To Speak of the Creek

We Spent a week
Down in the creek

Routes we'd send
And joints we'd tweak

The days were hot

The nights were bleak

My climbing shoes
Did surely reek

The rock was smooth
And often sleak

Access to hot tubs
We did sneak

(Our pictures show
Of what I speak)

The roadtrip's peak
In Indian Creek


Highlights from the week of climbing include endless splitters, several well-earned onsights, trying to open a bottle of wine with a shoe, and never having to place more than one #5 cam on any given pitch.


Just Deserts

I'm in Denver now--- woo hoo! The weather is still sunny and warm, with 60 degrees or so each of the last two days. I've had a chance to relax, look at our pictures and even re-acquaint myself with the concept of showering. I also had the chance to show some Pacific Northwest photos to the cool people at Trango Climbing Gear.

Kurt and I did four desert tower routes in the Castle Valley, a beautiful area 25 miles NE of Moab. The first route was the North Face of Castleton Tower, a 3-pitch climb involving steep, physical, and wild crack climbing.

The first pitch was a vertical hand and fist crack for 100' (with basically no variation in crack size) followed by a few wild face moves on a flake out to the belay.

The final flakey moves. The white calcite coating on the rock reminded us of frosting.

Here's a shot of Kurt on the last pitch, preparing to do battle with the wideness of a desert chimney.

Castleton Tower is on the right... Kurt left his headlamp running at the base of the tower... it was bright enough to facilitate night photos.


Desert Tower (of power)

While spending a week in the Indian Creek Valley, my friend Kurt and I climbed the classic route Lightning Bolt Cracks on the East face of the North Six Shooter Tower. (It's the obviously needle in between those trees.)

Exciting road conditions provided the impetus for us to basically walk in from our campground, but the climbing and views were well worth it. The route went in 3 stellar pitches, complete with a massive roof, splitter cracks of all sizes, a squeeze chimney (picture squirming out of a sleeping bag without using your hands) and a bleached cow skull ominously placed atop the tower. The views from the tower were amazing and we had the whole thing to ourselves.

Yours truly on the thin-hands start of the route. In case you fashionistas were curious, those US forest service surplus pants can be picked up in bulk (for free!) at the trash compactor and maintenance yard in Stehekin, WA.

Kurt, my

disembodied climbing partner. It's really inspirational how he is able to handle the three mile approach without legs!

All is well, with a beautiful sunset over the Bridger Jack towers.



Hola from the Desert!

We left SLC on a snowy morning, bound for the desert.

After 4 days of climbing in Zion National Park, Kurt and I are ready for a rest day. We did "Iron Messiah", "The Headahce" (both classic 5.10 free climbs) The touchstone wall (5.10, C2) and some other bouldering and single pitch stuff. On the way to Iron Messiah, we had a very cold morning river crossing, halfway up the wall Kurt saw not one, but TWO bridges we could have used.

The Zion experienced was heightened by free hot-tubbing and wireless in nearby Springdale. Now its on to Indian Creek and some towers!Zion is definitely an amazing park, and I am excited to visit many times in the future! We ran into some Salt Lake City folks in the parking lot, heading off to do Moonlight Buttress. One of them looked strangely familiar, and for good reason. His name is Ari Menitove and I had met him last year while climbing Fine Jade! Another of their group (Brad) said he'd met me before as well... proving once again that the climbing community is a pretty small and pretty friendly world.


No Mo' Obama Drama

Woo Hoo! A night of free sandwhiches, ice cream, coffee, fruit, fancy appetizers, and an Obama victory to boot! SLC was a great place to enjoy election-night perks, now we are on to the desert for real.


Rainy Roadtrip

Over the last two days I drove down to Salt Lake City and met my friend Kurt to begin a 3 week climbing trip. We got in 4 pitches last night at Little Cottonwood Canyon, but today is gray and rainy, in fact it feels downright Washingtonian! Tomorrow we head out for St. George and Zion National Park where we should find sunny weather again. In the mean time, we are enjoying the gracious hospitality of my friends Laura and Joe, and (hopefully) celebrating 'regime change' tonight, here in the USA's reddest state.