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In local climbing lore, legend persists of a Vedauwoo hermit who resided amongst the lichen-speckled granite domes for several summers in the late 1940's or early 1950's. The hermit likely climbed many routes without documenting his ascents. In summertime the air of Vedauwoo is dry, warm, and fragrant with sage and juniper. Scrambling around the mounds of rust-colored boulders, the Vedauwoo hermit would have encountered the same water-carved pools teeming with algae that I've seen, or climbed through the narrow, dark alleys I have. And yet, these rocks we scramble up and over, do not only exist far from the maddening crowd. The sandstone that makes up the majority of the University of Wyoming building facades was quarried not far from here. As the first cluster of deciduous trees was planted around campus in 1886, so too were artificial cliffs in the form of Old Main and the Sciences building erected. Nature was quarried, tamed, and re-imagined as the University campus. Most of the stone now seen covering the campus buildings came from a quarry located about ten miles northeast of town. The sandstone is a dusky tan and rose and its finely chiseled features have called students to climb these unnatural cliffs for decades. This map shows some of the places where the earth has been extracted or re-imagined around Laramie as classrooms and cliffs, cafeterias and climbs.

Wright_booklet.pdf (4535 kB)
Booklet for Quarries and Climbs

Wright.wav (717 kB)
Audio introduction to Quarries and Climbs

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