Throughout my time living in Colorado, I've made the journey across the rockies and into the desert a few times. A reoccurring theme is Moab, Utah, a beautiful little tourist trap with some phenomenal geographic features surrounding it. To many, including myself until recently, this is the extent of the desert. Large, vast national parks such as Arches and Canyonlands stretch across the red land; arches and mesas formed within their boundaries.
As we entered the area dubbed Indian Creek, I was completely blown away. For the first time in the course of two years I was finally on a trip where the focus was to climb and photograph the beautiful sandstone walls. For a midwestern guy, the idea of splitter cracks and thin red dust covering the surrounding landscape didn't even cross my mind.
It's 6am on Friday October 20th, and we're waiting with a few buddies in a bagel shop located in Golden, CO. Already an hour behind schedule from waiting on another car of friends, we decide to head off towards Grand Junction. Turning into Clear Creek Canyon, we begin to fill the car with stoke by listening to New Hampshire punk and full time climber Joe Kinder on the Enormocast. Soon enough everybody falls asleep and I'm left to blasting some Rolling Stones to keep myself awake. To end our long drive, we stop at the Wall Street crag in Moab, Utah and get worked on a few climbs.
We finally arrive near our campsite at dusk and meet up with some of our buddies from the CU Alpine Club. Setting up camp and exploring the surrounding mesas turns into a late night ordeal paired with headlamps and PBR. After discovering the softest of sand and almost breaking a few ankles from jumping over the hidden biological soil crusts, the cowboy camping is initiated.
I roll out of my sleeping bag before the sun rolls over the horizon and throw on some running shorts and shoes. Single tracks, soft sand, and clear air makes for a enjoyable run. The sunrise wasn't bad either. After returning from the run and eating some food, the group splits up and makes way for the walls. Our posse of sleepy eyed, dirt covered friends heads off to the Optimator Wall while poorly crafting tape gloves.
Personally, I though the concept of sandstone crack climbing sounded simple but painful. I was right with regards to the latter. For my first day of crack climbing, I flailed, fell, and top roped till the sun set below the walls. On top of that, I did manage to break out the camera and photograph some of the climbs. It was awesome seeing some many people crush and photographing Jack Plantz's first 5.12 crack climb (props dude).
Back at camp we had wonderfully massive campfire and dance circle with some great friends.
The final day we were a bit pressed for time due to a previously made desert obligation. Thus, we headed off with another group to get some climbs in. Beautiful weather paired with a stunning wall made for a day well spent. Spent ourselves, we hopped in the car and headed back to the rockies to begin our midterms at CU Boulder. To say the least, I'm stoked to be heading back to the creek a few more times before winter begins, especially for ominous Creeksgiving.