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Indian Creek Kickoff

I’m getting psyched for the kickoff, starting in Indian Creek.

For those of you not in on the secret, Indian Creek is a Crack-Climbing-Mecca.  I’ve heard it described as “trad sport climbing”.  Seriously, most of the cracks are perfectly parallel for hundreds of feet.  Oh yeah — there are vanishingly few face holds.  It’s about the purest crack climbing you will ever find.  For your rack?  You need to beg, borrow, and steal every cam you can get your hands on.  Many of the climbs require 5 or more cams of the same size (parallel cracks, eh!).  The epitome classic IC climb, “Supercrack of the Desert” is about 130 feet of #3 Camalot.  Derek took 26 cams up the 180 foot Steve Carithers Memorial Crack — Of those cams, at least 10 were #3 camalot, and most of the rest were #2 camalot.  Burly!

Our Piece of the Real Estate (5.11a), Battle of the Bulge buttress, Indian Creek, UT

Our Piece of the Real Estate (5.11a), Battle of the Bulge buttress, Indian Creek, UT

I’ve spent at least one or two weeks there each year for the past three years, for a total of over a month of climbing.  Do I like the area?  Well, getting there from here requires about a day travel time (if flying), and reportedly about 18 hours of driving.  I’ve been there on three separate trips, and each time I took a different route.

Trip #1: Fly to Salt Lake City, rent a car, go shopping: REI for Gear, Black Diamond HQ because it’s there!, and a supermarket to stock up on food.  With three of us in the car (Derek, Patty, and me), all our climbing and camping gear, and about 2 weeks worth of food, we were crammed to the limit.  Next up?  a five+ hour drive from Salt Lake City to IC.  Finally arriving at our Newspaper Rock campsite late in the evening.

Trip #2:  I was meeting Danielle in Tempe, AZ after the trip (to watch her cousin run the Ironman Triathlon, and spend vacation with Danielle in Zion & The Grand Canyon), so this time I flew into Phoenix, rented a car, stocked up on food & gear, and drove the seven+ hours across Monument Valley to IC.  Another full-on travel day.

Trip #3:  This time Derek and I flew to Denver, CO.  His brother Rob picked us up at the airport and took us to his place in Boulder (where he had just finished building a stunningly beautiful house).  We stole his SUV the next day, loaded up, went shopping for food (two guys who almost never cook — this was interesting!) and took it out on the six+ hour drive to IC.

So, the long winded answer, which is obvious from the effort I put in to get there:  Yup, I love Indian Creek!

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