In the Mid 80's Stan Price started bolting routes in the canyon and it started drawing some attention, then things really started taking off in the late 90's. By 2010 there were almost 700 routes located all over Ten Sleep Canyon, this place is a sport wankers paradise. It is easy to hang out and drink beer into the late night and then get up, drink coffee, cook breakfast, and finally get to the crag in the early afternoon. The first thing you need to do to climb in Ten Sleep is buy the guidebook.
The guide book is written by Aaron Huey and is, hands down, the most entertaining guidebook I have ever read. I read the entire thing from front to back. The book has everything you need to know about Ten Sleep including, climbing, camping, eating, and drinking. It is easy to spot by the six-shooter on the cover and it is worth the price of $30. If I had to guess what I thought influenced the book the most I would probably say hallucinogens and the passion to bolt some of the best routes in the U.S.
The area is almost all sport routes and they vary from 5.6 to 5.14+. The routes consist mainly of moderate to advance climbing. Hundreds of 5.12's, a bundle of 5.13's, and a hand full of 5.14's. There are only 60 some routes that are 5.9 and lower. I would not recommend coming here if you are a beginner rock climber unless you feel like pushing into the 5.10-11 world (DO IT!). It has some of the best 5.10's and 5.11's I have ever climbed.
If you find yourself up the canyon and are looking for some beer and good food, I would recommend driving into town and hitting the Ten Sleep Saloon. The bar is decorated with a bunch of dead animal heads and a sweet penny bar. They served a awesome dark hef called Dragons Breath and everything I tried on the menu was delicious. The staff was friendly and they also provide free WIFI.
We spent a bunch of time at the saloon because our Jeep broke down outside the canyon. The owner of the bar (Pete) called his mechanic (Moses) and it took them less than 24 hours to have the jeep up and running. During that period of time we had to hitchhike back and forth from our camp and I was surprised that anyone picked up two dirty, homeless looking guys on the side of the road. Our first ride was from an older couple from Minnesota who drove a Cadillac that was so nice I felt like I shouldn't touch anything with my dingy hands and wondered if they could tell I had not showered in over a week. They were very kind and we traded stories for the 30 minutes we knew them. The broken down Jeep started as a bad thing, but after the whole experience it will be easy to look back at the situation and get a kick out of it.
So far our three month climbing trip is going very well and there is much more to come. Now we are in South Dakota checking out some new limestone development and then we will be moving on to Montana to look for our next adventure.