Lander’s annual Climbing Fest again brings hundreds of tourists to the area and thousands of dollars to local businesses.
News 13’s Landon Harrar shows us the tourists' reactions to the rocks.
Event organizers made a few changes this year to keep climbers entertained and active.
Event Organizer Elyse Guarino shared, “We kind of shuffled the events around a little bit, we try and keep it fresh, we usually have a local speaking event on the first night of the festival, for the last four or five years and last night we did a film festival instead of the speaking event so I think people really liked that.”
Climbing clinics for kids are no longer secluded.
Instead they allow for more interaction between beginners and professionals.
“They’re up at Wild Iris just experiencing climbing for the first time basically, getting up there and seeing what that’s like and with all the festival participants so our hope is instead of isolating that clinic and having them climb in Sinks Canyon by themselves by having them climb with everyone else they get to feel that energy and sense of community that comes with climbing.”
Australian Clmber Nhung came to Lander for the festival and commented, “I think it’s a great idea, I think we need to get kids off digital stuff, we need to get them outdoors, you know it’s like a really good self-esteem, team-building, its perfect.”
What's also perfect is Lander businesses soaking in the revenue from the tourists.
“We really do hope that it helps the economy we’re bringing, at the end of this year it will probably be 500 people from out of town will have passed through our town, eaten in our restaurants, stayed in our hotels, or paid for a shower because they don’t want to stay in a hotel and their camping.”
Still there’s plenty of room for everyone who wants to climb and to get up and down the rocks multiple times before the summer sun gets too hot.
“It’s really nice how it’s not like overcrowded with people and yeah Wild Iris is pretty special you have to keep it a secret.”
Climber’s fest events run until noon this Sunday in Lander.
Climbing fest may only last a few days but all the money from ticket sales helps maintain Lander’s world-class climbing areas year round.
It also funds scholarships for kids to travel to other destinations like the Grand Tetons.