Inspired Stone

Indian Creek
November 5, 2011, 11:21 pm
Filed under: Climbing | Tags: , ,

Two days after the first snow here in Boulder, I escaped to the Utah desert for an amazing weekend of climbing in Indian Creek. Indian Creek, which is about 50 miles south of Moab, is a crack-climbers dream come true. Miles of canyon and mesa, whose sandstone walls are splintered with vertical cracks of every size.

(The three walls, from left to right, are Beef Wall, The Fin and Cat Wall)

Most climbing guidebooks include photos with lines overlayed to illustrate the location and path of climbing routes. For the Indian Creek guidebook author, the task is easy. Here is my rendition of route overlays for Indian Creek,

The quality of the lines made it difficult to decide where to climb during our short stay. Everything look equally amazing. Most of the guidebook read like this:

4. Unnamed 5.10 splitter hands to fists.
5. Unnamed 5.10 splitter hands
6. Unnamed 5.11 splitter fingers
7. Unnamed 5.10 slitterer hands
8. etc.

I exaggerate slightly, but I’ve never seen or climbed such amazing cracks. For example, my first route of the weekend was called “Incredible Hand Crack”. It was. Most of the routes at Indian Creek have bolted rappel anchors at 100-150 feet, minimizing the adventure component, but elevating the fun factor. Beyond the anchors and interspersed between the established routes there appeared to be equally slitter cracks, so we did two other routes not in the book and found the rock a bit sandier in its unclimbed state. Not surprising given that it’s sandstone.

Beyond just the climbing, the setting of southeastern Utah is beautiful, with its red, orange and white sandstone walls and cottonwood creeks. I’m looking forward to many more trips to the canyon-lands.


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