an average of 13 days over 90 degrees Fahrenheit and an average of 13 days at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. During the cooler months, sunnier crags such as the Bridge Bands and Sphinx boulders are your best bet, as they tend to be too warm in the summer months unless you go out fairly early in the day. During the warmer months, you’ll be able to find shade and decent climbing conditions on the granite of the lower canyon and the Island as well as the multiple boulder gardens on Cedar Mountain.
Q: Where can I get a guidebook?
A: Currently both paper versions of the route and bouldering guidebooks are out of date and no longer in print but the local outdoor gear shop, Sunlight Sports, has copies you can thumb through while in their shop. As far as routes go, the best and most accurate option available is to purchase the digital Cody Rock Climbing Guidebook at rakkup.com written by local climber and developer, Mike Snyder. Another valuable resource, Mountainproject.com, provides information on both routes and bouldering.
Q: Where can I stay?
A: Due to the fact that Cody, Wyoming, is the gateway to Yellowstone National Park and the last major city prior to the East entrance, Cody is practically bursting at the seams with tourists during the summer months. This proves to be both a blessing and a curse. Due to the volume of travelers, there are numerous hotels, motels and campgrounds to choose from. The downside being that in the summer months, these options will cost more and besides the Wal-Mart parking lot, you won’t find any free camping options. The most affordable options would be the Ponderosa Campground, which is within walking distance to downtown and a five minute drive to most climbing, or the KOA, which would require you to drive into town but also has a pool and hot tub, which isn’t a bad way to relax after a long day of climbing. If you just need a quick shower or want to soak in the hot tub, steam in the steam room, swim in the indoor pool and use Wi-Fi, the local Quad Center is a great facility that offers day passes for the use of their facilities.
Q: What is there to do on a rest day?
A: There is no shortage of things to see or do on a rest day. Cody not only offers a wide variety of climbing and bouldering but is also home to excellent kayaking on open water or whitewater, road biking, mountain biking, fly-fishing, ice climbing and hiking. The downtown main street has mini golf, numerous restaurants, brew pubs, wine bars, gift shops and coffee shops to kill time or if you would like a more educational experience the Center of the West is an expansive museum that covers history, art and regional wildlife or just down the road is the must see Heart Mountain Interpretive Center offering a glimpse into what life was like on the local WWII Japanese Internment Camp. Of course, if you want to get your cowboy on, Cody is known as the Rodeo Capital of the World with a nightly rodeo June through August. For beta on local activities, just stop by the Cody Chamber of Commerce located downtown across from the hospital and museum.
Q: How can I connect with the locals?
A: If you are out of town and want to connect or ask questions about climbing or conditions, your best bet is the Cody Climbing group on Facebook. While in Cody, be sure to swing into the local gear shop, Sunlight Sports. For biking beta and to connect with the local bike crowd, there is Joyvagen Bicycle Shop or Absaroka Bicycles. The amazing folks at Gradient Mountain Sports can help you with anything boat related and you’re sure to find a large majority of your local outdoor enthusiasts grabbing breakfast or a great cup of coffee at the Beta Coffeehouse.