Lindsey Stevens stares down the crux of “Tomahawk Slam”, a 5.12a rated sport climbing route at the Wild Iris climbing area in the Shoshone National forest near Lander. (Kyle Duba photo/

Climbing season is in full swing in and around Lander.

The annual influx of outdoor recreation tourists builds more than just climber’s muscles.

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“Embracing visiting climbers is embracing Lander’s economic potential,” said Elyse Guarino, executive director of the Central Wyoming Climbers Alliance. “Visitors play on our public land, stay in town, eat in our restaurants, and shop at our stores. Many contribute to our community by staying, by making Lander their community,” she said. “At least two of our E.R. doctors, numerous medical specialists, many nurses, engineers, business owners, many teachers, and more live here because of the climbing. Many have voiced that if they couldn’t climb, they wouldn’t live here. For us, sentiments like this are a constant reminder of the value of climbing and other forms of recreation that so quickly draw commitment of resources from people to this place.”

Matthew Copeland is the chief executive & editor of WyoFile. Contact him at or (307) 287-2839. Follow Matt on Twitter at @WyoCope

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